Russell fires Larne to win over Ballymena

Larne Ladies III on the attack in their game against Ballynahinch at Greenland. INLT 42-020-PSB
Larne Ladies III on the attack in their game against Ballynahinch at Greenland. INLT 42-020-PSB

It was a excellent weekend for Larne Ladies’ Hockey Club with great performances on the pitch combined with news that it has secured sponsorship for a third year from Slateni.com.

The First XI secured their first league success in Senior 1 with a 1-0 win over Ballymena. There was a bit of a shaky start for the first five minutes but once the team settled, the passing seemed to connect and the game flowed.

It was a hard-fought win and coach Andy King made a few positional changes in the second half and Larne’s reward came when Gillian Russell connected with a Leigh Snoddy pass to put the ball into the Ballymena net.

Larne held on to their advantage despite having to defend three penalty-corners in the final minutes of the match. The will give the team a huge confidence boost as they prepare to meet North Down at home territory this week.

Larne: R Lyons, M Finlay, L Snoddy, K McIlwaine, L Craig, R Dalton capt.G Rennix, G Russell, I Carmichael, D Henry, Z Purdy, T Neill A Ogilby. Coach Andy King.

The Second XI took on their North Down counterparts on Friday and were pleased to claim a 1-1 draw against one of the stronger teams in Junior 3. Captain Tracy Martin got the goal and the team held out well until the opposition pulled one back in the dying minutes of the game.

Larne II: C Morrow, C Blair, R McIlwaine, K Neill, P Crawford, K Stewart, T Martin capt. C McCormick, A Snoddy, R Beggs, S Russell, G Garstin. Umpire: J Dodsworth. Coach W Blair

The club’s Thirds enjoyed a resounding 5-0 win over Ballynahinch on Saturday at Larne High School. Larne dominated the game from the outset and Tracey Martin opened the scoring and Serena Russell doubled the lead to make it 2-0 at half time. Russell fired her way to a hat-trick, putting two more in the net and young Kirbi Stewart performed a lovely reverse-stick move to make the final tally five.

Larne III: C. Morrow, K. Neill, G. Garstin, R. Mcilwaine, K. Stewart, P. Crawford, C. Blair, S. Russell, A. Beggs, T. Martin, A. Snoddy, L. Liddle, R. McIlroy. Umpires: G. Rennix and H. Russell. Coach: W Blair.

Larne has a number of promising young players in the wings and thanks to both Andy King and James Dodsworth working with them we are securing a talented pool of future 1st XI players.

We also welcome William Blair to the coaching team he will be working with the 2nd and 3rd XI and was a great help at this week’s games. The club also congratulates two members of our Under-15 squad Katie Aston and Erin Beggs on their selection for the regional talent development squads which is the doorway to junior provincial and international squads.

Fixtures: 1st XI v North Down (2:30pm at Larne High School); 2nd XI away to Carrickfergus.