Ballymena coach Mary Glass enjoyed many magic moments in her playing days but Saturday’s historic Senior Cup win over Cookstown will always provide her with a special memory.
The glory days of playing on the big stage with Randalstown in all Ireland finals and in Europe might appear to surpass the importance of winning Ulster hockey’s second tier tournament.
But Glass was as delighted as her players at the final whistle as she savoured the moment after the 1-0 win over Cookstown at the Glade.
“It’s right up there with winning things with Randalstown in the past although it’s obviously different being a coach rather than a player.” she enthused.
“This was all about the players and I am delighted for them as they are a great bunch of girls and they have worked very hard for this success.”
Glass agreed that Cookstown had been on top in the early stages of the game but their failure to convert chances let Ballymena back into the game.
“It could have gone either way but once we weathered the early storm I don’t think there was much between the sides and the game could have gone either way.” she added.
“We had our chances as well and we had a shot taken off the line in the second half before we scored.”
Sarah Goodrich got the all important goal from what looked like a pre rehearsed penalty corner move in the 55th minute.
But the Braidsiders coach was honest enough to admit it was spontaneous rather than pre-planned.
“No, it was a second phase corner and it wasn’t one we had worked on in training but I am just glad it went in.” she explained.
Cookstown coach Colin Scott was naturally disappointed at the outcome but added that there is still plenty to play for this season.
“We perhaps could and maybe should have won the game but we didn’t take our chances.” he stated.
“But we are still in the Irish Hockey Trophy in which we play Portadown and we are not out of contention for a promotion play-off place in the league so there’s a lot of hockey to come.”