Mid Ulster Ladies

MID Ulster made the trip to Ballymena on Wednesday night to take on Ballymena Allstars in the Euro Electrix NIWFA Premier League.

Michelle Scott returned to the line up but otherwise the team was unchanged from that which had beat Predators the previous week.

Mid Ulster began the game brightly and Samantha Kelly showed some good skills and determination to create an early shooting opportunity for Hayley O’Donnell that went just over the bar. More pressure followed from Mid Ulster as Michelle Scott played in Ruth Brown but the All stars keeper was out quickly to smother the danger.

After giving the crowd a taster of her skills last week Claire Brown was at it again showing great balance to dance pass a number of Ballymena players although the attack came to nothing this time.

Ballymena were not to be overawed and they showed their threat when a quick counter attack required Lisa Richardson to be on her toes to clear.

On 12 minutes Mid Ulster made the breakthrough. Samantha Kelly released Simone Magill who skipped two crunching tackles to make it to the by line and fizz in a cross that the retreating Ballymena defenders could only turn into their own net.

Ballymena went on the attack directly from the restart and although they had an optimistic penalty shout the referee waved play on. More Ballymena pressure saw a long range shot go over and then Emma McFarland for Mid Ulster had to be on her toes to clear a dangerous break.

The action was nonstop and Mid Ulster enjoyed another spell of pressure. Two corners in quick succession were followed by a dangerous free kick won by Mykylea Stewart on the edge of the box but the visitors just couldn’t apply the finishing touch. Ruth Brown and Michelle Scott went close and Claire Brown saw her deflected shot go wide and although Ballymena finished the half with a corner it was Mid Ulster that went into the break leading 1-0.

Ballymenas team talk certainly had the desired affect when 23 seconds after the restart they equalised. Good pressure down the right wing released Chloe McCarron who finished coolly lobbing the ball over Jacqueline Burns as she came out to close her down.

Mid Ulster were shocked by this and from the restart went on the attack with Simone Magill forcing an early corner from which Ruth Brown shot just wide. Ruth and Simone went close again moments later with Simone playing Ruth through.

As her shot went just wide Ruth had a nasty tumble and required some attention before thankfully being able to return to the action. Another corner for the visitors saw a superb delivery from Hayley O’Donnell neatly flicked in at the near post by Simone Magill and with 9 minutes on the clock Mid Ulster were back in front.

This was the catalyst Mid Ulster needed and they started to stamp their authority on the game. Simone Magill’s move out to the right wing was paying dividends and 10 minutes later the Mid Ulster girls had put daylight between themselves and Ballymena.

Hayley O’Donnell made great progress down the right before whipping in a super cross that the Ballymena keeper did well to keep out. There was nothing she could do about the great following up play from Michelle Scott who was on hand to smash the rebound to the net.

Ballymena tried to respond but Claire Rooney and company at the back were giving nothing away and Mid Ulster continued to pressurise. Hayley O’Donnell had a strike just wide and substitute Chloe Barnes also had a chance well closed down by the Ballymena defence. The goal that cemented the result came after 26 minutes when once again a cross in from the right from Simone Magill was well finished by Michelle Scott.

With the score at 4-1 Mid Ulster made two further substitutions and the fresh legs continued to torment the Ballymena defence. Some last ditch tackles and good defensive play from Ballymena kept the score line as it was with another valuable 3 points gained for the Mid Ulster girls.

Team J Burns, C Brown, C Rooney, L Richardson, S Kelly (L Murphy), H O’Donnell, R Brown, M Stewart (C Barnes), M Scott (H Turkington), S Magill.

Subs not used: R Edwards, L Sommerville

Next up is a trip to league leader Crusaders at Seaview Wednesday 7 June 2012, 7.30pm.