SOUTH ANTRIM LADIES SECONDS 1
QUEENS UNIVERSITY FOURTHS 1
SOUTH Antrim Ladies Seconds’ fixture defied the cold weather last Saturday and resulted in the locals securing their first point of their debut season.
The icy conditions meant that most astroturf pitches were deemed unplayable, however the gravel surface at Laurehill Sportszone proved up to the task and provided a more than acceptable surface for this entertaining encounter.
The Queens team started the game very brightly, adapting to the unfamiliar surface very well and soon had the South defence under pressure. The South defence was looking strong however with the experienced Carol Redpath and debutant Louise Boyd working well together to frustrate the visitors’ attacks. Most of the first half action was in the South Antrim portion of the pitch with South finding possession at a premium. The South midfield of Natalie Lowry, Carly Niblock and Leeanne Blair were battling hard to restrict the visitors fluent style of hockey but were finding it difficult to create many opportunities of their own. Despite their dominance however Queens were unable to really test Catherine Growcott in the home goal.
On the stroke of halftime, South took the lead from a counter attacking move instigated by Clare Louise White. A fantastic run on the right flank left three Queens’ players in her wake as Clare calmly slotted the ball home from a narrow angle. A somewhat stunned Queens team headed for the consolation of the halftime oranges.
The second half was really one-way traffic, as Queens pressed for the elusive goal that on the balance of play they deserved. Ironically it was the Lisburn team that almost added to the score when good work from Amy Duncan allowed Laura McConnell to break into the circle only for the visiting goalie to clear the danger.
As the half progressed, an equaliser looked inevitable and it eventually arrived when the ball was forced into the South goal from close range after the South defence failed to clear the danger. The final minutes saw South cling on to the point with great defending from Catherine Michaelides, Alex Best and Louise Boyd.
In the end, South were pleased to get a point from this game against a very talented Queens side. Player of the match for South was Louise Boyd who demonstrated a high level of commitment throughout this match.