Coleraine Ladies First XI were celebrating again on Saturday following their hard-fought Intermediate Plate victory over Kilkeel.
The local ladies went into the final in great form following their 6-2 victory against Newry last week, and an 8-1 defeat of Dromore the previous week in the same competition.
The Bannsiders had already faced Kilkeel three times this season, winning two of these fixtures comprehensively but narrowly losing one on home turf just a month ago. Third placed Kilkeel just missed out on a chance of promotion alongside Coleraine this season, so it was always going to be a tough match.
Coleraine began brightly with plenty of possession. Some speedy runs from Grace Bradley and Niamh Lockhart caused serious headaches for the Kilkeel defence.
Although it wasn’t Coleraine’s usual flowing play, they fought very hard and in particular, captain Susan Chapman did a brilliant job of controlling Kilkeel’s danger player in midfield.
A period of Coleraine pressure 20 minutes into the game paid off when a penalty corner was converted by Player of the Season Kelly Watt. Coleraine continued to dominate the 1st half but were unable to find the back of the net.
The second half saw Kilkeel come into the game more and the Coleraine defence battled hard to keep their lead. In particular, Rebecca Crowe pulled off some great saves in the Coleraine net.
With the game at 1-0, it was a very tense affair, but Coleraine soaked up anything that Kilkeel threw at them and looked dangerous in attack.
As the final seconds ticked down, Coleraine’s Niamh Lockhart ended a super solo run with a well placed slot of the ball past the keeper so close to the final whistle thats its debatable whether or not it counted!
Regardless, it was a great end to a great season for the club. Just rewards for all the hard work put in by players and coaching staff.
With so much young talent coming up through the club and on display yesterday, the future’s bright, the future’s red and white.
Many thanks go to the UWHU for a well run finals day at Mossley.
The players would like to send thanks to the many vocal Coleraine supporters who made the trip to the Newtownabbey pitch.