Mascots spur the N.I girls to victory

By · November 21, 2011 · Filed in News
Mid Ulster Juniors led the N.Ireland Senior Womens team to a historic victory over former World Champions Norway on Saturday 19 November at Mourneview Park.  The Mid Ulster crew were the proud mascots for the home team and a number of the older girls also did their bit as ball girls.  Anna sorted out all the stones at the edge of the ground and Jackie made a couple of point blank saves.  The really older girl got a job too handing out programmes and tea and biccies!

The Mid Ulster mascots

Going into the game as underdogs placed 30th in Europe the NI Ladies knew it would be a tough encounter against a team ranked 2nd in Europe.  However, a superbly taken strike from Kirsty McGuinness after an excellent pass from Sarah McFadden (Big Mac) opened the scoring.  This was folllowed up by a goalmouth scramble resulting in Captain Ashley Hutton getting her head onto the ball past the advancing Norwegian keeper to give NI a 2-0 lead at the end of the first half. The 2nd half saw the Norwegians push forward and have a lot of the possession and unfortunately one of their shots on goal just brushed off Emma Higgins gloves and into the net. 2-1 game on!  Keen to equalise the Norwegians put a lot of pressure on the NI defence but stalwart defending by all our girls minimised any threat.  A clash of heads between Ashley Hutton and Rachel Furness saw both players requiring treatment with Ashley eventually being allowed to enter the field of the play by the referee. Rachel needed further treatment but as always came back onto the pitch with a bandage around her head but determined to finish the game. Within a couple of minutes on re-entering the pitch Rachel latched onto a well weighted pass by Simone Magill into the box and had a good strike on goal which the Norwegian keeper could only parry away. Lady luck was on our side as the ball fell kindly again to Rachel who didn’t waste any time in slotting it past the keeper. 3-1 to NI.The girls kept running, passing and defending to the final whistle and Mourneview Park went wild – a great game, great result and let’s hope Alfie Wylie and the entire squad can replicate the performance in Hungary on Wednesday. The Mid Ulster girls celebrated with greasy chips much  VuVuzela blowing and a competition on the way home to see who could fall asleep (not likely with Caitlin and Shauna in the bus).  A great night was had by all and the club wish Sunnie, Adele and the rest of the squad the best of luck for Wednesday night.