Glee, Ballina take points
IN the final competition round of FNC A-grade women’s hockey on Saturday, East Lismore made minor premiers Glee work hard for a 2-1 win and Ballina defeated Alstonville 1-0.
Goalkeeper Sarah Wykes made a fine early save for Glee, but East Lismore was still first to score when the forwards showed persistence close to the goal line and Janelle Pitman pushed the ball into the net.
Glee struck back immediately from a penalty corner with Madelene Richey hitting the ball with pace to equalise.
For much of the last quarter of the game Easts dominated possession, but with little time remaining Glee’s Cassie Douglas intercepted a misdirected pass and after a long run her shot bounced off the pads of goalkeeper Julie McFadden to secure the win.
Best for East Lismore were Kate Walton, Sophie Rodda, Tess Verrier, Kate Baird and Karen Eakin, who made several vital tackles.
Ash Danvers, Renee Dunstan, Maddy Richey and Cassie Douglas stood out for Glee.
The teams will meet again next Saturday in the major semi-final.
In the other game, goalkeepers Sarah Norton (Ballina) and Tamara Leonard (Alstonville) made some good saves early.
Ballina’s Tina Welsh came up with the only goal with the final touch after a series of passes close to the line.
Good lead-up work by Kez Brown and Emily and Georgia Hunter continued to worry their opposition and towards the end of the first half a penalty stroke was awarded, but the ball was put wide of the post.
Alstonville played a committed , determined and enthusiastic second half and went close to equalising several times.
They had a number of penalty corner opportunities, a couple of great breaks by striker Jess Edwards which were shut down by Alison Porter and another close call when Cassie Baxter narrowly missed touching a ball that went into goal off a Ballina defender.
Marli Hope and Jenna Lidbetter led by example in the midfield with outstanding games for Alstonville, while Kallie Seymour and Rebecca Templeton were great in deep defence.
Ballina’s best were Tina Welch and Emily Hunter in midfield attack with Ali Parr and Vicki Morgan standing out in defence.
The young Alstonville team misses out on the finals but it is hoped they will be involved again next year under the coaching guidance of former Australian representative Jodie Hamilton.