Two wins for in form Rainey Hockey Club

Rainey 3 Saintfield 1

HAVING lost the away fixture against Saintfield ladies earlier in the season, Rainey 1st XI were looking forward to meeting them again at the Arena. Both teams started well with the ball being transferred around the pitch at a fast pace. However, Rainey were first to make the most of their chance in front of goal with Jayne Allen hammering home the first goal from close range. Rainey finished the first half with good pressure up front from Claire Mulholland and Nicole Heaney making several runs deep into the Saintfield defence.

After half time Rainey stared strong but on a quick break Saintfield levelled the score from a free from outside the circle being tapped in at close range. The game was evenly matched with both teams challenging hard for the ball, but it was the Rainey defence of Catherine Walsh, Dawn Mitchell, Jenna Bowman and Louise McMaster who kept the Saintfield attack at bay.

With 10 minutes until full time Rainey stepped it up a gear and were duly rewarded when a run from Megan Mulholland, deep in midfield to the edge of the circle ended with a firm strike putting the ball soaring past the keeper. Saintfield continued to attack at all opportunities but Louise McMaster, appropriately chosen as man of the match, kept Rainey in lead with her calm and skilful tackles. Rainey put the game beyond Saintfield with Jayne Allen getting her second goal late on in the match.

Player of the match: Louise McMaster.

Team: Rebecca Allen, Dawn Mitchell, Jenna Bowman, Rosie Taylor, Catherine Walsh, Louise McMaster, Karla Garvin, Meave McNally, Claire Mulholland, Megan Mulholland, Jayne Allen, Nicole Heaney, Zarah Bell.

Rainey 2nd XI 0 Owls 0 (Rainey win 3-2 on pens)

On the first Saturday in February a gruelling cup game for the Rainey 2nd XI was played against Owls which tested all the players abilities. Rainey dominated the first half with many chances on goals from the three forwards G.Kelly, S.Reid and K.Stewart.

However, the first half ended 0-0. Owls came out the stronger side in the second half but hard work from Rainey midfield and superb clearances from the defence, notably Sweeper L.Gregg, Rainey held Owls back from gaining a goal.

The game ended 0-0 so both sides had to endure extra time of golden goal and after this came the dreaded penalty stokes.

Owls took the first flick but Rainey keeper N.Badger made an excellent save to prevent an Owls lead. A succession of successful strokes came from K.Stewart, L.Walls and R.Hastings which the Owls keeper just couldn’t save.

At this point an unsuccessful stroke from the Owls side  would end the game. N.Badger stepped up to make yet another excellent save to end the game in a 3-2 victory from strokes for the Rainey side and progression into the Minor Cup Semi Finals.

Player of the Match: Louise Gregg