Seconds through to Plate semi finals as Firsts move nine points clear

Coleraine's Kelly Watt gets her shot away against Bangor. PICTURE: Davy McDonald
Coleraine's Kelly Watt gets her shot away against Bangor. PICTURE: Davy McDonald

A full squad of 15 players from Coleraine 2s travelled to Dungannon for the Junior Plate quarter final, against a team that had beaten them in both league encounters.

Coleraine started the match and quickly moved on the attack with strict instructions to keep it tight and not concede an early goal.

But with just three minutes gone and Dungannon’s first venture into the attacking circle saw a well struck shot hit the back of the Coleraine net.

Midway through the first half and the first changes saw Olivia Mullan and Ellie Earls add more attacking options as Coleraine continued to dominate play, albeit without success and as half time approached Olivia linked up with Sasha Richardson down the left and won another penalty corner, this time Erica’s shot was saved by the Dungannon keeper and the first half ended 1-0 to the home team.

Dungannon came out fighting early in the second half and launched a number of attacks, but the defence now supplemented by the introduction of Anna Jinks and later by Zoe Todd held firm and Coleraine keeper Michelle Budina was largely untroubled.

Coleraine continued to build in confidence and had quite a few chances, both on and off target, without success. Finally a well won penalty corner and Erica’s shot took a deflection of a defenders stick and into the net - 1-1 with just eight minutes to go.

Both teams had chances to win it and an excellent diving save by Michelle in the final minute seen the final whistle blow with the scores still level.

The two five minute periods of extra time went past in a flash with Coleraine having the better of the chances but no further goals and so it went to penalty strokes.

The first two from each side were all well saved by the keepers before young Olivia struck the back board to give Coleraine the lead. Another excellent save from ‘Bud’, a great strike from Erica, and it was sudden death. So when ‘Bud’ repeated her goal-keeping heroics it was all over and captain Hannah didn’t need to take her shot.

Thanks to all who helped out, especially to Ciara Richmond for umpiring duties.

The Firsts meanwhile moved nine points clear in Senior Three following their 7-0 win over Bangor.

The Coleraine girls dominated proceedings right from the start and moved into a 3-0 lead at the break thanks to goals from Niamh Tweedie, Niamh Lockhart and Helen McCallum.

In the second half Coleraine set out to further their lead, maintaining their wide play with quick passes, Kelly Watt crossed the ball into the circle, where Grace Bradley was waiting to score.

Alice McGill made it 5-0 from another penalty corner before Helen Tweedie capped a great solo run with a goal.

As the match drew to a close, Coleraine found the net again. Kelly Watt’s shot was saved, but Helen McCallum was on hand to score her second goal and the final goal of the match.

A big thank you to the coach Philip tweedie, the referees Shaun and Debbie, and the supporters who braved the weather.