Coleraine First XI took on Newry Hockey Club in the semi-finals of the Intermediate Plate.
Having played and beaten Newry twice this season, Coleraine were determined to come away with the win.
And so it proved as the local ladies came away with a 6-2 win seeing them into this week’s final.
Coleraine started strong and soon went into the lead, an accurate pass from Grace Bradley was meet and converted by Niamh Tweedie.
Within minutes Coleraine scored again, this time with a goal from Grace Bradley taking on and beating the keeper. Coleraine pressed on, and continued to mount pressure with the forwards of Niamh Lockhart and Olivia Mullen using their pace to outrun opponents; this hard work was rewarded with another goal for Niamh Tweedie.
The first half ended 4-0 in Coleraine’s favour when Milenka Rygielska, on her debut for Coleraine Firsts, converted a short corner.
Newry came back into the game in the second half and after some skilful work converted a penalty corner.
Coleraine responded but were denied their fifth goal of the match after Zoe Campbell’s shot was disallowed. Newry continued to mount pressure and despite solid defensive work by Claire Adams, Molly Kane and Sharon Kennedy were able to sneak a second goal.
Coleraine battled back, with good link play between midfielders Susan Chapman, Sue Nutt and Helen Tweedie finding Grace Bradley who scored Coleraine’s fifth of the match. Coleraine sealed victory when Niamh Lockhart passed into Kelly Watt who struck the back board taking the final score to 6-2.
This well-deserved win sees Coleraine into the final, where they take on Kilkeel Ladies Hockey club. A win will see them 2016 Ladies hockey Intermediate Plate champions. Thanks to coaches, umpires and supporters who travelled to Newry for the match.
Coleraine Seconds rounded off their season in style on Saturday.
Dromore started strongly, but the Coleraine defence stood firm. Coleraine started to find their rhythm and a series of attacks down the left saw some good movement and passing through Erica, Ellie and Jess to set Hannah, Samantha and Chloe free against the Dromore defence.
With seconds remaining in the half a Dromore attack seemed to have been cleared for a long corner but, with the ball seeming to be pulled back into play before the umpire saw and with Michelle’s helmet being dislodged in the melee, the ball was scrambled over the line to give the home side the lead.
Time after time in the second half Coleraine broke forward with some excellent passing between the front two. With three quarters of the match gone, a great pass from Chloe to Hannah saw a shot from the right of the circle drilled high into the Dromore net to bring the team level.
Another break forward, and with the whole defence beaten, the Dromore keeper got an outstretched foot to intercept the final pass. just as Hannah was contemplating an open goal! Undeterred the team kept up the high tempo , despite the rising temperatures, and dominating play all over the pitch they got their reward as a pass from Hannah in the Dromore circle saw Chloe slide the ball past the keeper and a lead.
As the final whistle was blown with a well deserved 2-1 victory, it brought to an end an excellent team performance. Everyone played their part, and many showed that touch of versatility to play wherever needed for the benefit of the team, but the player of the match award goes to Chloe for her tireless running as she tormented the Dromore defence.