A close encounter of the hockey kind took place last Saturday at Friends School, home of South Antrim hockey, between South Ladies 3rds and Banbridge 4ths.
Only just recently started on their league campaign, the young team worked hard in the match to add to their points tally before the Christmas break.
The Bann side though had other ideas and were pressuring the South goal with a great chance at the start of the game.
This got the young side up and running with the hard working Niamh Doyle running at the defence to create a great chance but was denied by the Bann keeper.
South continued to pile on the pressure but found it hard to break down the well drilled side.
Lucy Stewart, another great young prospect now in the senior ranks, managed an interchange with Laura McConnell but was again thwarted by the Bann keeper.
Bann responded by throwing everything at the South defence and managed to finish the half one up.
South Ladies Thirds, feeling they still had a chance to even the score, had a great spell of hockey that certainly didn’t reflect their league position.
The pressure was rewarded when Danielle Heasley slotted the ball to Laura McConnell, well positioned in the circle, to find the corner of the net.
South continued to attack and Rachel Sullivan created and just missed another great chance as she smashed a shot just wide of the post.
Towards the end of the game, unfortunately for the young side and against the spirit of Christmas, Bann denied South a point and stealing the points for themselves.
Although they came away with nothing to show for their efforts, the girls take good heart from the game with lots of good performances on show which will certainly reap dividends for them in 2016.
Well done to Laura McConnell on player of the match and thanks go to George Redpath for umpiring his second match of the day.