Rainey forced their way into the Intermediate Cup final with a hard fought win over rivals Parkview on Saturday.
Having played the same side in the League a week previous and drawing 1-1 they were aware that this would be a difficult game. Nerves were high but Rainey knew they were in a stronger position than their last meeting when a number of the Rainey players had been absent.
The game started slowly but with Rainey dominating the play. Although the first half was played in predominately in the Parkview half, Rainey were unable to get a goal. They secured two corners in the first half and although there was a superb strike by Tori Hastings in one and Jenna Bowman in another, the Parkview goalie saved them.
The game proceeded with both teams putting everything into their respective performances. The two teams are sitting first and second in the League so it was always going to be a tight match in the cup competition.
Rainey’s Captain Maeve McNally, who sustained a ball to the face in the first half, led from the front by doing sterling work in the middle of the park, along with Tori Hastings, Megan Mulholland and Claire Mulholland, the four linking up with the Rainey defence and playing lots of balls through to the forward line made up of Jenna Bowman, Lorraine Hyndman, Nicole Heaney, Emma Currie, Zara Bell and Jayne Allen.
Rainey used their substitutes to full effect with rolling substitions in the midfield and forward line. They knew having played Parkview in the previous week that Parkview would tire and so replaced positions with fresh legs at regular intervals throughout the match to really work the Parkview side.
Parkview were playing with four midfield across the middle of the park – and this formation meant they were very dangerous on the break, which they did do on a few occasions. However, the defence of Robyn Hastings, Louise McMaster, Brianna Kerr and Catherine Walshe were able for them, and Rebecca Allen in goals on a few occasions had to run forward taking on a Parkview player who had broke loose, however Rebecca cleared the lines to good effect.
The turning point came in the second half, after numerous shots from Jenna Bowman, Rainey appeared to pick up their pace and played some textbook hockey, passing from player to player and frustrating the Parkview team.
Eventually the wait was over when a ball from Claire Mulholland was passed into Bowman on the flick spot and she found the space to place a shot into the corner of the goals.
With this Parkview picked up their pace, they were determined not to go away without a fight, however, Rainey held the game, continuing to work hard and for each other. This paid off, and after a shot from the edge of the circle saved by the keeper, the ball ran free on the baseline, where it was picked up by Claire Mulholland who placed a shot into the opposite corner of the goal at an angle of almost 180 degrees.
This sealed the game. The final whistle blew a few minutes later. Rainey won the match 2-0 and now progress to the Finals which will be held next Saturday, 13th April 2013.
Rainey will be playing Limavady in the final of the competition. Limavady also competed in Senior Three this season, finishing third whilst Rainey topped the league and have secured promotion to Senior Two next season.
Rainey Ladies: Maeve McNally (c); Jenna Bowman (vc); Louise McMaster; Brianna Kerr; Catherine Walshe; Robyn Hastings; Tori Hastings; Megan Mulholland; Claire Mulholland; Zara Bell; Lorraine Hyndman; Nicole Heaney; Rebecca Allen; Emma Currie; Jayne Allen
Player of the Match: Claire Mulholland
Rainey, sponsored by Bryson’s Bar Magherafelt, wishes to thank all of the supporters that attended on Saturday and throughout the season and invite them to attend the final in Lisnagarvey on April 13. A bus will be travelling down to the match from Magherafelt.