HOCKEY: Five-star Raphoe better Ballynahinch in difficult conditions

HOCKEY: Five-star Raphoe better Ballynahinch in difficult conditions

Raphoe battled the elements, as well as the opponents at a windswept Royal and Prior grounds on Saturday to notch up their fifth league victory of the season. The hosts out gunned the visitors in the first half before the worst of the weather hit. 

Raphoe 5

Ballynahinch 0

(S. Goudie 2, G. Lecky, K. Meehan, J. Wilson)

Gavin Lecky broke the deadlock in the sixth minute with a solo run from the side-line before slotting past the keeper. Keith Meehan doubled the lead before the quarter time interval. Meehan taken advantage of a good lead from debutant Timmy Porter drawing the defender away from Meehan as George Patterson played the ball into the circle. Meehan’s shot passed the keeper and flicked of a hapless defensive stick before crossing the line. 

In the second quarter Raphoe asserted more authority whilst in possession. Ian McGonigle and Simon Goudie orchestrated from centre in an assured performance from the backline and Lee Stewart prominent in midfield. Tom Eaton and more so Evan Lyttle, playing in an unfamiliar left back position, enjoyed a few forays deep into the Ballynahinch half as Raphoe took complete control. In the 20th minute the impressive James Wilson nearly finished a great team move involving over 15 passes that flowed from defence through to the attack. 

Wilson wasn’t to be denied for too much longer as a turnover high up the pitch saw Lecky release George Patterson at right wing. Patterson found Wilson in the circle, who coolly danced around the onrushing keeper and tapped the ball into the gaping goal for 3-0. Three minutes before halftime it was four as from Raphoe’s third penalty corner Simon Goudie rifled a drag flick into the net after Stewart had drew the foul. 

In the second half as conditions worsened free flowing hockey evident in the first half was not able to be repeated. The weather once again proved to be a leveller. Raphoe enjoyed the lions share of possession but could not find a way to penetrate the low block they came against. The lively Tommy Orr and Jonny Long kept the ‘Hinch defenders on their toes but could quite muster shots on goal. The final goal came from another Goudie drag flick this even better than the first.

Raphoe travel to Ballynahinch next weekend in the reverse fixture hoping to keep the momentum from this win.

Raphoe: D. Moore, T. Eaton, E. Lyttle, S. Goudie, I. McGonigle, A. Meehan, G. Patterson, K. Meehan, L. Stewart, J. Wilson, J. Long, G. Lecky, T. Orr, T. Porter. Coach: Richard Eaton.

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