Raphoe ladies went down to in-form Ballymoney, who moved to the top of the table with a comfortable win at the Royal and Prior.
Raphoe 0 Ballymoney 3
Raphoe gave a good account of themselves and their young side was always going to be up against it with the title contenders.
Ballymoney are a point ahead of Randalstown and now have two games in hand, although title favourites Queen’s have three games in hand, but trail Ballymoney by ten points.
Ballymoney dominated for long periods, played in a mixture of light and very heavy rain, with Sabrina Barnett marhsalling the Raphoe rearguard and Denise McElhinney again excellent in goal.
It took 24 minutes to open the scoring and there was an element of good fortune about the strike. A short corner was initially blocked, but in the ensuing scramble, a shot by Laura McCurdy came off a Raphoe defender and dropped into the net.
McElhinney had made a superb save from McCurdy in the opening minute of the game and did likewise in the sixth minute of the second half, blocking Jan Hamilton’s point-blank shot.
However, three minutes later Hamilton made no mistake after Raphoe lost possession in their own half. Hamilton race forward to drive powerfully past McElhinney.
That’s how it stayed until the fourth minute of added time when Ballymoney finally scored again, as Ruth Sutherland drilled low past McElhinney from a short corner.
Raphoe remain bottom of the Premier Division table, but Richard Tinney’s team is back in action on Friday night when they host League favourites Queen’s at 8pm.
* The curtain-raiser on Friday evening sees the Royal and Prior School’s Senior boys team ost Banbridge in the quarter-final of the Burney Cup at 6pm. These two teams met in the final of the McCullough Cup in December, on a day when Banbridge had an ever-so-slight edge.
Raphoe: Denise McElhinney, Sabrina Barnett, Victoria Wray, Arlyne Kilpatrick, Lyndsey Tinney, Esther Hume, Louise Moranne, Sarah Boal, Leanne Patterson, Sarah Patterson, Jasmine Tinney, Rionagh Witherow, Wendy Patterson.
Ballymoney: Megan Doey, Ruth Sutherland, Aine Kearney, Rachel Minihan, Elle Kirgon, Lauren Steen, Catherine Gown, Laura McCurdy, Jess Moore, Bridget Cleland, Sam Jamison, Nikki Parke, Jan Hamilton.Tags: