Newry Ladies Olympic Hockey 1ST XI off to a Winning start!

On Saturday 29th September, Newry Olympic Hockey Ladies 1st XI travelled to Strathearn, Belfast to play Malone 1ST XI in their first match of Ulster Hockey Senior 3 League. Newry started brightly in their first competitive game of the new season and were on the attack from the whistle and thanks to some lovely one two play from Becky Murdock and Laura Simpson in defence, the ball was filtered through to midfield players Kathryn Baird (captain) and Rachael Greer who drove up into the Malone circle   Newry put the Malone keeper under pressure, thanks to a high press from forwards Shannen Robinson, Stephanie Smart and Laverne Inns in the Malone circle with shots coming from all angles. Inns secured the first corner but her attempt was too high from the resulting shot. However Newry kept the attack up and thanks to the beautiful play of centre midfield Rachael Greer who weaved her way through numerous Malone players and with a reverse shot on goal, put Newry into the lead around the fourteen minute point.  Malone battled back and Newry were forced to defend against a very strong attack by the Malone forwards but Newry Ladies Lynne Ervine and Victoria Lewis kept their composure and drove the ball out of the Newry circle up to Anna Murphy in midfield and with a quick pass from Inns in centre out to the left wing, Robinson scored Newry’s second goal right on the half-time whistle.

During the second half Malone came back out with a gritted determination but Newry goalie, Collette Lambe kept Malone forwards at bay supported by swift clearance by sweeper Laura Simpson.  Newry mid Murphy slipped the ball through to Caralyn Ferris in centre who continued to keep the pressure on the Malone defence with shots on goal.  With two minutes left, Newry mids Greer and Baird played the ball across the top of the circle to Inns who won the final corner for Newry.  The injection came out to Robinson who walloped the ball right past the Malone keeper to score a second for Newry making it three nil as the whistle went. Player of the match went to Shannen Robinson.

Final score Newry 3 Malone 0

Team: Collette Lambe (Goals) Kathryn Baird (Captain), Laura Simpson. Victoria Lewis, Becky Murdock, Anna Murphy, Lynne Ervine, Rachael Greer, Stephanie Smart, Shannen Robinson, Caralyn Ferris, Laverne Inns and Suzy Rollins (Coach)

Instonians 1XI 2-1 Newry 1XI

Newry’s opposition didn’t get any easier as they traveled to Belfast to take on Instonians  hoping to make up for a dismal home display against Kilkeel last week.

The visitors flew out of the traps putting the home side under pressure and won a short corner early on, John Taylor fired in a rocket of a drag flick with struck the underside of the bar and crossed the line, the umpires missed this and waved play on with Newry feeling rightly aggrieved. However they kept battling and only minutes later Newry did take the lead with a very smart finish from Matty Russell when he flicked the ball over the advancing keeper and tap it in.

Instonians started to up the pressure and began playing the ball around the back which Newry were happy to let them do.  With fifteen minutes gone they got back on level terms when Newry had a played down injured in the circle the hosts played on and the free man at the back post was able to tap in unopposed. They made it two 5 minutes later with a low drag flick beating the keeper and defenders on the line.

In the second period Newry again piled on the pressure restricting Inst’ to just a couple of break away chances, one of which resulted in Richard McGivern a late replacement for the injured Lindsay Beck pulling off one of the saves of the season before Greer took a short corner off the line to keep the score 2-1. John Taylor seen another short corner attempt rebound off the frame of the goal with the keeper beaten all ends up, and when a deflected cross was touched onto the post by the keeper a few minutes later it looked like it just was not going to be Newry’s day.

The game ended 2-1 but it could have so easily been different with Newry unlucky not to come away with at least 1 point.

Team: R.McGivern, C. Henning, S. Megaw, J. Greer, R. Irwin, J. Taylor, N. McKnight, N. Davenport, C. McKnight, K. McWilliams, M. Russell, K. Fletcher, K. McCombe, A. Baird

Newry 2’s 3-2 Bangor 2’s

Newry’s first home game of the new season seen them host Bangor 2nds on Saturday as they took all three points.

The visitors started slowly allowing Newry to take an early lead when Michael McCullough played in Simon McCaffert who’s missed hit shot trickled past the Bangor keeper. This seemed to waken Bangor as they hit back almost immediately catching the Newry defence and midfield sleeping to make it 1-1. Both sides cancelled each other out for the remainder of the first half with neither bale to create a clear cut chance.

Bangor started strongly in the second half but veteran John Lawson in defence keep Newry in the game showing great composure at the back. However Bangor did finally make the break through midway through the second half. With their backs against the wall the home side came out fighting again and when McCullough and Jonny McWilliams linked up well  they found found Alex Irwin at the edge of the circle who finished well and got the score line back on level terms. With the pressure building on the Bangor defence and time running out Newry won a short corner in the last minute. Jonny McWilliams to fire home his first goal in five years after returning to hockey to give Newry all three points in a hard fought victory.

Team: Collum, J. Lawson, M.McCaigue, G. Alderdice, D. Liggett, S. Graham, J.Porter, M.McCullough, A. Irwin, S. McCafferty, J. McWilliams, A. Marks, E. Graham, A. McMinn

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