THE YMCA were the visitors to the Mid Ulster Sports Arena in the third set of games in the Euro Electrix NIWFA Premier League. YMCA were hoping to maintain their 100% record in the league and dominated proceedings early on.
A free kick on thirteen minutes for the visitors went just over and despite a succession of corners, the visitors could not open the scoreline.
After this early pressure Mid Ulster started to get a foothold in the game and Samantha Kelly was again impressing on the left wing. Persistence from Samantha saw her win the ball and a free kick as her bigger opposite number couldn’t win the ball back fairly.
Another free kick for Mid Ulster saw a great delivery into the box from Hayley O’Donnell and Ruth Brown just couldn’t direct her header on target.
The game was a good hard physical contest now and both teams were creating opportunities.
Abigail Edwards forced a half chance on the 40 minute mark but the YMCA keeper did well to gather the ball. YMCA responded with an attack which led to free kick just outside the box. Kendra McMullan was unlucky to see her shot rebound off the bar and Mykylea Stewart was on hand to clear the danger for Mid Ulster.
At half time approached YMCA had a corner cleared off the line and the watching crowd were relieved to see the ball finish up in Jacqueline Burns grasp.
The second half started with Mid Ulster on the attack and Emma McFarland made a great overlapping run on the right to force an early corner.
YMCA cleared the danger and immediately won a corner of their own. Jacqueline Burns gathered the ball well and sent the Mid Ulster girls on their way. A sweeping move involving Samantha Kelly, and Lisa Richardson was slotted under the YMCA keeper by Michelle Scott to give the home team an early lead.
YMCA responded from the restart and an attack straight down the middle saw Jacqueline Burns and Ruth Brown clash as they went for the clearance. The ball came back out kindly for YMs Nicole Fowley and she made no mistake in drawing the game level.
Lisa Richardson was next to have a shot on target for Mid Ulster but the YM number one showed a safe pair of hands to keep the scores level. YM were again applying pressure and a great tackle from Hayley O’Donnell showed the work ethic of the entire Mid Ulster squad. Claire Rooney and Claire Brown were keeping things tight for the Mid Ulster girls and a free kick won on the edge of the YM box gave Claire Rooney the opportunity to step forward. A great strike followed but once again the woodwork got in the way.
The first substitution of the game saw Rebecca Edwards replace sister Abigail and a slight reshuffle took place with Ruth Brown moving up front and Rebecca slotting into midfield. Kendra McMullan, who had been a threat all evening, then gave the visitors the advantage as made a good run down the left side before cutting inside and striking an unstoppable shot to the net. Mid Ulster suffered another blow moments later when Lisa Richardson had to leave the field due to an injury but it was great to see another member of the junior set up Lyn Sommerville make her senior debut.
Mid Ulster pushed players on to try to get something out of the game but on the 42nd minute the points were wrapped up for the visitors as Kendra McMullan buried a penalty awarded for a clumsy challenge in the box.
Disappointment for the home team but positive performances from a number of players and once again great to see the younger members of the squad perform so well.
Team: J Burns, C Rooney, C Brown, M Stewart, E McFarland, R Brown, H O’Donnell, L Richardson (L Sommerville), S Kelly, A Edwards (R Edwards), M Scott.
Subs not used: H Turkington, T Lindsay.
Next up for the girls is a visit to Newbridge Predators on Wednesday 23 May, Ormeau Park Belfast 7.30pm.
Junior training has now started on Monday nights 6.30pm – 7.30pm for ages 6 -14 years at the Mid Ulster Sports Arena