Tight battle ends in draw
BALLINA weathered a storm from East Lismore to hold on for a 1-all draw in JH Williams Premier League women’s hockey on Saturday.
After a 4-1 loss the previous week, Ballina defenders Leigh Apps and Vicki Morgan were called on several times to defuse Easts’ attacking raids in the first 20 minutes.
Pressure from Easts forwards Kate Baird and Mia Verrier culminated in a number of penalty corners and Verrier was unlucky to have a deflection come off a corner post and land just inside the field of play.
Easts scored late in the first half when a midfield break by Sophie Rodda was taken into the circle by Verrier, who muscled the ball through sliding Ballina goalkeeper Sarah Norton.
Ballina applied pressure of their own with strong midfield work by Emily Hunter, Vicki Morgan and strikers Georgia Hunter and Kerrilee Brown.
Easts were also called on to work hard to keep a clean slate with desperate defence by Karen Eakin and an impressive keeping display by Julie McFadden.
Ballina levelled early in the second half when Kerrilee Brown produced a perfect strike on the end of a well executed penalty corner.
Neither team could construct any free flowing play in the second half as the level of intensity and desperation continued.
Easts had difficulty finding star striker Janelle Pitman and the Ballina defence impressed throughout.