Banbridge Ladies Thirds take all three points with hard working display in their first home match of the season

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Banbridge Ladies 3rd XI played their first home match this season against NICS Thirds at Havelock Park on Saturday.

The game was played in difficult conditions with torrential rain falling in periods throughout the match which made the pitch slow and hard to move the ball around.

The first half was scrappy with both sides struggling with the conditions and pitch but it was Bann who looked to be on top.

Punam McGookin worked tirelessly upfront trying to make the most of Bann’s possession in the circle with Ashleigh Mitchell and Jayne Walker on the wings linking in well.

However, good defending from Civil Service thwarted any attempts at goal.

Joanna Berry making the step up from the 4th XI this week, fed through some good balls from the midfield.

Service did look dangerous at times but excellent defending by Gaye Campbell in the middle of the pitch blocked any attempts to get to the Bann circle.

Despite some good play up front Bann were unable to capitalise and the first half finished 0-0.

The second half started better for Bann and despite the heavy rain played much better hockey.

Jayne Walker made some excellent runs down the right hand side and linked well with Naomi Haugh in right midfield.

Helen Monaghan also worked hard in the centre to support the forwards and also defending when necessary.

Civil Service began to struggle with the conditions and Bann made the most of this working hard in the centre to try and gain something.

Punam McGookin went close after some excellent play by Jayne Scott who fed the ball through to Jayne Walker who then made a great run down the wing and crossed it into the circle to find Punam but it was well cleared by the Civil Service ‘keeper.

The goal eventually came when some good work in the circle saw Ashleigh Mitchell slot the ball into the back of the net to give Bann the well deserved lead.

Service fought back and at the other end of the pitch and were awarded a number of corners in succession but solid defending by Rachel Groves, Katie Uprichard, Katie Carson and Jayne Scott meant that they did not gain anything from these.

Bann fought on to retain their lead and the game finished with Bann collecting the three points.

Thanks to Sheree Totton for umpiring.

The Thirds will next week play Carrickfergus at home.