HOCKEY REVIEW: Stopper Nelson provides platform for Carrick win

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A superb goalkeeping performance by Carrick’s Karen Nelson created the perfect platform for her team to fightback from a 1-0 first-half deficit to record a celebrated 3-1 Senior 2 win over Omagh.

Omagh had earlier in the season put Carrick to the sword with a 5-0 drubbing. Looking to avenge their previous defeat, Carrick were shaken early on in Saturday’s match when Omagh, who had pressed forward in numbers right from the whistle, opened the scoring.

The visitors eagerly looked to increase their advantage but were met with a determined Carrick defensive line anchored by the excellent Nelson in goal who steadfastly refused to concede again.

While their team appeared clearly capable of avoiding another heavy defeat, Carrick supporters nonetheless began to feel edgy in the second half as Omagh continued to compete strongly.

But with Nelson and the Carrick back line rock steady in defence, right on cue Carrick captain Amy Cross levelled the scoring when she completed a classic reverse stick manoeuvre on the edge of the circle and her shot rocketed past the goalkeeper.

Rattled by Carrick’s equaliser, Omagh looked to get their noses back in front but when Carrick attacker Ashley McConnell deftly brought down a raised ball on the 23-yard line and neatly fed her midfield team-mate Rachel Lynas, the increasingly vocal Carrick supporters roared with appreciation as Lynas forced her way into the circle past the Omagh backs to net from a narrow angle on the right.

With their tails now well and truly up, Carrick looked totally determined to extend their current winning roll of four straight wins from their last four matches and when Christine Waide netted Carrick’s third to put them 3-1 up.

There was no coming back for the disheartened visitors as the ecstatic Carrick players made it five wins from five in 2016.

Meanwhile, Greenisland Ladies moved off the foot of the Senior 2 table thanks to a 3-2 win over Derg Valley Ladies. It was the local side’s first league victory of the season and it moved them up a rung, with five points from 13 games played.

Limavady Ladies are now the basement club. They too have five points but have played a game more than Greenisland.

This weekend Greenisland host Owls, while Carrick welcome Dromore Ladies.