HOCKEY REVIEW: McVeigh on target but Larne are edged out by Ballymena

Beth McVeigh (No 12) scores Larne Ladies only goal in their 2-1 defeat to Ballymena Ladies at Larne Grammar School. INLT 04-007-PSB Photo: Phillip Byrne

Beth McVeigh (No 12) scores Larne Ladies only goal in their 2-1 defeat to Ballymena Ladies at Larne Grammar School. INLT 04-007-PSB Photo: Phillip Byrne

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Larne Ladies suffered their 10th Senior 1 defeat in 13 outings in Saturday’s 2-1 home loss to neighbours, Ballymena.

The hosts started off strongly and were on the attack straight from the centre pass, but Ballymena blocked Gillian Russell’s shot on goal.

Larne continued to pressurise and were a constant threat going forward. However, it was the visitors who broke the deadlock when, against the run of play, Aimmee Logan converted from a penalty corner.

It didn’t deter Larne and they equalised almost immediately. Beth McVeigh cut in from the right wing and found Russell whose cross was met by Angela McFall. Her flick looped over the Ballymena goalkeeper and McVeigh was on hand at the far post to see the ball over the line.

Larne continued to dominate and had several chances to take the lead but just couldn’t find the back of the net.

Ballymena came out stronger in the second half but Larne were still passing the ball well and frustrating their opponents.

As the hosts started to tire, the Braid Valley outfit began to dominate midway through the second half and they took the lead when Emma Gillespie scored from a penalty corner. The ball appeared to be going in too high but the umpire allowed the goal to stand.

Larne rallied towards the end of the second session and had Ballymena under pressure, but they failed to net an equaliser.

Larne: L. McClelland, R. Love, N. Kempton (c), L. Snoddy, L. Booth, S. McGookin, G. Rennix, B. Mcferran, G. Russell, B. McVeigh, A. McFall, D. Henry, P. Johnston, K. McCully.

Other results: Larne’s 2nd XI won 2-0 against Banbridge II with goals from Kirsty Neill and Rebekka McIlwaine. The 3rd XI lost 4-0 to NICS III.