Final Result (South 2): St James Swifts 4 BTLFC 1
In what was a bad night at the office for BTLFC, they went down fighting and the difference really between the teams was that the home team took their chances whereas the away team could not. Banbridge will look to bounce back next week away to Kilmore Rec.
Goalscorer: Katie Lennon ⚽️
BTLFC recorded their first win of the season in their first home game with a convincing win over Dromara. The match was pretty scrappy in the first 25 minutes with no real chances coming from either team but it would be the home side who took the lead when Katie Lennon finished neatly past the keeper from just inside the box. This settled the nerves of the locals and they created more chances as a result. 2 of these fell to in-form Jena Redpath, who neatly put 1 into the bottom left corner and the other in off the post after beating the keeper one on one. The half time score was 3-0.
The second half started much the same as the first with nerves creeping into the Bann side’s game and chances coming from Dromara but the score would stay 3-0 until Lennon again popped up with another 2 goals from great finishes in and around the box. BTLFC controlled the game from here through to the final whistle and Chelsea Smith got herself on the scoresheet too, after assisting the earlier goals, to make it 6-0 at full time.
It was a convincing performance from all 13 players involved on the night and there could have been more goals too if the chances were taken. However, Dromara had their chances and it was very good to keep the clean sheet too!
Goalscorers: Katie Lennon ⚽️⚽️⚽️
Jena Redpath ⚽️⚽️
Chelsea Smith ⚽️
Craigavon Ladies 3 Banbridge Town Ladies 2
In what was a very close match the Town Ladies were very unlucky to come away with nothing. Both sides had clear cut chances in the first half an hour but neither could take any to give themselves a lead. It would be the hosts who scored first though 5 minutes before half time with a hopeful long ranger that crept in under the bar. The shock from conceding despite being just about on top so far in the match meant that Banbridge were thrown off their game and this led to another well taken goal for the hosts to finish the half 2-0 up.
With a few changes from both sides at the half, it took BTLFC some time to settle back into their good play from earlier in the game. In this time, Craigavon had various chances but, with the Bann goalkeeper and defence playing well, they found it hard to get through. They did manage to get another goal so the score was 3-0 and at this point it looked as if the game was going to run away from Banbridge.
It was then that a chance presented itself to Jena Redpath up the pitch from a quick goalkick from Danielle Byrne in nets. Redpath took the ball in past the chasing defence and coolly slotted it past the home goalie to make it 3-1. From here on, it was all BTLFC with many chances being created but just unable to convert. It was then Katie Lennon struck from a corner to make 3-2 with 5 minutes to go. Unfortunately time ran out before the away side could get the equaliser they probably deserved but it was a great fighting display again from the ladies. If the performances continue like this, no doubt the results and points will soon follow too!
Goalscorers: Jena Redpath & Katie Lennon
The NIWFA has launched its 2017 season at Belfast City Hall. The event was hosted by the Lord Mayor, Alderman Brian Kingston, to mark the 40th Anniversary of the NIWFA league.
Commenting on the launch, Lord Mayor Alderman Brian Kingston said: “I am delighted to have hosted the NIWFA to launch its 2017 league and cup season, and this event is extra special as it marks the association’s 40th anniversary. 2017 is also a momentous year for women’s sport in Northern Ireland, with the country hosting the UEFA Under 19 Women’s European Championship and the Women’s Rugby World Cup. I must commend all the volunteers from the NIWFA, past and present, and the clubs for their support for women’s football over the past 40 years.”
NIWFA Chair Sue O’Neill added: “We are delighted to have been able to launch our 2017 season in such a prestigious venue as Belfast City Hall. Having started out in 1977 with humble beginnings, with 18 teams, we have now grown to having 37 teams competing in five senior leagues and cups and nine teams competing in an under 19 league”.
“2017 is the year of women’s sport in Northern Ireland and we hope that we can continue to inspire future generations of women to take part in football. Women’s football isn’t just kicking a ball, but it crosses divides within our communities, strengthens and empowers women and helps them to become leaders”.
“The NIWFA board and club volunteers are committed to growing women’s football in Northern Ireland and hope that the next 40 years can be even more successful.”