Opening league fixture doesn’t go to plan.

By · April 23, 2015 · Filed in News
Captain Claire Rooney with Richard Charles from Rainbow Communications

Captain Claire Rooney with Richard Charles from Rainbow Communications

Mid Ulster ladies kicked off the 2015 premier league campaign on a beautiful night at the Mid Ulster Sports arena.  Newly promoted Newry City were the opposition in front of a good crowd of spectators.    The Mid Ulster girls were looking smart in their new kit following the securing of a 3 year sponsorship deal with local Communications Company Rainbow.
Pre match handshake

Pre match handshake

The game kicked off with Mid Ulster playing into a strong sun and early exchanges were scrappy as both teams tried to find a rhythm.  Newry were first to settle and early pressure came from the visitors with Grace Murray’s long throws providing early pressure on the Mid Ulster rear guard.  The first corner of the game went to Newry but Mid Ulster cleared quickly with Chloe McCarron breaking forward to pull back for an Aoife Curran shot that didn’t trouble the Newry goal.  Further pressure from Newry saw another corner won and the attempted clearance was handled just outside the box providing Newry with a free kick in a dangerous position.  Aoife Lennon struck the kick but her effort went harmlessly over the bar.  Mid Ulster then started to creep back into the game and had a couple of efforts from free kicks themselves.  First Samantha Kelly went close from the right hand side of the box and then Aoife Curran had a great strike from a free 30 yards out but once again fractionally too high to trouble the Newry no1.    With half an hour played Newry enjoyed the next chance to break the deadlock with Jacqueline Burns in the Mid Ulster goal getting down well to stop an Alison McMaster shot.  The action then switched to the other end and Samantha Kelly again troubled the Newry defence winning another free kick and seeing a needless yellow card picked up by Newrys Megan Wetherall for dissent.  With the halftime whistle approaching Newry made the breakthrough as Emma McMaster evaded two challenges and calmly slotted home to leave the visitors with the lead going into the break. Mid Ulster started the second half brightly but Newry city were not prepared to sit back on their lead and won an early corner.  Claire Rooney cleared the initial ball but Eimear Mclaughlin picked up for Newry and went close with a strike from the edge of the box.  Further Newry pressure saw a free kick awarded 20 yards out in a central position.  Grace Murray struck it well but it was straight at Jacqueline Burns who gathered comfortably.  With 60minutes on the clock Newry doubled their lead.  An in swinging corner from Eimear McLaughlin evaded everyone and hit off Jacqueline Burns to make the score 2-0 to the visitors.  Mid Ulster made a change with Lyn Sommerville replacing Alice Smith who had taken a heavy fall and the game continued.  Mid Ulster were upping the pressure but the Newry rear guard was standing firm.  With players from both teams suffering from cramp Mid Ulster replaced the hardworking Hannah Turkington with Mykylea Stewart.  It wasn’t long before Mykylea showed that she had lost none of her football prowess on her return to the game.  Mid Ulster pressed to get back into the game but pressure was not being translated into clear cut chances.  Samantha Kelly went close with a shot, Claire Rooney saw a header go wide and Chloe McCarrons free kick was just over as Mid Ulster finished the game pressurising to the end.  As it was Newry deservedly maintained their clean sheet and lifted their first points in the NIWFA Premier league. Final score Mid Ulster 0 Newry City 2