Larne Ladies won 3-1 over Banbridge in their most recent league outing, keeping confidence high ahead of their Irish Hockey Trophy quarter-final this Saturday.
Although Larne dominated possession, they offered little by way of an attacking threat in the first half.
Banbridge grew into the game they began to look the more dangerous, with a number of attacks coming via their centre-forward. A solid defensive performance, in particular from Leah Craig in the heart of defence, meant the home side were thwartred and the half ended scoreless.
The breakthrough finally came with Larne getting on the score sheet first. This time it was Leigh Snoddy coming out on top with an unstoppable drag-flick finding its way past the home keeper.
Larne soon doubled their lead when Craig’s sweetly struck shot found the net from another penalty corner. Banbridge came back fighting and it was their turn to convert a penalty corner to halve the deficit.
Larne managed one final attack of the game with Teah Maguire reaching the ball at the back post to slot home, guaranteeing all three points.
Having enjoyed their best season in Senior 1, Larne Ladies 1st XI have their sights set on a third-place finish and a run in the Irish Hockey Trophy.
A win away to Omagh in their last league game will see them finish on 32 points, only two points behind second-placed Cookstown.
Larne: T. Neill, R. Beggs, L. Craig, Rebecca Dalton, M. Finlay, G. Rennix, G. Russell, C. Holmes, Ruth Dalton (c), I. Carmichael, L. Snoddy, D. Henry, T. Maguire, S. McGookin.
Purdy nets late winner
Elsewhere, the club’s Seconds claimed a narrow 1-0 victory away to Northern Ireland Civil Service II.
Laren piled the pressure on and after a succession of short corners, Leigh Snoddy drag-flicked over the home goalkeeper, only to see it cannon off the crossbar.
Later the visitors had the post and goalkeeper Caroline Morrow to thank for keeping it at 0-0.
With literally seconds remaining, Zoe Purdy unleashed a vicious shot which gave the despairing goalkeeper no chance and sealed yet another fantastic away win which means a win in their final league game against North Down will secure third place in Junior 3.
n Larne Ladies host Galway side NUIG in the quarter-finals of the Irish Hockey Trophy on Saturday (1pm).The 2nd XI travel to Newcastle in the semi-finals of the Intermediate Cup.