NIWFA: Lisburn Rangers seal fifth successive league title

Greenisland won promotion to NIWFA Division 1
Greenisland pressured by Ambassadors. (Bob Hall Sports Photography)

Lisburn Rangers won the NIWFA Championship title after their defeat of Comber Rec, coupled with a slip-up by second-placed Ballyclare Comrades.

It was a remarkable fifth consecutive league title for Lisburn Rangers, who secured promotion to the Sports Direct Women’s Premiership. A late strike from St James Swifts’ Rebecca Curley ensured Ballyclare dropped points in a 2-2 draw. St.James were back in action for a second time this week but on this occasion lost 2-4 to Bangor in a result which guarantees the Seasiders third place. Goals from Sara-Lou McLaughlin, Bronagh Rooney and Grace Feerick gave Belfast Celtic a 3-1 win over Foyle Belles.

There were no shocks in Division One, with the top three sides – St Oliver Plunkett, Camlough and Larne Olympic all securing wins over Coleraine, Kilmore Rec and Armagh respectively.

Greenisland promoted to NIWFA Division 1.
Greenisland beat Ambassadors 3-0 to finish Division 2 runners-up. (Photo: Ephy McConnell)

The chase to be crowned Division Two champions remains alive with Greenisland and Ballyclare Reserves both winning to leave the table exceptionally tight. It still remains in the hands of leaders Ballymoney United, who now need three points from their final two games to secure the title.

Convincing wins for the leaders Strabane Athletic and second-placed Craigavon City leaves Division Three on a knife edge, with the County Tyrone side needing a point against 22nd Ladies in their final game of the season.

Following comfortable Division Four wins this week over Draperstown and Comber Rec respectively, Lisburn Distillery and Lisbellaw United both go into the final week of games within touching distance of notching up the remarkable record of scoring over 100 goals in a season. The Whites need four more goals to hit treble figures whilst Lisbellaw only need the one.

Futuro Falcons scored a memorable 1-0 win over Maiden City, Mid Ulster Reserves edged home 5-4 in a nine-goal thriller over Banbridge Rangers.

Antrim Town are the Division Five champions following a comfortable win over Lisburn Ladies Athletic, thanks mainly a four-goal salvo from Ashleigh Thompson. Despite a win also for second-placed Ballymoney Reserves, the head-to-head rule means Antrim have secured. Elsewhere, Raceview consolidated their third place by defeating First Bangor 2-1.

Division Six was also concluded this week as Bloomfield brushed aside Ards Rangers to finish first and pass the 100 goal mark this season. Ballynahinch Olympic finished as runners up, while Belfast Swifts defeated Shorts Women 4-3 to stay one point clear of St.Mary’s, who defeated Donegal Celtic in third place, with those sides meeting one another this week in the final round of fixtures.

The first-ever Development League ended with Valley Rangers the inaugural winners.

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