NIWFA weekend round-up – Goalfeasts and comebacks

Lurgan Town v Ballymena All Stars
Lurgan Town v Ballymena All Stars. (AM Photography NI)

Colin Hopkins rounds up all the latest league and cup action from the Northern Ireland Women’s FA.

Division 1a – Lisburn net late winner after trailing 3-0

In what was a totally manic game at Park Way, Comber and St James Swifts drew 5-5 in a game which also saw two missed penalties by the home side and the away team reduced to ten players with a red card in injury time, while Debbie Ferguson made her 100th appearance for the hosts. Comber had led 4-1 before a Molly White brace helped Swifts to remarkably sit 5-4 up going into the last few minutes. Comber however were determined to get something from the game and indeed did so when Lucy Carville struck her second on 89 minutes.

League leaders Lisburn survived a real scare as they found themselves 3-0 behind at home to the youth of Mid Ulster, whose Lucy Badger scored twice. However Lisburn are not top of the table without reason and they wiped out the advantage with only one minute left to play, they grabbed a late winner thanks to a goal from substitute Hayley Anderson.

There was an amazing turn around on Monday night as Mid Ulster clawed their way back from 3-0 down to draw 3-3 at Killen Rangers. Rangers had led through goals from Naomi Martin, Stacey Johnston and an own-goal, only for the Mid Ulster side to roar back thanks to efforts from Eimear McGarrity, a Mykylea Stewart penalty and Megan Neill.

Lively Megan Henry bagged another hat-trick as the Ballymena All Stars picked up their first points of the season thanks to a 3-1 defeat of Lurgan Town, Lurgan’s late goal from Ellie McBride coming too late to change the outcome in this one.

Lurgan Town v Ballymena All Stars.
Lurgan Town v Ballymena All Stars. (AM Photography NI)

Division 2a – Five-goal Foyle and Larne

Georgia Crawford wrote the headlines with a superb hat-trick to give Larne a comfortable 5-0 win over Crewe United on Tuesday night, the home sides other goals coming from Francesca Agnew and Rebecca Cargill.

Foyle Belles made it four wins from four games played as a Loren Smallwood hat-trick and two goals from Bronagh Dunne saw them ease past Portadown 5-0 at Shamrock Park.

Division 2b – Carnmoney catch up

Continuing on with the theme of high scoring games on the day, Carnmoney Athletic and Belfast Swifts drew 4-4 in another game featuring a great comeback. In this one the Swifts had led 3-0 thanks to goals from Aoibhinn Murray (x 2) and Bridgetta Quinn but when Rachel Patterson and Charlotte Thompson pulled two goals back it was game on. Captain Rebecca Maxwell restored the Swifts two goal cushion, however strikes from Athletics’ Erin McCauley and Anneli Moore ensured the game ended 4-4

St Oliver Plunkett continued their fine season winning 5-0 at Coleraine courtesy of goals from Marie Therese Hanna, Nia Carmichael, Leah McGonigle, Jessica McAtamney and an own-goal.

Ballymacash Young Ladies impressed as they romped past Shamrock 7-0, captain Chloe Glover leading by example notching three goals, as did Zoe McDowell.

Division 3a – Four in a row for Camlough

Another high scoring thriller saw Belfast Ravens lead 22nd Ladies 3-1, with a Kelly Wray double making it all square at 3-3. But Joanne Corr’s second goal won it from Ravens.

Camlough Rovers made it four wins from four games, defeating Dromara Village 3-1 thanks to goals from Olivia Connolly, Adele Harte and a penalty from Marianne McGhee.

Ballynahinch won an entertaining game 4-2 against Larne Olympic, with the home side flying into a 3-0 lead with the help of two efforts from Aine Smyth. Larne pulled it back to 3-2 only to then concede an own goal, which saw Ballynahinch maintain their 100% start to the season.

Charlotte Thompson was the star of the show, netting a hat-trick as Carnmoney won 4-1 at Banbridge Rangers. Molly Reid had added a fourth for the visitors before Amy Niblock scored a consolation for Rangers.

Division 3b – Rosario rout Ravens Ressies  

Recently formed Belfast Ravens II made a little piece of club history scoring their first ever competitive goal through Kirsty Kennedy, however this was not enough to stop a rampant Rosario YC side easily winning the game. Orlowska Natalia scored four and a number of players scored three; Ellen McAvoy, Cliodhna Gartland, Maeve Li Wen Quah and Connie Small.

NIWFA CUP 3rd Round – Trio reach quarter-finals

St Oliver Plunkett overturned a 3-1 half-time deficit at Portadown, a second goal from captain Leah McGonigle (pen), Megan Mailey and Deborah Boyd seeing them through to the quarter finals 4-3.

Belfast Celtic became the first club into the last eight after securing a comfortable 8-0 win over Bangor, against whom Leola McErlane netted four goals.

Camlough Rovers are also through but they had to battle all the way before overcoming a stubborn Ambassadors side 2-0, goals from Olivia Connolly and Tara Hollywood.

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