Football: Defeat for Mid-Ulster Ladies in Belfast

The Mid Ulster Ladies Under 15 team who were runners-up to Ballynahinch Girls at a recent tournament
The Mid Ulster Ladies Under 15 team who were runners-up to Ballynahinch Girls at a recent tournament
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GLENTORAN LADIES 3 MID-ULSTER LADIES 0

Mid Ulster travelled to Billy Neil playing fields in Dundonald for their first away fixture of the NIWFA Concentrix Premier League.

The opposition were last year’s league winners Glentoran Belfast United. A couple of enforced changes saw Ruth Bell return to the football pitch after a very successful hockey season and Hannah Turkington join the starting eleven for the first time this season.

Mid Ulster started strongly with Cathy Rees seeing a lot of the ball down the right wing. Chloe McCarron and Adele Gillespie were having to work hard in the middle of the park as they were up against an experienced array of current and past international players.

Glentoran showed an early glimpse of the threat they posed when after six minutes Demi Vance had a shot from distance that hit the crossbar.

Mid Ulster responded with some good play down the left wing from Lisa Richardson and Hannah Turkington and the pressure resulted in free kick wide on the left.

The ball broke to Ruth Bell but her snap shot lacked the power to trouble the Glentoran number one.

Glentoran went straight back down the pitch and Demi Vance was on target once again but Jacqueline Burns in the Mid Ulster goal produced a superb tip over the bar to ensure the game remained goal less.

The half continued in the same manner with Mid Ulster standing firm to ensure they reached the break on level terms.

Once again Mid Ulster began the half on the attack but the pressure was short lived and after five minutes Glentoran made the breakthrough with an unstoppable shot.

Nadine Caldwell picked up the ball on the edge of the box and her shot was inch perfect to the top left hand corner to give the home team the advantage.

This served to knock the stuffing out of the Mid Ulster girls and minutes later a wayward defensive header presented Rebecca Bassett with an opportunity which she struck well to make it 2-0 to the home team.

Substitutions followed for both teams with Alice Smith replacing Hannah Turkington for Mid Ulster. Alice Smith looked lively and shortly after the change Sarah Connolly had an effort on goal but once again it was well held by the Glentoran number one.

Glentoran hadn’t finished just yet and were still dangerous with Claire Rooney and company kept busy in the Mid Ulster rear guard.

Glentoran wrapped up the three points 22 minutes into the second half when Kellie Baille showed great bravery to nod home after the initial effort was well saved by Jacqueline Burns.

Mid Ulster made two further changes with Chloe Barnes replacing Emma McFarland and Louise Murphy replacing Ruth Bell.

The visitors were still pressing right to the end but the Glentoran rear guard had no intention of surrendering their clean sheet and the game finished 3-0.

On a brighter note the Mid Ulster Juniors competed in a very successful tournament hosted by Dungannon Ladies at the superb Dungannon United Youth stadium.

With over 300 girls competing the Mid Ulster U11s were unbeaten throughout the day and the U15 team were runners up to Ballynahinch Girls in this section of the tournament.