Sports

Dungannon get the better of Randalstown

Wednesday, 27 September 2017

DUNGANNON Ladies Hockey Club 1st XI returned to competitive action with an away visit to Randalstown Ladies in their Ulster Shield Section B fixture.

This has been an entertaining fixture since Dungannon gained Premier status with both sides looking to play a free flowing passing game.

Following a slow start, the game sprung into life in the third minute when a quickly taken free on the edge of the home sides 23 saw Diane Robb roll an inviting pass to Laura White who, advancing into the D, despatched a reverse shot into the bottom corner of the goal and gave a 1-0 lead to Dungannon.

This was the start Dungannon needed however the free flowing hockey that has been their trade mark through preseason was absent Dungannon failed to stamp their authority on the game against a hard working and youthful Randalstown side.

With 10 minutes gone the platform given to Dungannon from Ruth Bell in midfield had failed to deliver any more real threat and with positional switchs failing to make an impact Randalstown built their confidence and looked to take the game to their opponents.

As pressure built Dungannon preserved their lead with some excellent one v one tackles by the defensive quartet of Lynda Elliott, Georgina Mulligan, Laura Kennedy and Jill Elliott, however, with a lack of continuity in their passing game, Randalstown now had the upperhand both in terms of possession & territory.

This eventually led to a deserved equaliser as Dungannon switched off and with the defence outnumbered and outmaneuvered Randalstown levelled in the 23rd minute.

This stirred Dungannon into life and almost immediately Diane Robb won a penalty corner for the visitors.

With a rehearsed drill resulting in a shot on target the 'keeper stood strong and the danger was cleared.

However, with their passing game notably absent the half ended with Dungannon holding on to and the home side in the ascendency.

As the play resumed in the second half it was hoped that the team talk would focus the Ladies on the next 35 minutes. However, with the basics of control, passing and tackling not to the standards they had played at in earlier matches it was Randalstown who looked the more likely to take the lead.

Combined with growing frustration from the number of frees being conceded, the game lost its shape as the 10 minute mark approached.

Captain Karen Elliot picked up a loose clearance and with a strong run into the home circle won a penalty corner.

Although the first corner was well defended a subsequent corner saw Dungannon revert to basics and with a clean strike Lynda Elliot regained the lead for the visitors in the 11th minute.

Despite the advantage that they now held, Dungannon continued to play off the back foot and this encouraged Randalstown to drive forward and pin Dungannon back in their half.

With 12 minutes to go a sharp finish from Andriea McKay at the back post following a driven pass through the D by Lynda Elliott saw Dungannon extend their lead, and while this should have settled the result, a lack of cohesion on the night combined with Green cards being awarded against Dungannon in the last 10 minutes saw the game finish with Dungannon having the advantage in the scoreline if not the performance on the pitch.

Team: Vicky Kerr, Laura Kennedy, Lynda Elliott, Georgina Mulligan, Jill Elliott, Laura White, Ruth Bell, Hannah Smyth, Andriea McKay, Diane Robb, Karen Elliott, Sarah Winslow, Sarah Armstrong & Roslyn Graham.

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