HISTORY was made at Rainey RFHC on Saturday when the Ladies Hockey team brought the Intermediate Cup back to Magherafelt for the first time.
Rainey met Limavady and were under no illusions that it would be a tough final; during the season Rainey had beaten Limavady 3-1 at home but the north Co. Derry team had then beaten Rainey 2-0 when they played a second time.
For Rainey, the game had an added aspect as they had already won the league title and were in line for a unique double.
Limavady came out all guns blazing. They have made the Intermediate Cupfinal three years running without securing a win and it was clear they were extremely determined to give it their all.
Rainey’s defence was strong and dealt with a few early breaks from Limavady with solid tackles from Louise McMaster, Jayne Allen, Robyn Hastings and Catherine Walsh. Allen, in particular, did a fantastic job playing centre back as this is a position she would not normally play.
However, when Rainey settled into the game they dominated thanks to the strong passing between Tori Hastings and Maeve McNally which created several goal opportunities for the forwards. Rainey were unfortunate not to capitalise with shots from Nicole Heaney, Lorraine Hyndman, Zara Bell and Emma Curries, as the Limavady goalkeeper was forced into a number of dramatic saves.
Fortunately, Carolyn Burns picked up a loose ball in the circle from one of these saves and dribbled the ball around the Limavady keeper to secure the all-important goal.
In the second half, Rainey continued to control the game and secured the first penalty corner. Despite a strong hit from Tori Hastings, the Limavady defence was solid and cleared the ball.
Limavady made a few dangerous breaks towards the circle, but with great goalkeeping by Rebecca Allen and the defence, the ball was cleared every time.
Rainey moved the play towards their own circle again with great determination on the left by Megan Mulholland. Jenna Bowman ensured that the ball remained in the circle with effortless shots at the goalkeeper.
The intensity built for the last five minutes of the game as Limavady strived to find a goal and take the game to extra time. However, time ran out with Rainey on the attack again.
The support for Rainey was overwhelming and the crowd’s loud cheering helped Rainey keep fighting for the last minutes of the game. The team would like to thank all those who travelled to Lisnagarvey to support them. They would also like to thank Bryson’s Bar for their continued support throughout the year.
Rainey RFHC: Maeve McNally (c), Jenna Bowman (vc), Rebecca Allen, Robyn Hastings, Catherine Walshe, Jayne Allen, Louise McMaster, Tori Hastings, Megan Mulholland, Lorraine Hyndman, Jenna Bowman, Nicole Heaney, Zara Bell, Emma Currie, Carolyn Burns
Player of the match: Jayne Allen
Rainey U15s play their cup semi-final this Saturday at Meadowbank so if all our players and supporters could get out and see the club add another junior title to the collection.