Newry City Ladies celebrate with the trophy (Picture: Gary Hancock)

NEWRY CITY LADIES CLINCH INAUGURAL WOMEN'S LEAGUE CUP

Newry City Ladies lifted the NIFL Womens Premiership League Cup at Holm Park in Armagh to deny Linfield Ladies a clean sweep.

The goals coming from Grace Murray and Aimee Mackin in either half gave Newry a well-deserved 2-0 victory.

It was Newry City that started the better and Alexandra Clarke was causing problems down the left wing. Clarke went close on twelve minutes from the edge of the area. Only a minute later Aoife Lennon had a shot blocked inside the area after great wing play down the right side.

With Newry beginning to dominate Emma McMaster was the next player to see her effort go just wide of the left post.

On twenty eight minutes Newry striker Aimee Mackin turned well inside the box and claimed for a penalty but referee Mark Dillon waved play on.

The deadlock was then broken in spectacular fashion when Grace Murray thundered home a 35 yard free kick which sailed over Louise McFrederick and put Newry 1-0 up.

Linfield finished the half stronger and Abbie Magee headed narrowly over the bar from an inswinging Linfield corner just before the break.

After the break the game picked up a familiar theme from the first half as Newry enjoyed possession. Goal scorer Grace Murray was next to threaten the Linfield goal on 53 minutes but McFrederick saved well.

The Blues where making Newry battle more for the ball and making a contest of the final mid way through the second half.  However on the hour mark a long ball into Aimee Mackin proved to be pivitol. Mackin controlled the ball superbly and fired low and hard into the bottom right corner from 12 yards out to put daylight between the sides.

With the game really opening up the chances where flowing at either end. Megan Weatherall was next to go close for Newry as she shot from inside the area after turning her marker well.

Northern Ireland international Kirsty McGuinness then became more involved and started to create and dominate for Linfield. Her curling effort on 73 minutes almost nestled inside the top left corner after a powerful run down the right wing.

The Blues where really pushing to get on the scoresheet and Lyndsay Corry seen her shot saved by Una Pearson.  Corry fired low and hard from 20 yards but Pearson was equal to the shot.

With seven minutes remaining Emma McMaster had a golden opportunity to seal the trophy for Newry but a fantastic sliding challenge from Sarah Haddock turned the ball behind for a corner.

Newry thwarted some late Linfield attacks and deservedly hung on to a cleansheet to lift the NIFL Women's Premiership League Cup title.

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