Vital three points for Banbridge Ladies Thirds

BATTLING the hail and wind, Banbridge Ladies Hockey Club Thirds travelled northwards on Saturday to take on Coleraine Thirds in the Junior League.

Although the squad was down in numbers and missing some key players from all parts of the field, the Banbridge girls were still determined to come home with another win.

Taking first pass back Banbridge set the pace of the game he game from the whistle and within the first minute were awarded a penalty corner, which Jessica Hasson put used proficiently to smash the ball into the back of the net, and give the visitors a 1-nil lead.

Throughout the rest of the first half, Banbridge continued to dominate play and maintained over over 70% possession.

However, being caught short without sufficient support in the Coleraine circle, meant that Banbridge were unable to raise their score. Coleraine kept the pressure on, however excellent marking by Abbie Bleakley meant that the opposition’s most threatening forward wase unable to make any serious advance towards achieving a goal.

Strong play continued in the second half, with some fantastic passing between the Heather Wilson, Sarah Dale and Joanna Palnoch that kept leading the ball in the right direction.

Another short corner was awarded and unluckly missed by the striker, however a quick recovery by the Banbridge side let Heather Wilson on the left post put the second score on the card, making it 2-0 to Banbridge. Coleraine continued to breakout and keep the pressure on, but left back Rebekah Graham and sweeper Rebecca Dickson worked hard to ensure that the pressure was kept off goalkeeper Roya Loughlan.

The Banbridge forwards kept pushing on, with Kellie Acheson and Hannah Hopkins doing everything to keep the ball up in the attack, but unfortunately the defensive game being played by Coleraine meant that no successes followed.

As the end of the match approached, a short corner was again given to Banbridge and Jessica Hassan made a clean shot at the goals, leaving the score at the whistle 3-0 to Banbridge.

There were a number of very strong candidates for player of the match, however Rebekah Graham was decided to be the most worthy for her reliable defending, confident passing and the support she provided around the field.