St James Swifts beat Bangor to go top of NIWFA Championship

St James Swits v Bangor Ladies, NIWFA Championship
St James Swifts before the top-of-the-table clash with Bangor. (Photo: St James Swifts FC)

St James Swifts went top of the Northern Ireland Women’s FA Championship with a 4-2 win over previous leaders Bangor.

The Swifts’ Chloe Tully opened the scoring and although Bangor then levelled through Sarah McKillen,Tully restored the lead. Chloe Doak and Rosie Thompson scored to make it 4-1, Amber Dempster pulled one back for Bangor.

Ballymena United made the most of Bangor’s slip up by easing past Comber Rec 8-1 Ellen McClure grabbing a hat-trick, to remain level on points with St James.

Sion Swifts stayed well in the mix for promotion, as they brushed aside St.Oliver Plunkett 4-0 with Brooke Milligan twice on target. This result keeps Sion in third place in the table, only two points off the joint leaders.

Camlough Rovers came from behind to dramatically win 3-2 at Ballyclare Comrades, whose Beth Galbriath received a second caution with 10 minutes to go. Katie Brophy hammered home the resulting free kick from distance and Olivia Connolly powered a shot into the top corner in stoppage time.

Basement side Foyle Belles will be kicking themselves after losing 5-4 to Belfast Celtic, despite having led 3-2 at half time. Kate Patton hit a hat-trick in vain, as Roisin Bolger’s brace helped Celtic edge the nine-goal thriller.

Greenisland have now opened up a five point gap at the top of Division 1 after a fine win over Armagh City, coupled with a 1-1 draw for second-placed Ballymoney United with Ambassadors. Ballyclare Comrades Reserves won 6-3 at Rosario, while Ballynahinch picked up their first win of the season in defeating bottom side Kilmore Rec.

Strabane continue to lead the way in Division 2 from Craigavon City, after both sides secured comfortable wins against Banbridge Town and Ballymena Reserves respectively. Elsewhere, Lisburn Ladies Swifts and Coleraine drew 1-1.

Division 3 leaders Lisbellaw dropped their first points of the season as they were held 2-2 by Maiden City, with Carrick Rangers Falcons ensuring they made the most of that slip to close the gap at the top by easily disposing of Dromara Village. Belfast Ravens beat Ballymoney Reserves and Mid Ulster beat Portadown.

Belfast Ravens v Ballymoney Utd Res, NIWFA Division 3
Belfast Ravens v Ballymoney United Reserves (Bob Hall Sports Photography)

Raceview and Antrim Town both made it six wins from six in Division 4, ahead of their clash on 14 June. Draperstown Celtic edged home by the only goal of the game against Belfast Ravens II.

Despite being held to a 2-2 draw this week by Ards Rangers, Valley Rangers remain the only unbeaten side in Division 5 but even that statistic does not see them top of the table with Oxford Sunnyside still leading the way at the top following their victory over Shorts. Comber Rec Reserves won easily at Donegal Celtic, whilst a solid performance from St Marys saw them home against Rathfriland.

Victories for Greenisland II, Carrick Rangers Falcons II, 22nd Ladies II and Bloomfield mean that it’s still Greenisland from Carrick at top of the Division 6 standings.

Round up by Colin Hopkins

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