Two excellent away victories for Rainey Ladies

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Holywood 0 Rainey 1st XI 9

ON Saturday afternoon, a depleted Rainey team faced Holywood for the second time this season. A short while into the game Nicole Heaney scored by effortlessly hitting the ball into the net from the back post. Soon after, she got another beautiful touch into the net from a beautiful pass from Megan Mulholland.

Rainey had a 2-0 lead at half time and went back on the pitch determined to get more goals. However, the girls had an unproductive first ten minutes of the second half, resulting in some breaks from Hollywood into the Rainey circle. With a strong defence made up of Louise McMaster, Rosie Taylor, Catherine Walshe and Dawn Mitchell, Holywood failed to get a goal. The Rainey girls soon increased the intensity of the game.

With some examples of great skills from Claire Mulholland in midfield and some more fantastic passes into the circle from Megan Mulholland, Rainey soon got more goals into the Hollywood net. Nicole Heaney added three more goals to the score for the Rainey girls in the second half. Lorraine Hyndman also achieved three well deserved goals in this half. Captain, Jayne Allen, got another great goal resulting in a very impressive final result of 9-0.

Player of the match was awarded to Nicole Heaney for earning 5 of the 9 goals.

Dromore 0 – Rainey 1

Scorer: Emma McClure

Rainey Ladies 2nd XI set out on Saturday against Dromore to secure their place at the top of the league and clench a definite promotion for a second year running. With some key regular players unavailable it was the chance for new (and old) faces to step up and show their skill and ability on the pitch, a task that they embraced and were successful in doing.

Rainey kicked off the game the stronger side with the ball remaining in the Dromore half for the majority of the first 25 minutes.

Some excellent interplay between the forwards Caroline Graham, Christine McClure and Bev McCartney provided many chances, including a lovely shot from Bev that came off the post, but unfortunately none of these strikes were successful. Mid-way through the first half Rainey were rewarded a much deserved penalty corner after the midfield line of Emma McClure, Robyn Hastings and Emma Leslie exerted an intense spell of pressure on the opposition. Lisa Walls passed the ball out to Christine McClure who slipped it to Emma McClure on her left; with great composure she placed the ball in the back of the goal, scoring on her first appearance for the club.

The Rainey defence remained tight throughout the first half, with keeper Nicole Badger only being tested on one occasion.

Dromore came out in the second half with much more determination and drive. A strong backline consisting of Lisa Walls, Pamela Eakin and Sarah Barfoot ensured that the Dromore forwards were unable to get any shots on target and sweeper Louise Gregg was able to help the keeper maintain a clean sheet. As the clock ticked on, Rainey remained calm and played some flowing hockey, with a number of penalty corners being rewarded in their favour.

After a tense last 5 minutes, where Nicole Badger was called upon to make an excellent save, the final whistle finally blew to give Rainey the win and definite promotion as league winners next season. Congratulations to all the ladies and good luck to them next week in the semi final of the cup.