HOCKEY: Hard-fought win for Firsts

Coleraine Ladies First XI picked up another win at the weekend.
Coleraine Ladies First XI picked up another win at the weekend.

Coleraine ladies Firsts were back in action on Saturday when they hosted Holywood.

After a bright start by the hosts the visitors went close to breaking the deadlock on 15 minutes, only to be denied by a great save from Rebecca Crowe.

Coleraine hit back with forwards Niamh Tweedie and Grace Bradley close to scoring on several occasions.

The second half proved just as challenging as the first with both sides having their opportunities. Some great play down the left by Jenna McMaster and Becky Lockhart led to several penalty corners being awarded to Coleraine but it was not to be.

Nearly immediately Holywood reacted and were awarded their own penalty corner with keeper Crowe making the save and defender Claire Adams making a crucial clearance off the line.

With five minutes to go Coleraine were awarded another penalty corner. Deciding to keep it simple, the job was left to Helen Tweedie who hammered the ball into the bottom corner of the net to make the score 1-0.

This seemed to kick Coleraine into gear and with only three minutes left they created a brilliant opportunity when a free ball taken by Sue Nutt was knocked into the circle where Lois Wilson was waiting patiently to dribble the ball into the net bringing the final score to 2-0.

Player of the match was awarded to Claire Adams. Thanks must go to coaches Stephen McCartney and Philip Tweedie, umpire Ivan and all the supporters. Next week Coleraine face a top clash with rivals Dromore at home.

With no match for five weeks Coleraine Twos were a little short of match practice when they travelled to Edenvilla to play Portadown Threes.

However with less than fifteen seconds on the clock the ball was in the back of the home team’s net as Helen McCallum greeted the New Year with a tap in from Zoe Campbell’s cross.

The movement and quick passing of the Coleraine midfield and forwards piled the pressure on the Portadown defence and a through pass from Catherine Lyttle, helped on by CarolAnn Agnew bounced off a defenders foot for a penalty corner, just as Helen swept it home. With the “goal” disallowed, the strike from Emma Jamison was saved by the keeper to keep it at 1-0.

However this was only a short respite for Portadown as with barely seven minutes played Helen was again free in the circle and doubled her tally and the lead. This taking her to 17 goals for the season so far, and bring her just two behind CarolAnn in the scoring charts at this stage.

While the girls kept the short sharp passing going they were hard to catch and it was only a matter of time before they went further ahead, and so it proved as two goals in the second quarter from Carol Ann made it 4-0 at the break.

The second half got under way in similar vein. Ninety seconds in it was Carol Ann who was first to the hat-trick as she took the ball round the keeper and slid it home for the fifth. Then, barely a minute later, Helen’s shot was saved by the keeper and as she clipped the rebound goalwards Carol Ann was again on hand to make sure and make it six.

It was Zoe Campbell’s turn to get on the score sheet next as a solo run through into the circle seen her slot the ball past the keeper for a magnificent seventh!

As Coleraine pushed higher up the pitch Portadown got one clear chance when their forward slipped the ball through and bore down on the Coleraine goal, however a quick rush out from Beth McMullan, as Anna raced back to cover, saw the shot slide wide of the goals.

With just over 12minutes left Carol Ann returned to the pitch and her ten minute breather obviously didn’t hinder her as, two more goals in the final seven minutes took her personal tally to six and the final score to 9-0! A well-deserved Player of the Match performance, Will Grigg has nothing on her!

An equalising goal five minutes from time from Tori Culbertson gave Coleraine Thirds a deserved point in their 1-1 draw at CIYMS. The visitors played the first half as if they maybe had enjoyed the Christmas break too much with a disjointed display and found themselves 1-0 down at the break.

The second half saw Coleraine dominate more with Juliet Gaston controlling midfield and linking well with Tori Culbertson and Bekah Kennedy. The equaliser came from a free outside the circle from Gaston playing the ball to Hannah McAdam who threaded a ball into the circle where Emily Caskey and finally Tori Culbertson forcing the ball over the line.

Coleraine pushed for a winner in the final minutes but had to settle for a draw and will be looking for an improved performance this week as they entertain Dromore Fours in the league at 1pm.