Three ladies’ U13 teams compete at Lisnagarvey

SUNDAY saw the return of the competitions for the U13 girls at Lisnagarvey.

Banbridge brought three relatively new teams to compete against Dromore and Lurgan.

The A team began their campaign against a very strong Lurgan A team. Banbridge started the game very well with great composure from defensive players, Gina Woods and Clare Liggett stopping any chances the Lurgan side threw at them.

With great strength from the defence they provided the mid-field with excellent attacking opportunities. Charlotte Campbell and Sophie Mount worked well on the left but they were unlucky on several occasions not to convert.

Also in midfield there great attacking and defensive play from both Ellie Purdy and Claire Waring, they battled against the Lurgan side and they released several balls for the forwards. Unfortunately the girls were unable to convert their chances, and some excellent saves from Clara Cromie meant the score remained scoreless.

The girls then faced the Banbridge C team. Both teams put in great work from the start. However, with great attacking play from Amy Peacock and Ellie Robinson , and excellent tackles from Maddie Chambers meant the girls continued to put pressure on the C team.

The pressure paid off with great movement from Lauren Megaw this meant the girls were able to capitalise on their opportunities as Sophie Mount slipped the ball past the keeper. This was followed by another three goals from the girls; scorers consisted of Sophie Mount, Ellie Robinson, Lauren Megaw.

The last game of the day against Dromore brought the girls best performance. Every girl put in 100% effort and played fantastic hockey. Excellent flat balls came from Gina Woods who found Sophie Mount on countless occasions on the back post, and she was soon rewarded for her hard work. Again, excellent defensive work from Gina Woods, Clare Liggett and Maddie Chambers meant that Dromore had no shots on Clara Cromie.

There was excellent play from the mid-fielders Charlotte Campbell, Amy Peacock, Ellie Purdy and Ellie Robinson, passing quick balls to the forwards.

The forward line, consisting of Lauren Megaw and Sophie Mount, put continuous pressure on the Dromore defense, the girls were soon rewarded for their efforts when Sophie slipped the ball into the goals.

Nearing the end of the game, Gina Woods passed an early ball to Ellie Robinson who carried the ball with paced, and unselfishly passed the ball to Sophie who converted yet another goal. The girls put in a fantastic performance. Well done girls. Lastly, many thanks to Hannah Hopkins and Sarah Gray for umpiring all three teams and assisting the coaches.

The B squad put in great performances from the start. They won the first game 1-0 against the Banbridge C team. It was a very tough game for both teams, both showing great defensive and attacking skills. However, Olivia scored the winning goal for the B team.

The next game saw the girls losing to a very strong Dromore team. Great play from the mid-fielders, Robyn Doherty was awarded player of the match because of her excellent tactical awareness. The girls last match was against a very strong Lurgan B squad, the girls were unfortunate not to convert their chances however they kept Lurgan at bay by keeping a scoreless game. The girls should be proud of their achievements today and will most certainly improve over the coming weeks.

The Banbridge under 13 C team travelled to Lisnagarvey on Sunday to play their first tournament of the season. With a new season comes a new team and the girls were getting used to playing together and the scorelines certainly didn’t reflect the effort put on by each and every one of the girls.

The first game was against Dromore B team which was narrowly lost by Bann by just one goal with the girls putting in a solid starting performance. Elaine in goals made a couple of great saves and solid work from Bethany and Hannah in defence kept the Dromore girls at bay.

After a short break the girls then played five matches in a row but despite tired legs Bann battled on. The second and third games were against the girls team mates in the A and B teams.

They fought hard against both with some lovely passing play from Emma, Ruth and Gemma in midfield put the Bann B team under pressure.

The Bann midfielders worked very hard doing plenty of running whilst attacking and defending in a close end-to-end match. A slight dip in concentration allowed the B’s a goal late into the game but the effort put in by the C’s couldn’t be faulted.

Against the A team an injured Rachel came back onto the pitch to join Chloe in our attacking line. Both girls did well upfront, putting in some great tackles but unfortunately the A’s were too strong.

A mixture of tired legs and a very strong Lurgan A team meant that the girls suffered another defeat in their fourth game. After a quick chat after the game the main aim of the last couple of games was to maintain possession and fight for every ball which the girls did well.

With some added motivation the girls battled on and made some great tackles to maintain Dromore A at 1-0 which was a fantastic effort. C team player of the tournament goes to Bethany for her superb tackling throughout the afternoon despite a nasty knock on the ankle in the final match.

Despite the results the Banbridge coach Amy Atkinson was very pleased with the girls performance. With this only being the first tournament of the season the performance was solid and although there are a few things to be worked on the girls put in a great effort and could go home happy and proud of themselves.