Knock Ladies 1st XI (1) v (1) Ballymena Ladies 1st XI
Saturday 4th February
Senior League 1
Ballymena began this match in confident mood applying continuous pressure on the Knock defence! After winning a series of penalty corners, Ballymena took the lead after 10 minutes from a straight strike by Catherine McCracken direct to Clare Gillespie who lifted the ball into the back of the net to give the visitors the lead! Ballymena continued to create chances for a second but attempts from Rebekah Reynolds and Stephanie Storey were just wide and they closed out the half one goal to the good.
Knock changed their tactics for the second half using their forwards in high positions and attempting to find them with long balls out from the defence. Initially Ballymena held firm, but a slip gave Knock the chance they needed, with their forward striking home from the top of the circle to level the match.
Ballymena again won further penalty corners but were unfortunate not to convert and the game ended with no further goals for either side.
Team: J. Davis (GK), A. Crooks, C. Gillespie(C), G. McBurney, K. Young,
R. Reynolds, S. Smith, S. Morrison , E. Anderson, A. Logan, G. McCready,
E. Alexander, C. McCracken, E. Morrison
NICS Ladies 2nd XI (3) v (2) Ballymena Ladies 1st XI
Saturday 4th February
Junior League 2
With seven games remaining in this year’s league campaign, Ballymena were aiming for win in this game to overturn the defeat earlier in the season and start their move back up the table against a Service 2nd XI, who although third in the league had only managed draws in their last three games.
In an extremely competitive first half Ballymena threw everything into their game and rocked Service in the early stages with three excellent chances that could have put the game to bed, but the home side managed to hold on! However Ballymena’s pressure finally paid off when Emma Johnston opened the scoring for the visitors. Strong play from Emma Clarke and Kirsty McMaster continued to make life difficult for Service, who moments from the end of the half found an equaliser!
Into the second half and good attacking play from fullbacks Chloe Farquhar and Ruth Barr, fed the Ballymena forwards with further chances and it was Kirsty McMaster who latched onto a strong drive from Farquhar to again take the lead 2-1!
Service again came back strong but Ballymena defended, committing everything to the tackle, but again the home side pegged them back to 2-2 with an unchallenged run into the Ballymena circle!
In the final ten minutes no quarter was given by either side, but a strong attack lead to Ballymena giving away an untimely penalty corner with minutes to go. With an initial save from keeper Lauren Hanna the resulting deflection wasn’t cleared and Civil Service had the victory 3-2!
It was a disappointing result after such a strong performance from the whole team and one that deserved at least the draw, but next week the team travels to Banbridge in a game they need to win to hold league position. Thanks to Aimee Logan for travelling to umpire.
Team: L. Hanna(GK), A. Harbinson, H. Dickey, N. Greer(C), R. Barr, E. Park, E. Johnston,
L. Logan, R. Whyte, L. McClintock, K. McMaster, E. Clarke, E. Johnston, Chloe Farquhar.
Portrush Men’s 1st XI (1) v (4) Ballymena Men’s 1st XI
Friday 3rd February
Junior League 4
Ballymena travelled to a wet Ballycastle on Friday night determined to get their push for promotion back on track against opponents Portrush. Ballymena started brightly with Lorimer and Whitten combining only to be denied by the on-rushing Portrush keeper. The breakthrough didn’t take long to come though, following a period of pressure resulting in a penalty corner, Lorimer dispatched his shot into the bottom corner to give the visitors the lead. Ballymena continued to press but could not add another before half time, mainly due to some excellent goalkeeping from the home side. More of the same was the theme of the team talk during the break and the second goal quickly arrived after the restart from another penalty corner, this time driven home by Andy Linford. A lapse in concentration saw Portrush get one back but this only spurred on Ballymena who added number 3 and 4 in quick succession through a Craig Davis tap in and neat finish from Mark Alison, both after some great work from Glenn Whitten.
The game ended with an impressive 4-1 win for the Braid men which sees them go back to the top of the league.
Thanks to Joanne Logan for travelling to umpire.
Team: R.Nabb(GK), D. McDonald, A. Linford, A. Hanna, R. Jess, G. Whitten
C. Davis, A. McKeown, A. Lormier, M. Alison, P. Beattie, M. O’Neill.
Ballymena Men’s 2nd XI (1) v (3) Armagh Men’s 2nd XI
Saturday 4th February
Junior League 6
Team: M. Orr(GK), D. McDowell, P. Moody(C), D. Bradley, W. Barr, J. Birrell
P. Montgomery J. Hutchinson, P. Nicholl, S. Gordon, S. Glass.