HOCKEY: Rainey win Senior Cup for first time in club’s history

Rainey's Carolyn Burns celebrates after scoring against Mossley.
Rainey's Carolyn Burns celebrates after scoring against Mossley.

Rainey captured the Senior Cup for the first time in the club’s history after a masterclass of counter-attacking hockey saw them emerge 3-1 winners over Mossley in a thrilling decider at Deramore on New Year’s Day.

The Magherafelt side were under the cosh for the majority of the game but taught their opponents a lesson in the art of finishing as they led 3-0 before conceding in the last second of the game.

Mossley had the lion’s share of possession but were unable to find the killer touch in front of goal and, when they did threaten to score, they were unable to beat an inspired keeper in Erin Mulholland until it was too late.

Both sides are unbeaten in Senior One this season and fought out a 2-2 draw when they met in the group stages of the knock-out competition.

A close-fought contest was anticipated and so it proved but it Mossley who took the game by the scruff of the neck from the outset.

However they were unable to turn their possession into anything tangible, despite a couple of early penalty-corners.

Instead it was Rainey who looked the more likely to break the deadlock and Alex Burns had a set-piece deflected over the bar by defender Rebecca McConnell in the 21st minute.

Less than 60 seconds later, they opened the scoring when Betty Scott’s cross was met by Carolyn Burns, who first-timed the ball into the net.

Mossley responded almost instantly winning three corners before the break and the impressive Sophie McDowell and Amy Jones both went close.

The second-half began with all-out pressure from the Newtownabbey outfit with McDowell again looking menacing while Rainey keeper Mulholland saved well from Mossley captain Louise Creighton in the 46th minute.

However those misses and almost constant pressure meant nothing as Carolyn Burns turned provider for Scott to make it 2-0 with a cool finish as she rounded the keeper and fired the ball into the empty net in the 50th minute.

Mulholland then saved well from Jones five minutes later but, again, Mossley were hit by a sucker-punch as Burns got her second of the game, finishing clinically after a well-worked penalty-corner switch.

With a minute left, Mulholland saved from Zara McIlwaine and from the resulting twice-taken penalty-corner, Molly Dougan found the net but it was too little, too late as the final whistle sounded immediately.