Hockey: Larne Ladies finish third in pre-season competition

Larne Ladies Hockey Club finished third at the recent pre-season tournament hosted by Northern Ireland Civil Service.

In their first match of competition, the newly-promoted Senior 1 outfit were thrilled to come away with a 0-0 draw against Premier side Ards in torrential rain.

Larne went on to defeat another Premier outfit, Portadown, 1-0 and held hosts Civil Service to 1-1 draw. The girls ran out comfortable 6-0 winners against the Ports in the third and fourth-place play-off.

All in all, the tournament proved to be a great test of the talents and depth of the Larne squad and, despite missing several key players, a couple of members of Thirds stepped up to the mark. Ingrid Carmichael, received top goal scorer of the entire tournament, scoring three goals over the weekend.

Tournament squad: R Lyons, A McFerran, S Boyd, L Snoddy, A Snoddy, P Crawford, L Liddle, K McIlwaine, I Carmichael, G Rennix, G Russell, L Withers, R Dalton, Z Purdy, D Henry, M Finlay, T Neill, J Swann, K Neill.

Although James Dodsworth is moving to coach Premier side Armagh this season, he will keep a watching brief at Larne and support new man Andy King as he prepares the teams for the new season.

The club has gained some new members in Trish Neill who returns after a long spell at Carrick, along with Michelle Finlay and Clare McCormick. Kirstyn McCully and Tyler Dobbin are off to university and the club wishes them well.

Training is from 7pm to 9pm every Wednesday evening at Larne High School and all members should now be attending - including the Under-15 squad. The new season kicks off on September 22 with a number of friendlies arranged. Club captain Tracey Martin would like everyone to make an effort to get match-fit and new members are very welcome.

Meanwhile, Larne Ladies provided qualified coaches for Larne Borough Council’s successful summer hockey camp which hosted 50 children, boys and girls.

The popular junior coaching programme will kick off on Saturday, September 15 from 10am to 11am at Larne Town Park for girls from Primary 1 to Primary 6 at £2 per session.

Coaching for P7s through to Year 11s starts on Monday, September 17 from 6.30pm to 7.30pm in preparation for the junior league games commencing in October.

For the first time, the club is asking boys from 11 to 14 to join in the Monday evening sessions with a view to forming a junior boys’ section.