Portadown ladies’ firsts recently turned the festive focus on to indoor play with tests against Queen’s, Armagh, Ards and Ulster Elks.
The traditional holiday switch offered an opportunity to work on a senior gameplan outside of the weekly pressures of Premier League hockey.
“It was a good weekend of hockey, in which we were competitive throughout, although failed to turn good play into wins,” said Jane McKimm, head coach with the ladies. “We had limited time to prepare due to outdoor fixtures running right up to December 14.
“That made it difficult as it is almost impossible to do both, given the limited training time we have during the week and with the commitments players have around the Christmas period.
“However, we owe thanks to two guest players for joining up with the ladies, with Natalie Barr coming in from Lurgan and Randalstown’s Faye Kidd on board.
“We lost three of the four games by a single goal and that probably reflects the lack of experience or training time at indoor level.
“It is hard to switch between outdoor and indoor with so little preparation but will serve as an excellent learning curve, especially thanks to the experience provided by Natalie and Faye.
“Zoe Jackson, Leeanne Cassells and Kim Scott were excellent and we return to league play in January.”