Busy week for the Mid Ulster girls

By · August 18, 2013 · Filed in Match Report
Busy week for Mid Ulster After a long break for the Mid Ulster girls it was back to domestic duties for one and all with a cup semi final against Dromore and a league fixture against newly crowned Premier League champions Glentoran Belfast Utd. Tuesday night saw the Mid Ulster team travel to Dromore to take on the home team in the semi final of the Mid Ulster cup.  Having already knocked Dromore out of the Coca Cola Cup, Mid Ulster were confident that they could reach their first final of the season.  A strong Mid Ulster line up took to the pitch and from the kick off the visitors were very much in control.  Dromore however had done their homework and where prepared to sit deep and soak up the pressure, but using their pacey lone striker on the counter attack. Early exchanges saw Chloe McCarron and Sarah Connolly linking up well but the Dromore number one was well positioned to be first to the through ball.  Mid Ulster were enjoying a lot of pressure down the right hand side with sisters Claire Brown and Ruth Bell linking up with Adele Gillespie but as before the Dromore keeper was on hand to tidy up. Dromore then enjoyed a welcome reprieve as they won a free kick on the edge of the box but the resultant effort came to nothing.  From this Mid Ulster went on the attack again with Samantha Kellys cross from the left appearing to have hit an arm but the decision wasn’t given and play continued.  Hayley O’Donnell was busy in the midfield area and a great through ball was just too long for Ruth Bell.  As the half wore on Dromore got a foothold in the game and another free kick and then a short back pass saw Jacqueline Burns in the Mid Ulster goal called into action and she dealt with them both competently.  Mid Ulster responded with more attacks from Sarah Connolly and Samantha Kelly but a breakthrough was not forthcoming.  At the other end a break from Dromore looked threatening but Claire Rooney was on hand to make a superbly timed tackle to clear the danger.  Mid Ulster were pushing hard for the breakthrough with even centre half Aoife Curran pushing forward and she was unlucky to see her effort go just over the bar. The second half started as the first had finished with Mid Ulster on the attack and this was once again the pattern for the half.  Dromore had their chances too and whilst they were not as plentiful they had one that looked more straightforward only for the ball to be blasted over the bar.  Sarah Connolly was getting plenty of service but space was difficult to find and the Dromore players were closing down superbly.  The gathered Mid Ulster spectators thought it was a matter of time but time was running out and before they knew it the final whistle had sounded and it was into extra time.  Once again in extra time Mid Ulster continued to create and Ruth Bell so nearly broke the deadlock as her shot hit the bar.  Maybe this was to be a sign that the luck was not with Mid Ulster and as the final whistle sounded the game came down to penalties. 5 brave individuals from each team stepped up and 3 penalties were saved.  Unfortunately for the Mid Ulster girls 2 of theirs were saved and Dromore progressed to the final winning 5-4 on penalties.  The club wishes them well in the final. Team: J Burns, C Rooney, C Brown, L Richardson, A Curran, H O’Donnell, C McCarron, S Kelly, R Bell, S Connolly, A Gillespie.  Subs not used: C Barnes, C Bowden, K Donnell, H Turkington, S Lee, E McFarland.   After the disappointment and the physical exertion of Tuesday night it took a great effort for the Mid Ulster girls to raise their game on Thursday night for a visit to the Oval and league encounter with Premier League Champions Glentoran Belfast Utd.  With Glentoran unbeaten this season so far the girls knew this was going to be another toughie.  The same team took to the pitch with everyone up for the challenge and hiding their sore limbs with enthusiasm. Mid Ulster started well and they dominated the early possession with Chloe McCarron and Hayley O’Donnell winning everything in the middle of the park.  The only downside was when Ma sat on the chairs outside of the dugouts and found out that they were a little bit damp.  An early attack saw Chloe McCarron play Adele Gillespie through and forced a hurried clearance from the Glentoran back line.  Moments later Sarah Connolly had a half chance cleared only for Chloe McCarron to follow up with a shot just over.  Glentoran though under the cosh were still a threat and the Mid Ulster back line had to use all their skill and experience to keep their goal intact but still provide and attacking option.  Claire Brown was once again linking up well with sister Ruth on the right hand side and although the formidable Kellie Bailie was at left back for Glentoran was proving hard to beat Ruth managed a couple of menacing crosses from this side.  Even with all the possession Mid Ulster were finding it difficult to make a breakthrough and they nearly paid the price when Glentoran had a break midway through the half.   Luckily for the visitors captain Claire Rooney was on hand to clear the danger with a great clearing tackle.  Glentoran had their heads up now and a spell of pressure saw them win two free kicks on the edge of the box.  The first of these went harmlessly over and the wall did its job to stop the second one.  Mid Ulster upped the gears again and Hayley O’Donnell was showing why she was the Concentrix Premier league player of the month for June with some great work in midfield.  Her ball through to Sarah Connolly saw the Glentoran keeper take two attempts to gather the shot.   Aoife Curran was also getting in on the act and her ball through just caught Samantha Kelly in an offside position.  Further pressure from saw the half finish with a Mid Ulster corner and even though Lisa Richardson followed up well the half ended scoreless. Glentoran started the second half brightly and an early chance stamped their intentions.  Mid Ulster countered well and from Ruth Bells cross Adele Gillespie won a free kick on the edge of the box.  Up stepped Lisa Richardson and she was unlucky to see her shot go just over the crossbar.  Samantha Kelly was making good headway down the left wing and a good ball to Adele Gillespie once again required Kellie Baillie to make a clearing tackle.  Ruth Bell was even having time to display some little flicks and touches that apparently David had taught her.  (inside information from Hambag).  Back to the game and Sarah Connollys persistence won a Mid Ulster corner which was cleared only as far as Aoife Curran whose shot was well over.  It was then straight up the other end and Glentoran had a corner of their own.  A bit of a scramble in the box ensued but the ball ended up in the hands of Mid Ulster number one Jacqueline Burns.  On 26minutes the breakthrough came.  Adele Gillespie sent Samantha Kelly through.  Her shot from the left across the keeper struck the base of the post but following up for Mid Ulster was Sarah Connolly who made no mistake in striking the ball to the net.  1-0 to the Mid Ulster girls. sarah scoring woo hoo Glentoran responded immediately and Jacqueline Burns had to be quick and brave to close a great through ball.  Jacqueline took a sore one but the danger was averted and thankfully Jacqueline was able to continue.  As the half wore on the rain started to come down and the pace of the game intensified with the ball zipping around the wet surface.  Also Mas book got wet and she couldnt write any more hence why the match report gets very creative from now on.  Glentoran were pressing and indeed the Mid Ulster girls had the woodwork to thank on two occasions for keeping them in front.   On 34 minutes Kellie Baillie approached menacingly into the Mid Ulster final third and delivered a cross / shot from the left that dipped agonisingly for the visitors under the bar to level the scores.  The final 10 minutes saw both  teams search for the winner but it was not forthcoming.  Even the introduction of Hannah Turkington and Stacey Lee for the Mid Ulster girls couldn’t spoil the Glentoran league winners party.  As the final whistle sounded it was honours even in a thoroughly entertaining game of football.  Very fitting that the match was filmed for UTV with highlights on their website.  Mid Ulster gave the league champions a guard of honour as they were presented with the league title but going on this performance it might not be long before it could be the team in orange lifting the trophy. Team J Burns, C Rooney, C Brown, A Curran, L Richardson, H O’Donnell, C McCarron, S Kelly (S Lee), R Bell (H Turkington), S Connolly, A Gillespie.  Subs not used C Barnes, K Donnell, E McFarland, C Bowden. Watch the highlights: http://www.u.tv/sport/Glens-lift-womens-premiership-trophy/08f63909-9e56-471c-8b41-0553547ed3eb#.Ug4yTTmULYc.facebook