Raphoe ladies continued their fine start to the new season by defeating Premier League side Rainey in the Irish Hockey Trophy.
Raphoe 3 Rainey 1
Raphoe 1st XI began their journey in the Irish Trophy against a local Ulster side, Rainey from Magherafelt.
Rainey 1st XI have performed well in the Premier League of Ulster last season, which is currently a league above Raphoe.
The game started slowly for Raphoe, who were struggling to find their form in the opening stages of the game.
After a few dispossessions, Raphoe soon realised they had to up their performance from previous weeks against a team who had a strong, young team.
Rainey worked hard to play an attacking style of play against the Donegal side, however Raphoe worked hard to maintain consistently strong on their set ups to force an error from Rainey.
As a result, Raphoe became the first to take lead on the scoring board, where the consistently solid defender Arlyne Kilpatrick utilised the width of the pitch to find Zara Tinney on the right.
Tinney took no time to continue the attacking play by passing a quick through ball to Wendy Patterson on penalty spot, where the keeper was forced to challenge the experienced Raphoe player.
After being denied once by the keeper, Wendy made no error with her rebound to flick it over the keeper’s body.
With Rainey’s experience of playing in Premier league, they ensured not to allow this set back to affect their desire to win this local derby.
Late in the first half Rainey dispossessed Raphoe in their half and made use of the counteract by finding an unmarked left winger who attacked the keeper, Heather Humphrey with speed. Heather reacted quick and forced a tackle on the forward to deny her taking a shot, however the ball was cleared right to the midfield who pushed it straight into an empty net to gain an equaliser.
The half ended on equal terms with Rainey having little opportunity to add to the score line with Vicky Wray using her impressive timing, reaction and ability to read the forwards movement to create exceptional tackles on the attack.
As half-time approached frustrations were high for both sides, who were both willing to up their performance to secure the lead.
Coach Richard Tinney had strong belief in the Raphoe girls to win against the Premier side if they took their opportunities when they arose.
Raphoe has made a good habit of improving their play in the second half by never allowing the opposition to control the play.
This game was no different, as Raphoe started strong and upped their intensity to dominate the play. 15 mins into the second half, Richard made the decision to move Leanne Patterson into midfield in hope to create a more attacking style of play.
The second goal came from a quick hit out from Vicky Wray who found Sabrina Barnett in the middle, Barnett connected well with Wendy Patterson who found herself under pressure in the middle.
An unmarked Leanne Patterson seen the space an opportunity to attack on the right and called to assist Wendy. Wendy laid the ball off to Leanne on the run who attacked straight for the goals and with her power she struck the ball at left post past the goalkeeper.
Raphoe’s confidence improved since their lead and dominated the play for the rest of the half. Raphoe’s forwards, Katy Love and Emma Harper worked tirelessly to create an opportunity within the D.
However, Rainey did not hold back as they gained a few short corners which were denied from a solid and committed tackler, Lisa Patterson, who also denied any attacks several times throughout the game.
The final goal came as a result of strong passing from the whole team. The main attack arose from a pass from Leanne Patterson to Lyndsey Tinney in the middle, Lyndsey connected well with her sister, Zara on the right. Zara had her second assist of the game by finding Lisa Smyth on penalty spot, who hit it first time past the keeper.
The game finished 3-1 for Raphoe to secure them a place into the second round of the Irish Trophy.
Best for Raphoe was Lisa Patterson who earned player of the match for her commitment to tackles and stopping any threats from Rainey.
Next week Raphoe start their Senior 1 League campaign against Omagh at home at 1pm.
Team: Heather Humphrey, Arlyne Kilpatrick, Victoria Wray, Jasmine Tinney, Janice Nelson, Zara Tinney, Lyndsey Tinney, Wendy Patterson, Lisa Patterson, Leanne Patterson, Sabrina Barnett, Katy Love, Lisa Smyth, Emma Harpur, Julie Wilson and Rebecca Wauchope