Football: Mid Ulster Ladies claim cup with victory over Loughall

Mid Ulster Ladies celebrate winning the Mid Ulster Cup at Stangmore Park on Friday night
Mid Ulster Ladies celebrate winning the Mid Ulster Cup at Stangmore Park on Friday night
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A clinical Mid Ulster put seven past an outclassed Loughgall Lakers team to claim the Danske Bank sponsored Mid Ulster FA Cup final last Friday night.

Mid Ulster who left U19 internationals Sarah Connolly and Aoife Curran on the bench due to injury, dominated from the outset, with midfielder Chloe McCarron once again running procedures in the centre of the park and dictating the play.

McCarron and Samantha Kelly on three occasions forced covering slide tackles from Lakers centre back Lynne Irvine to clear the ball to safety.

Irvine was unable to do anything on 15 minutes, when Kelly picked up the ball in midfield, run at the defence and struck dipping shot past keeper Megan McCabe.

The Lakers created a chance on 20 minutes, but the shot was blocked by Clare Rooney and then caught by keeper Jacqueline Burns. Mid Ulster got their second on 28 minutes, when forward Lynn Somerville found strike partner Cathy Rees, who doubled the Mid Ulster advantage.

Mid Ulster didn’t stop there though, and scored again, when right midfielder Hannah Turkington picked out Kelly, who delicately finished across the keeper from a tight angle.

The fourth goal did come five minutes before the break, when McCarron shot past McCabe from 22 yards to make the half time score 4-0.

Mid Ulster again started the second half well, and got on the score sheet again, Kelly completing her hatrick.

The Mid Ulster girls would score their sixth goal from a corner as Hannah Turkington, pounced to finish with the keeper on the ground.

A substitution for Mid Ulster on 70 minutes saw the introduction of 14 year old right back Rachel Rodgers, a promising product of the youth system coming on to make her first senior appearance.

She immediately made an impact, playing a through ball that evades two of the Lakers defenders and fell to Somerville, who took a good touch and blasted the ball past McCabe to score the seventh of the evening.

A rare lapse in concentration from the Mid Ulster defence allowed the Lakers a goal with the last kick of the game Rachel Kerr dispatching A penalty past Burns.

This was a fitting end to a solid season for a young Mid Ulster side, who will hope that another years experience and another trophy will stand them in good stead for the what promises to be the most competitive premiership ever next year.

Next up for the Mid Ulster girls are the NIWFA awards where Samantha Kelly is in the running for player of the year. The presentation will be made on 11 October.

MULFC would like to thank Newell Stores for the half time refreshments.