Larne seconds claim draw with North Down

Larne Ladies captain, Ruth Dalton.
Larne Ladies captain, Ruth Dalton.

Larne Ladies’ weekend fixtures were severely hit by the weather conditions but the second-team’s match with North Down survived. It finished in a 1-1 draw earning them another valuable point.

Generally, the club is doing well at this midway point in the season. The 1st XI have a sound mid-table position in Senior One and with seven matches still to play, coach Andy King is optimistic his team can hold their own.

Promotion last season for the second time in a row was a surprise but captain Ruth Dalton and the team have proved they are able to rise to the challenge. King and Dalton have brought some new thinking to the style of play adopted and with the average age of the 1st XI at 24, there will be a great deal of potential in this squad for some time to come.

The club’s seconds have struggled spending most of this campaign in the bottom two, often losing matches by the narrowest of margins.

Captain Tracey Martin has been working with new coach William Blair and there is so much enthusiasm in the team that this may keep the girls safe if they can pull off a few victories starting with the derby against Carrick seconds on Saturday (January 26). The girls have also been successful in getting through to the second round of the Intermediate Plate, so there is everything to play for.

The thirds are sitting pretty at the top of Junior Nine with 31 goals for and six against. This level is ideal for the young girls progressing from junior hockey. They could secure promotion this year and are also in the quarter-final of the Minor Cup which is scheduled away to Ballycastle.

Larne’s current top scorer with 8 goals is the club captain Tracey Martin. Hot on her heels is Ann Snoddy with sevem, followed by Carla Blair and Serena Russell on five each.

The club’s junior section is thriving with regular under-13 and under-15 matches, and mini hockey averages 80 girls on a Saturday mornings.

The club is delighted the commitment of the junior section has been recognised and it has been shortlisted for the Junior Club of the Year Award in Larne Borough Council Sports Awards.

Like most amateur sports clubs, there are constant financial pressures and Larne Ladies are appreciative of sponsorship from SlateNI.com for the third year in a row.

Fixtures (Saturday, January 26): Harlequins v Larne (1pm) at Deramore Park: Larne II v Carrickfergus II (2:30pm) at Larne High School; Larne III v Mossley III (4pm) at Larne High School.

Sunday, January 27: Under-13s (1:15pm) at Mossley Hockey Club.