HOCKEY: Ballyclare snatch a draw with Omagh

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Having been narrowly beaten by Omagh Ladies the previous weekend in a knockout trophy, Ballyclare Ladies were determined to reverse the result in Saturday’s Senior Two fixture (February 16), but the best they could achieve was a division of the spoils.

The home side led twice at Mellon Park, but strikes by Kerry McLeod and Suzanne Dickey secured the 2-2 draw.

At the beginning of the match play was even with both teams keeping possession and attacking their opponents’ circle, but Omagh broke the deadlock when a long ball from their defence allowed one of their forwards to break free on goal.

Ballyclare were quick to respond with McLeod equalising after connecting with a pass from team captain Dickey.

The home side had the major share of possession, forcing Claire Grills to make a couple of fine saves from penalty corners, but the scores remained level at the break.

During the second session the Ballyclare girls concentrated on retaining possession more often, but they had to defend against the more direct tactics of the hosts, who regained the lead from one of their long clearances.

With Vikki Milligan prominent on the right and Lorraine Ashcroft and Louise Holmes equally effective on the left, Ballyclare won their first penalty-corner of the game, and it produced the equaliser, when Dickey slotted the ball in to the net after the goalie had saved the initial shot by Tori Wallace.

In the closing stages Omagh pressed hard for the winner but were thwarted by solid defending by Victoria White, Jade Purdy, Patterson and Holmes.

Ballyclare Ladies panel: Claire Grills, Louise Holmes, Emma Patterson, Victoria White, Jade Purdy, Lorraine Ashcroft, Tori Wallace, Vikki Milligan, Suzanne Dickey, Nicola McMillan, Jaquie Hanley, Kerry McLeod, Kara Wallace.