BANN Ladies Fourths faced a tough game on an unpredictable gravel pitch and were looking for more than a draw in the return fixture against a tough Malone side.
The locals started the better team of the two, creating many chances and also stopping any threats.
In the first 10 minutes, Bann’s defence of Cathrine Reid, Andie Martin, Rachel Groves and Dawn Ferguson rose to the challenge, controlling any attack from Malone and using the ball wisely.
As Bann got settled into the game and got used to the bounce of the pitch they started to string a few passes together, and got the first penalty corner of the match from good play from the midfield of Jessica Faulkner, Lynda McKinley, Sheena Anderson and Andrea Harrower to set up the attack leading to the penalty corner. The corner was struck perfectly on to just slip wide of the Malone post.
Bann looked the more determined team, and after a good ball into the ‘D’ from Dawn Ferguson set up skipper Lynda McKinley to superbly strike the ball into the net to score the first goal of the game.
Malone didn’t give up after the goal from Bann, and started to come more into the game, testing Bann’s keeper on several occasions, but not being able to score.
Bann knew that Malone were going to keep fighting for a goal before the half, and had to make sure Malone had no sight of goal.
After a good spell from Malone, Bann went on their own good spell and scored a second from well worked play right up the pitch from the defence to Jayne Walker who coolly slipped the ball into the net to give Bann the lead.
Again, This didn’t put Malone off, they themselves grabbed a goal from a vital error from the Bann keeper letting Malone have a something to cheer about going into the half.
The second half started and Bann knew what they had to do to win the game, but they switched off and were caught flat footed while Malone were on the attack, and because of this Malone were through on goal several times, only for Bann keeper stopping another goal from Malone, but Bann were holding on to the lead by their skin of their teeth!
Bann were determined not to throw away the lead, and started to step up and play like they did in the first half, and they started to pile on the attacks on Malone, with all Bann strikers of Angela Cowan and Jayne Walker unable to score a third to secure the victory for Bann. Attack after attack from Bann, but couldn’t find the net for a third time.
As the end of the match grew closer Malone and Bann both wanted another goal, with both teams defending very well,
But Bann found a break through, a good run from Jessica Faulkner who ran into the ‘D’ and won a penalty corner with not long left to go. The ball was slapped out to Sheena Anderson who rose to the challenge and smashed the ball home to secure a victory for Bann.
Although the game was won, Malone kept attacking but they just couldn’t find a breakthrough, The game came to an end, and Bann saw the game out to win 3-1.
Thanks to Umpire Julie Craig and Coach Joel Reid.