It was a sad end to the hockey season for members of Parkview Ladies 1st XI when they lost the relegation play-off.
“It was really heartbreaking when Holywood scored the only goal of the game with only seconds left on the stop-watch,” said captain Clare McClean.
“It was a ding-dong battle at Deramore with plenty of action in both circles, and as the clock ticked down the tension mounted.
“Extra-time and possibly a penalty shootout seemed on the cards until one of the Holywood strikers slammed the ball past Sharon Gaffney to seal our fate.”
Asked about the prospects for next season, she added: “At the beginning of the season we lost half a dozen players through maternity leave, university studies, job changes and family commitments, and then during the season we had further losses including our captain Claire Patterson, so we finished with almost a completely new team, and we never managed, not even once, to field the same eleven in consecutive matches.
“Dropping down to Senior 4 is perhaps a blessing in disguise; we will be able to regroup, bring in younger players and set ourselves the target of moving back up in the years ahead.”
As for the play-off itself Jenny Wallace and Nikki Singleton were dominant in central midfield, while Toni Smallwood and Jenna Maxwell linked well up front.
Parkview had the edge in the first half, but two penalty corners failed to produce the goods, with shots by Singleton and McClean blocked on the line, while later Caroline Coulter just failed to get her stick on the ball when a cross from Wallace caught out the defence.
In the second session Sharon Gaffney had to make several fine saves as did her opposite number who thwarted Singleton, Maxwell and Jenny Morrison.
The result could have gone either way, but it was the Senior League Section 4 runners-up who scored the late crucial winner.
Parkview Ladies panel: Sharon Gaffney, Penny Purdy, Wilma McCullough, Clare McClean (Capt.), Lauren Brady, Cathy Morrow, Jenny Wallace, Nikki Singleton, Caroline Coulter, Toni Smallwood, Jenna Maxwell, Jenny Morrison, Cathy Morrison, Jenny Rankin, Tammy Gamble.