HOCKEY: Carrick Ladies shock Dromore in hard-fought draw

Kelly Waide, Carrick player of the match against Dromore.  INCT 47-729-CON
Kelly Waide, Carrick player of the match against Dromore. INCT 47-729-CON

Carrick Ladies 1st XI have shocked current league leaders Dromore 1st XI after securing a 1-1 draw at the weekend.

Coming only one week after their confidence-sapping 5-0 drubbing at third-placed Omagh, Carrick could have been excused for feelings of trepidation on Saturday afternoon when they travelled to face Dromore, who boasted a one hundred percent win rate of six from six in this season’s Senior Two.

Natasha McWilliams scored Carrick's equaliser against league leaders Dromore.  INCT 47-730-CON

Natasha McWilliams scored Carrick's equaliser against league leaders Dromore. INCT 47-730-CON

As expected, Dromore opened very much on the offensive, but any thoughts they might have had of Carrick’s defence buckling again were quickly dispelled.

Central defenders Julie Willis and Lois Passmore, supported at full-back by Aoife Burgess and Kelly Waide along with goal keeper Rebecca Whiteside, settled immediately into their stride.

And as their back line stood firm, Carrick began to create opportunities in attack causing the Dromore defence some anxious moments throughout the half.

With the teams turning around scoreless at half time, Dromore once again pushed forward in the second half and were rewarded with a very well-taken goal after only 10 minutes. Carrick, however, remained confident from their opening half performance and were back on level terms within minutes when Natasha McWilliams forced home an equaliser.

Dromore again fought hard to regain the initiative but the hard-working Carrick midfield and defence came into their own with a particularly impressive showing from Carrick player of the match, left-back Kelly Waide.

Both teams had late opportunities to win the game but Carrick were clearly the happier team when the final whistle blew having deservedly shared the points with their opponents - a feat no other team has managed so far this season in Senior Two.

“Today’s performance has to be our benchmark for the rest of the season,” said Carrick coach, Neil McConnell after the match. “I was devastated following last week’s big loss at Omagh, but the girls have bounced back superbly and achieved what very few people would have believed them possible of achieving. We need to build on this and try to replicate today’s performance over the remainder of our league and cup season.”