All Ireland semi place for Coleraine Ladies

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Coleraine are through to the semi final of the Irish Hockey Challenge.

In a tightly fought out contest with Dublin side Botanic the game ended in the most dramatic fashion with Coleraine being awarded a penalty corner in the final play of the game.

The whole Coleraine team surrounded the circle with the scoreline 1-1 and extra time looming. Alice McGill injected the ball to Carol Anne Agnew whose shot found the net via a deflection of a defenders stick. There was wild celebrations at the end as Coleraine moved on to one game away from an Irish Hockey final.

The game itself brought together to very evenly matched teams, Coleraine took the lead in the 6th minute when Sarah Harkness broke on the right to square the ball for Niamh Tweedie to convert at the back post.

Coleraine’s short corner routine was testing the Botanic keeper and she pulled off excellent saves from Sue Nutt and then Carol Anne Agnew. Coleraine continued to press in the second half Alex Balmer shot broke into the circle from the right and went close. Alice McGill then brought the ball out from the back carrying it 35 yards before unleashing a shot on the reverse which struck a Botanic defender in the face and thankfully after treatment at Causeway Hospital she was able to travel back to Dublin with the team. With six minutes to go, Botanic’s persistence paid off when Isobel Kelly found space in the circle to fire home from close range. Coleraine’s character showed through and they kept pushing for a winner winning two short corners in the last minutes - Agnew’s goal will be long remembered by the supporters, as Coleraine take a place in the Ireland draw for the first time in ten years.

Thanks go to all the supporters who made such a difference on the day, and also to main sponsor Gareth’s Takeaway.

Coleraine await the semi final draw that will see them play either Clonal, Wexford or NUIG Galway.