Mid-Ulster celebrate (Picture: Gary Hancock)
Monday, 26 September 2016
Mid Ulster Ladies secured their top flight status after a thrilling 2-2 draw with Lisburn Ladies in the second leg of the promotion/relegation playoff.
Mid Ulster travelled to Stanley Park in Lisburn for the second leg of the play off, holding a 4-0 lead from the first leg.
In windy conditions Mid Ulster kicked off playing into a strong breeze.
This didn’t trouble the girls from Cookstown as they immediately went on the attack as Hannah Turkington flicked a header on for Sarah Connolly to slot marginally wide.
More Mid Ulster pressure followed but a combination of poor finishing and a fine save by Jessica Poots kept the scoreline at 0-0.
With seven minutes played Lisburn made their first advance into the opposition half and won a corner. The inswinger was pushed out by Megan Ferson but it fell to Lisburn's Stacey Murdough who forced the ball home and gave the Lisburn girls a 1-0 lead on the day and some hope of a dramatic playoff victory.
However Mid Ulster responded with an attack from the kick off with Chloe McCarron shooting narrowly over the bar.
Lisburn were starting to get more possession and Sara Stevenson saw her effort go just over before the Lisburn girls won another corner.
This time Mid Ulster cleared the danger and went on the attack yet again.
With 17 minutes on the clock Mid Ulster drew level. Great work by Chloe McCarron played Samantha Kelly in and she held off her marker to finish well.
Further pressure from Mid Ulster created the next opening and five minutes later Chloe McCarron provided the assist for Sarah Connolly to finish and make the score line 2-1.
This seemed to spur the Lisburn girls on and they enjoyed a good spell of pressure with Debbie McCarthy crossing well but Mid Ulster's Lisa Richardson tidied up well.
McCarthy and Stevenson were causing the Mid Ulster back line a number of problems and it was just reward when McCarthy levelled the scores on 38 minutes with a fine strike.
As the half time whistle approached Hannah Turkington had a chance for Mid Ulster but once again Jessica Poots was off her line quickly to make a fine save and keep the score 2-2 going into the break.
After the break Lisburn created the first chance. An inviting ball across the face of goal rolled wide of the mid Ulster goal.
Mid Ulster responded with a Chloe McCarron shot but it was well over the bar. The game was end to end and Samantha Kelly shot wide at the other end.
Lisburn then made the first change with Kerry McCann replacing Courtney Poots with 50 minutes played. Lisburn were having a better half and the Mid Ulster back line were a lot busier with keeper Megan Ferson pulling off a couple of fine saves.
At the other end Mid Ulster had possession but were finding it difficult to get past Paula Haugh and her fellow defenders.
As the clock ticked down any chance of Lisburn scoring was slipping away. The whistle sounded with a final score of 2-2 on the day but Mid Ulster emerged as 6-2 winners on aggregate and will play in the top flight next season.
Tags: Mid-Ulster Ladies
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