Raphoe commenced their Irish Hockey Trophy campaign with a trip away to North Down on Saturday – and came from behind to win.
North Down 1 Raphoe 2
Raphoe anticipated a tough match against their Senior 1 counterparts. The game started off with an even pace, until Raphoe gradually started to maintain possession.
Raphoe missed a goal opportunity in the opening ten minutes of the game. Vicky Wray played a swift ball out right to Arlyne Kilpatrick who drove the right line.
Kilpatrick played the ball to Leanne Patterson at the 25, who used her speed to penetrate the North Down’s circle.
Patterson passed a perfect ball into the penalty spot which was narrowly missed by Wendy Patterson and Sabrina Barnett .
Raphoe had the majority of possession in the opening half, and penetrated the opposition’s circle on numerous occasions but they were lacking the final pass or touch to capitalise on their efforts, and the game remained scoreless at half-time.
Raphoe received a wake-up call not long in to the second half, with North Down scoring against the run off play when they caught Raphoe’s defence unaware.
North Down attacked at speed down the right flank, where a midfielder picked out one of her forwards who was waiting eagerly on the back post and tapped the ball over the Raphoe goal line.
But this lead for North Down was short-lived. Two minutes later, Raphoe’s Lisa Patterson passed the ball from a hit out to Sabrina Barnett.
Barnett laid the ball off to young Sophie Wallace who had made a well timed run down the left. Wallace broke down the line and found Lisa Smyth in the circle.
Smyth’s reverse stick shot was going just wide of the post, but Wendy Patterson made a last ditch dive to deflect the ball home to tie the game 1–1.
This was the point when Coach Richard Tinney decided to change the formation of his team, with North Down absorbing as much pressure as they could.
Raphoe continued to pressurise North Down in search of a second goal. Captain Sabrina Barnett found herself in open possession at the top of the D, but had to watch in agony as her shot zoomed narrowly wide of the left post.
Raphoe’s forward line of Leanne Patterson, Katy Love and Zara Tinney placed a lot of pressure on North Down defence.
Love was unlucky not to get on the scoresheet, when her shot from close range came off the goalkeepers pads.
The key goal of the match came from a well worked move down the right side. Leanne Patterson slipped the ball wide to Zara Tinney on the wing.
Tinney cleverly worked her way along the back line and placed the ball across the goal mouth, where from out of nowhere appeared Patterson again to one handily reverse stick the ball into the roof of the net securing Raphoe their lead.
North Down fought hard in the fourth quarter to get themselves back in to the game.
The encouragement from their supporters on the sideline, became their 12th woman and seen them go very close to equalising, only for the post to deny them.
This win now takes Raphoe in to the quarter-final stage of the cup, and their opposition should be known in a week or two.
The Donegal girls will be back to league action again next week, when they travel to take on Rainey.
Raphoe: Heather Humphrey, Arlyne Kilpatrick, Victoria Wray, Lisa Patterson, Janice Nelson, Sarah McErlean, Wendy Patterson, Lyndsey Tinney, Shannon Porter, Sabrina Barnett, Leanne Patterson, Katy Love, Lisa Smyth, Zara Tinney, Sophie Wallace, Rebecca Wauchope