Bangor, Sion Swifts and SOP win big in NIWFA Championship

Bangor v Belfast Celtic, NIWFA Championship
Bangor attack the Belfast Celtic goal. (Joemac Photography)

While St James Swifts held on to the NIWFA Championship top spot, Bangor, Sion Swifts and St. Oliver Plunkett all registered big wins.

St.James Swifts had a comfortable 3-0 win over Ballyclare Comrades thanks to goals from Chloe Tully, Katierose Rice and Chloe Doak, although the latter was sent off on 79 minutes.

Sion Swifts made it a day that bottom side Foyle Belles will want to forget, Rachel Barnaby (4) and Hannah Gibson (3) contributi8ng to a big win in the north west derby.

Not to be outdone, Bangor were also in fine goal-scoring form with a four-goal salvo from leading scorer Amber Dempster leading the way against Belfast Celtic.

St. Oliver Plunkett were also on the rampage with a hat-trick from Clodagh Mervyn in the 8-1 win at Comber Rec.

With Division 1 leaders Greenisland not playing in the league this week, second-placed Ballymoney United closed the gap at the top by defeating Armagh City 4-1 at Holm Park. Ambassadors kept themselves in the hunt with a narrow win at Ballynahinch Ladies, whilst Kilmore’s poor season continued as they lost at home to Rosario.

The big news from Division 2 was the sad announcement that Lisburn Distillery have folded, despite showing so much potential by winning a league and cup double last season a lack of personnel means the Whites have had to withdraw from the NIWFA. On the playing side, it’s still Strabane leading the way from Craigavon City after both sides secured wins this week over Coleraine and Lisburn Ladies Swifts respectively. 22nd Ladies and Ballymena United Reserves battled it out in a 2-2 draw.

In Division 3, Lisbellaw continued their unbeaten run by hitting Ballymoney United Reserves for six, leaving the County Fermanagh-based side four points clear at the top from Belfast Ravens – who defeated Portadown – and five points better of than Maiden City, who edged past Carrick Rangers Falcons. In the division’s other match, Mid Ulster Reserves romped home against Dromara Village.

Division 4’s two unbeaten sides clashed as Raceview and Antrim Town shared six goals on Friday evening. Elsewhere, there were home wins for Draperstown and Ballynahinch Olympic, while Lisburn Rangers Athletic won away at Belfast Swifts.

Ards Rangers and St Marys both secured wins in Division 5 last Sunday, Ards made to battle all the way before overcoming Oxford Sunnyside. Later on in the week, leaders Valley Rangers romped home at Rathfriland with a triple hat-trick from the leading goalscorer Caitlyn Rae doing most of the damage. Comber Rec Reserves were the other side to bank three points.

Home wins for Bloomfield, First Bangor and Greenisland II, coupled with a 3-3 draw between Carrick Rangers Falcons II and Wellington Rec, mean that after week seven Greenisland lead the Division 6 table by five points from Carrick.

Just the one game in the Local Women Sport Super Cup this week, as Lisburn Distillery’s time in the NIWFA came to a sad end with a 5-0 loss to Ballymoney United. Due to withdrawals elsewhere, Craigavon City, Valley Rangers, Strabane Athletic and Greenisland also found their way in the third round draw.

Round up by Colin Hopkins

Sports Direct Women’s Premiership top three level on points

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