Newcastle Nomads 3-3 Newry Ladies

Newry travelled to Newcastle for their first away game of the new campaign.  Right from the first whistle Newry were on top, dominating the play with some great passing moves.  They were coming up against a resolute Newcastle defence however which they struggled to break down.  They eventually got the break through after 20 minutes with Shannon Robinson popping up at the back post for a tap in after some good play from Stephanie Smart on the right wing.  Newry soon made it two with Smart and Robinson again linking up for Robinson to sweep home and double Newry’s lead.  Newcastle managed to pull one back against the run of play just before the break to get back into the game.

Again Newry started well in the second half and soon made it three when they were awarded a penalty stroke when the ball was stopped on the line by a Newcastle foot, Taja McIlroy stepped up and coolly slotted home.  Newry then became complacent at the back as they tried to push forward to really put the game to bed.  They were very wasteful in front of goal which proved costly as Newcastle pulled another goal back with 10 minutes to go.  Newry then went to sleep at the back as the game moved into injury time and Newcastle got the equaliser right on the final whistle.  Newry came away with a point but it will feel more like a loss after leading the game for so long.

Team: Lambe, A. Blakley, T. McIlroy, V. Lewis, R. Murdock, K. Baird, S. Rollins, K. McCullough, S. Smart, S. Robinson, L. Inns, R. Lockhart, C. Ferris, M. Gregg

Newry 2’s 3-2 Ballymena 1’s

Newry hosted Ballymena in their third game of the league cup on Saturday at their Belfast Road home.  Having drawn with Kilkeel last week Newry needed a win here but this was always going to be a tough test.  However they made it look easy at the start as they flew out of the traps and went one up with only five minutes gone, when a long ball from David Hogg was latched onto by alan McMinn who threaded a ball through to Simon McCafferty who showed great composure as he rounded the keeper and slide the ball home from an extremely tight angle.  Newry continued to create chances but had to wait to just before half time to get their second when David Andrews picked out a great aerial ball which Alex Irwin controlled brilliantly first time and before the ball hit the ground he unleashed a ferocious shot which the Ballymena keeper could not get near.  It was two nil at the break and the home side were well worth their lead.

Ballymena put up a fight in the second half and pulled one back quickly after the break to put the pressure on Newry.  The pressure was building on the home side and the visitors were soon back on level terms as they got their second of the day.  They could well have taken the lead only for Newry Keeper Ashley Collum  to pull off some great saves to keep them at bay.  With 15 minutes played in the second half David Hogg got Newry’s third firing home a great strike from a short corner.  The game ebbed and flowed as both sides pushed forward.  However neither goal could find the break through and the match ended 3-2 to Newry, a great hard fought victory.

Team: Collum, D. Hogg, J. Lawson, E. Graham, G. Alderdice, G. Moffett, M. McCaigue, A. Baird, D. Andrews, A. Marks, A. Irwin, M. McCullough, S. McCafferty. M. McCullough, A. Foster

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