Larne Ladies 1st XI were relegated even before they travelled to Cookstown to earn a 3-3 draw on Saturday in their final league game of the season.
That’s beacuse Ballyclare defeated Victorians 2-0 on Friday evening, meaning the Greenland girls would end the season at the foot of Senior 1.
Now only a decision from the Irish Hockey League on the proposed league restructure may prevent them from dropping down a level.
It was against this backdrop that Larne hit the road for Saturday’s clash at Cookstown. Not put off by the difficult weather conditions, the visitors came out fighting and took the lead early in the first-half.
Some quick thinking from Zoe Purdy saw her release Gillian Rennix down the wing. Rennix, driving to the base line, cut the ball back towards the penalty spot with Lyndsey Robinson on hand to slot into the bottom corner. In what was a half of few chances, Cookstown managed to get themselves on level terms just before the break.
Lifted by their equaliser, the home side began to dominate possession in the opening exchanges in the second session and their pressure was rewarded when they took the lead.
A mistake from the host’s goalkeeper earned her a yellow card for kicking the ball outside the circle. Leigh Snoddy converted the resulting short corner with an excellent drag-flick into the top corner.
Larne were back in front when some neat build-up play found Purdy unmarked in the circle for her to push the ball in at the near post.
Despite their best efforts in defence, Larne were unable to hold on for the win. A late short corner was awarded and converted by Cookstown and the game finished all square.
This weekend sees Larne travel to Three Rock Rovers to take on the Dublin-based club in the quarter-finals of the Irish Hockey Trophy.
The girls will be hoping to extend their unbeaten run and book themselves a place in the semi-final later in March.
Larne: T. Neill, N. Kempton, C. Greenwood, R. Dalton, L. Booth, G. Russell, G. Rennix, L. Snoddy, S. Mcgookin, L. Robinson, Z. Purdy.