LADIES HOCKEY: Defeat for Coleraine in opener

Action from Coleraine Firsts opening league match. PICTURE: Davy McDonald
Action from Coleraine Firsts opening league match. PICTURE: Davy McDonald
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Newly promoted Coleraine began their Senior Two campaign at Rugby Avenue on Saturday but were on the wrong end of a 3-1 scoreline against Castle.

It was a momentous day for Castle who had their first ever league match after an off-season amalgamation of Carrickfergus and Greencastle hockey clubs. It was a hard fought game and the unseasonal warm weather added a further hurdle.

Coleraine Ladies First XI. PICTURE: Davy McDonald

Coleraine Ladies First XI. PICTURE: Davy McDonald

It was Coleraine who found the net first, some 25 minutes into the match. Niamh Lockhart fired a reverse stick shot past the in-form Castle keeper from close range after great work from Grace Bradley and Helen Tweedie. Castle got the equaliser before half time, capitalising on a loose play in the circle and a very unfortunate touch from a Coleraine defender.

The second half continued in the same vein with very little to distinguish between the two sides until 10 minutes from the end of time when a Castle player made a skilful deflection in the circle to put the visiting team ahead. Coleraine battled to find the equaliser but it was Castle who in the last minute mounted one last challenge. The penalty corner resulting from an unfortunate foul in the circle was converted with a well worked variation and Castle sealed the match at 3-1. Despite the scoreline, Coleraine were able to take many positives from the match. It was a tentative start in their new league but one which inspired much optimism.