7 Up for Mid Ulster

By · August 17, 2011 · Filed in Match Report
The Mid Ulster girls faced a season defining fixture on Tuesday night when they entertained Cliftonville Ladies in the first leg of a Relegation / Promotion playoff for the Davisons Frudles NIWFA league.  Having narrowly missed out on the championship title to YMCA, Cliftonville boasted a physically strong side with a number of highly talented individuals.  Mid Ulster knew that they would have a battle on their hands to maintain their Premier League status. Mid Ulster made a great start to the game and were on the attack from the kick off.  Good pressure from the home side was to pay dividends when Lisa Richardsons cross in from the left was well finished by Stacey Lee giving the girls an early lead.  This served to shake up the Cliftonville attack and they responded immediately with a shot just over.  Another Cliftonville attack followed and this time Marissa Callaghan placed a great shot into the top corner bringing parity to the score line.  It was end to end stuff and from the kick off Mid Ulster went on the offensive winning a corner on the right.  The ball broke to Stacey Lee and she made no mistake to double her tally and put Mid Ulster back into the lead.  Once again Cliftonville reacted almost immediately and with Mid Ulster playing into the sun Cliftonvilles  Martine Power used her experience to unleash a great strike from just inside the Mid Ulster  half which sailed over everyones head into the goal.  With 15 minutes gone and the game at 2-2 many of the spectators thought that the pace would drop and Junkie was hoping it would drop before she had a heart attack but not a chance.  Both teams were fully committed and next to try their luck was Brooke Jordan for Mid Ulster but her well struck volley was held by the Cliftonville number 1.   An early substition saw Prodigal daughter Colleen McCullagh enter the game for the hardworking Chloe Barnes and a bit of a reshuffle saw Ruth Brown take over at right mid.  More Mid Ulster pressure followed and Simone Magill was next on the score sheet with some great individual skill and a finish to match making the score now 3-2.  Miss Magill was well and truly exorcised.  Once again Cliftonville tried to react immediately and only a smart save from Jacqueline Burns in the Mid Ulster goal prevented a further change to the score.   Mid Ulster then were on the attack again and Simone Magill forced a good save out of the Cliftonville keeper from a free kick.  In the middle of the field Adele Gillespie and Brooke Jordan were seeing more and more of the ball for Mid Ulster with Adele Gillespie forcing a corner and then having a strike just wide from the resultant clearance.    Cliftonville were still posing a threat on the break and Claire Brown had to have her timing to perfection with a last ditch tackle on a great through ball.  From the clearance Lisa Richardson picked up the ball and made a great run and pass through to Stacey Lee who saw the post prevent her chance of a hat trick.   More pressure from Cliftonville saw good defensive work from Claire Brown and Colleen McCullough who played a super cross field pass to release Simone Magill.  Once again Simone showed great skill to beat her player and strike a great finish to give Mid Ulster the 2 goal cushion they deserved.  Mid Ulster really had a foothold in the game now and once again Stacey Lee was on hand to flash a shot just wide after a super reverse pass from Simone Magill.  At the back Mid Ulster were looking solid and Claire Rooney was on hand to make a great tackle and start the next wave of attack for the Mid Ulster girls.  So the half time whistle blew with the home team holding a 4-2 advantage. Mid Ulster started the second half as they had ended the first and with practically the first attack of the game they extended their lead yet again.  A driving run from Lisa Richardson fed Stacey Lee who played the ball on to Simone Magill who turned magnificently and fired the ball home to claim her hat trick.  Mid Ulster continued to pressurise and Simone Magill was on the ball again moments later.  Great persistence saw her nick the ball off the defender and dance into the Cliftonville box where she was the victim of a wild tackle.  Honesty was perhaps not the best policy as Simone kept her feet and shot just wide when perhaps a tumble would have resulted in a penalty.  Cliftonville had not gone out of the game and a couple of good challenges from Claire Rooney and Mykylea Stewart were needed to thwart the Cliftonville attack.  Mykylea Stewart was having a great battle with her opposite number and gaining the upper hand on most occasions so much so that her opponent resorted to fouling her.  Luckily Myky saw the funny side.  Brooke Jordan was finding openings and unleashed a couple of shots from the edge of the area which were either narrowly wide or well held by the keeper.  Mid Ulster won a number of corners in succession and both Simone Magill and Claire Rooney had headers just off target.  Just as the spectators thought the match had entered a bit of a lull there was a wild tackle on Adele Gillespie and Cliftonville found themselves reduced to 10 when the Cliftonville player vented her frustration with a kick or six. The handbags that followed was swiftly sorted out by Mykylea must to the referees relief. ( The poor wee lad looked terrified).    With the extra player now Mid Ulster were able to pile more pressure on the visitors and Ruth Brown was making great inroads on the right wing.  One such move on 71 minutes saw a ball into Stacey Lee who again fed Simone Magill who made no mistake with the finish and grabbed her fourth of the night.  At 6-2 up the Mid Ulster girls showed no sign of abating and Brooke Jordan had a header just wide from a corner.  On 79 minutes the lead was extended again this time Lisa Richardson executing a nice left footed finish.   In fairness to Cliftonville they never gave up and indeed as the game entered the final minutes they forced a corner and had a number of long range shots.  It was all dealt with efficiently by Jacqueline Burns in goals for Mid Ulster and then she set them on their way with some great kick outs.  Another corner for Mid Ulster saw Claire Brown hang like a salmon in the box to head home and make it 8-2 to Mid Ulster.  With the light fading fast Mid Ulster still knew where the goals where and moments later Simone Magills weighted pass found Stacey Lee who under pressure stroked the ball home to complete her hat trick.  The crowd were calling out for 10 but time was to run out and Cliftonville were probably happy to hear the final whistle. A superb performance all round and even Fairweather Spectator Rich said “beats sitting at home watching Eastenders any time” (and he loves Eastenders!!) Final score Mid Ulster 9  Cliftonville 2 Team: J Burns, C Brown, C Rooney, C Barnes (C McCullagh), M Stewart, L Richardson, B Jordan, A Gillespe, R Brown, S Lee, S Magill Subs not used : J Overend, E McFarland, D Bettany, H Turkington. Congratulations to Jacqueline Burns and Simone Magill who have been selected for  N.Ireland Under 17s and 19 respectively to travel to Belgium and Portugal for International friendly matches at the end of August. Happy Birthday Chloe - Another 21st this week Congratulations!!