HOCKEY: Bell at the double for Ballyclare

Action from the Ballyclare Ladies and Cookstown Ladies match at Foundry Lane. INNT 43-011-FP
Action from the Ballyclare Ladies and Cookstown Ladies match at Foundry Lane. INNT 43-011-FP

AFTER conceding two early goals against Cookstown, Ballyclare Ladies 1st XI stormed back to secure a share of the Senior League Division 1 spoils.

A double strike by Kerrie Bell levelled the scores, and after the visitors regained the lead, Tori Wallace popped up to earn a 3-3 draw.

Claire Grills and her opposite number were in action in the early exchanges, before the Tyrone girls struck twice in quick succession to take control.

These reverses sparked off a home revival and following fine play down the right by Caroline McGookin and Sue Dickey, Kerrie Bell reduced the deficit from close range.

Victoria White, Kerry McLeod and Bell worked industriously, while Wallace was denied by the goalie in a one-against-one situation.

Bell equalised by tucking the ball in at the back post after McGookin and Dickey had prised open the defence.

Cookstown replied with a series of attacks, but found Ruth Sutherland, Nicki McMillan and Louise Holmes to be in top form in defence.

However, the pressure eventually paid off when Cookstown regained the lead with a third goal, but the hosts were not finished.

In the dying seconds Jo Cooke and Dickey set it up for Wallace to flick the ball wide of the keeper to earn a precious point.

With two draws from their first three fixtures, the ‘Clare girls will be hoping to record their first League win of the season on Saturday when they travel to Stormont to take on NICS.

Ballyclare Ladies panel: C Grills, C McGookin, L Holmes, R Sutherland, N McMillan, L Ashcroft, T Wallace, R Mills, J Cooke, S Dickey, K Bell, J Purdy, V White, K McLeod.

DEFEAT in Ballymoney means Ballyclare Ladies 2nd XI slip back to third place in Junior League Section 2.

Zoe Hunter’s girls travelled to north Antrim in second spot behind leaders Ards II, and were hoping to pick up full points against Ballymoney II who were in the bottom half of the table, but the hosts had other ideas.

A goal in each half gave them a 2-0 win, but the ‘Clare girls spurned scoring chances that would have salvaged at least a point.

The first goal was scored from a rebound after Sara Coulter had done well to parry the initial effort, and although Ballyclare performed better in the second session, they were unable to prevent conceding the second goal, scored from a disputed penalty-corner.

Best for Ballyclare were Gillian White in defence, Janice Wilson in midfield and Sophie Roy up front.

n This weekend’s fixtures: 1st XI v NICS, away; 2nd XI v Dungannon II, home; 3rd XI v Ards IV, away.