Mid Ulster take 3 points from visit to Predators

By · June 9, 2013 · Filed in Match Report
Wednesday saw Mid Ulster travel to Shorts playing fields to take on Newbridge Predators in the league.  On a warm evening the opening exchanges suggested that this would be a close contest.  After some good early possession Mid Ulster survived an early scare when some indecision at the back led to a Predators shot that eluded everyone and skimmed off the outside of the post.  Predators were playing a high line at the back and Lisa Richardson looked to have sprung Adele Gillespie only for the referee to blow the offside, an unpopular decision with the visiting support.  Shortly afterwards Samantha Kelly was also halted by a similar decision which was once again marginal.  Predators were dangerous on the break too and Jacqueline Burns had to be quick off her line to tidy up for Mid Ulster on one such occasion.  More pressure and a corner for the home team saw Karen Donnell leap highest to clear the danger and set Mid Ulster on the attack once more.  Chloe McCarron and Hayley O’Donnell were linking up well in the middle of the park and some great switches in play saw Aoife Curran whip in a dangerous cross but none of the Mid Ulster girls could connect.  Sarah Connolly did well to manufacture a shot for herself and a smart save from Michelle Maxwell saw the first Mid Ulster corner of the night.    Shortly afterwards the best chance of the half fell to Sarah Connolly after a great run and pull back by Adele Gillespie but the Predators number 1 made another fine save to keep the scoreline intact.  Mid Ulster weren’t having it all their own way and captain Claire Rooney was leading by example winning some fine headers at the back.  Mid Ulster finished the half strongly but a late Predators corner reminded the visitors that the game was evenly balanced going into the half time break. As the subs sunned themselves on the sidelines one diligent member of the squad did a workout and then scaled  a goalpost to get a better view #interesting.
catching some rays

catching some rays

 
just hanging around

just hanging around

  Mid Ulster started the second half strongly but with only two minutes of the half played they were knocked for 6.  A seemingly harmless Predators attack saw Shannon Gratten take her chance to strike and put the home team into an early lead.  Mid Ulster were rocked and moments later Predators should have doubled their advantage only for the shot to go wide.  This served to jolt the Mid Ulster girls into action and they got into their stride again.  After 13 minutes they finally got the breakthrough they deserved when Chloe McCarron picked up the ball on the right.  Chloe cut infield and as she neared the edge of the box she struck.  A fine strike saw the scoreline level much to the delight of the large band of travelling supporters.  Not to be outdone by her team mate Sarah Connolly was on hand 3 minutes later to give the Mid Ulster girls the lead and grab her first senior goal for the season.  With Mid Ulster noses finally in front the girls started to play and indeed they should have had the game out of sight when Sarah Connolly broke through again but this time her shot was straight at the Predators keeper.  Predators were tiring and chasing the game and a rather late challenge on Samantha Kelly saw the first booking of the night for one of the Predators midfielders.  Mid Ulster went on the attack again and Chloe Barnes at right back made a great run before slipping in Aoife Curran but unfortunately the shot was just wide at a tight angle.  As the clock ran down Mid Ulster maintained possession but there were a couple of late opportunities for Predators to snatch a point.  Jacqueline Burns punched clear from a corner to ease the nerves and Sarah Connolly held the ball up well until the final whistle finally blew.  A valuable 3 points which leaves Mid Ulster in fourth place in the league at the half way point of the season. Team: J Burns, C Rooney, K Donnell, C Barnes, L Richardson, C McCarron, A Curran, S Kelly, A Gillespie, H O’Donnell, S Connolly. Subs not used: S Lee, L Murphy, C Bowden, D Suitor, H Turkington. Next up is a visit to Cliftonville in the league on Wed 12 June 7.30pm