League leaders Lisburn Ladies swept aside the challenge of the women of Ballymena United comfortably winning 10-0 thanks to goals from Sara Stevenon (x3), Kerry Taggart (x2), Stacey Murdough (x2), Rachel Kerr (x2) and Abbie Burnett
Second placed St James Swifts kept themselves in the chase however they were made to fight hard for their win narrowly scraping home 5-4 at Killen Rangers. The visitors had looked to be in control as strikes from Molly White (x2), Amber Dempster & Carla Devine had gave them a 4-1 lead however hosts Killen fought back and after Amy McFarland had scored that opening goal further strikes from Chelsea Scott (x2) and Emma Kee saw them tie the game at 4-4. Swifts however responded and took all three points when Devine netted once again late in the game.
Third placed Mid-Ulster ladies also kept themselves in the hunt as they easily beat East Belfast Ladies 7-0 the goals coming in that one from Roisin Bolger (x2), Eimear McGarrity (x2), Lucy Badger, Jess Magee and Sharagh Murphy
League leaders Larne Ladies had no game this week with Ballymacash Rangers Ladies taking full advantage to leapfrog them into top place following a tight 3-2 win at Coleraine Ladies. Abby Alexander had given Coleraine the lead but Rangers responded well through goals from Deborah McCarthy (x2) and Chloe Glover and although Darian McVicker did pull one back that was enough to see the Lisburn side home.
Foyle Belles bounced back after last week’s defeat at Larne by overwhelming Portadown Ladies 12-0 mainly through a six goal haul from captain Loren Smallwoods. Other goals came from Ellie Redden (x2), Michaela McGilloway, Katie Hargan, Olivia Ross and an og. That win keeps the Belles in third place in the table.
PWC Super Cup
This week also saw the start of our new brand PWC Super Cup competition with Ballymoney Utd, Carnmoney Athletic, Larne Ladies, Lisburn Rangers, SOP, Foyle Belles, Belfast Swifts and Ballynahinch making it into round two where the Championship sides now join the competition. Highlights from Ballynahinch’s victory over Rosario YC are currently available to view on this week’s NIWFA Weekly review show.
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In Division Two Carnmoney Athletic remain unbeaten following a comfortable win at the expense of Bangor however Lisburn Rangers also won to keep up the pressure easily disposing of Banbridge Town Ladies. Carnmoney remain 7 points clear at the top but Rangers have three games in hand. Elsewhere in this division Belfast Swifts won at Ballymena Seconds with the last game of the week seeing SOP drawing with Larne Olympic.
In Division Three leaders Ballynahinch Ladies slipped up after being held at home by Carnmoney Ladies with Kilmore Rec making the most of their slip to move top following a win over Shamrock Ladies. Camlough Rovers also made the most of the slip closing the gap at the top after a fine win over Moneyslane. In the divisions final game Belfast Ravens ended their recent barren run with a good victory at Banbridge Rangers highlights of which are also on this week’s NIWFA weekly review show.
Division Four this week saw wins for the 22nd Ladies, Greenisland, Ballymoney United, Antrim Rovers and Killen Rangers Reserves. Rosario continue to lead the way in this division however there’s only now one point between them and Ballymoney who have three games in hand.
And finally in Division Five Craigavon City were denied the chance to move top of the table following a defeat at the hand of Newhill. It’s Lisburn Ladies Swifts who remain top of the table in this division.
The draw for the second round of this seasons PWC Super Cup Competition took place on Tuesday night and as ever it threw up some very interesting ties which came out of the hat as follows:
Belfast Celtic v Comber Rec
Belfast Swifts v Ballynahinch
Lisburn Ladies v Carnmoney
Mid Ulster ladies v St Oliver Plunkett
Foyle Belles v Lisburn Rangers
Killen Rangers v East Belfast
St James Swifts v Ballymena Utd
Larne Ladies v Ballymoney Ladies
The matches are to be played on Friday 13 August at 7:30pm (or 7:15pm if there are no floodlights).
Goals from Molly White & Jodie Shannon were enough to give St James Swifts three massive points in the hunt for promotion as they defeated rivals Mid Ulster Ladies 2-0. This win saw them move three points clear in second place in the standings.
Ballymena were the big scorers last week as they dismantled Comber Rec 6-1 despite going behind to a first minute Shannon McCullough strike, United fought back well with hat-tricks from both Megan Henry and Chelsea Millar securing the points.
In the divisions other game East Belfast Ladies and Belfast Celtic Ladies both drew blanks as the game between them ended 0-0 at Inverary Park
Larne Ladies won the big game of the week in Division One defeating Foyle Belles 2-1 although it did take a late second goal of the night from Elle Houston to secure the points. Foyle had taken the lead through Michaela McGilloway before Houston had equalised to level the game just before half time. Video Highlights from this one are on this weeks edition of the NIWFA weekly review.
Ballymacash kept themselves well in the promotion race as well defeating Armagh City although it was only a single goal from Deborah Douglas that separated the sides.
BEST OF THE REST
Carnmoney Athletic opened up a four point gap at the top of the second division after victory over St Oliver Plunkett although with Lisburn Rangers Ladies having two games in hand they will still remain the favourites to win that division. Belfast Swifts had a narrow win over Bangor while in the divisions final game of the week Banbridge Town and Ballymena Utd Second battled out an entertaining draw
In division three a combination of dropped points from Ballynahinch, who draw at Camlough Rovers, and a win for Kilmore Rec saw Kilmore move to the top of division three. In the divisions others game Shamrock ladies secured three points following victory over Belfast Ravens
In Division Four there were wins for Rosario, Ballymoney Utd and Antrim Rovers, the nett results of those games being that Rosario remain top of the divisions however Ballymoney with three games in hand and maximum points gained so far this season will still believe they can overtake them at the summit.
And finally there was just the one game in Division Five which saw Lisburn Ladies Swifts win an entertaining game over Newhill, highlights of this are also on this week’s NIWFA TV
It was Lisburn ladies who triumphed in the big Championship top of the table clash by 4-1 against Mid Ulster Ladies when the sides met last Wednesday night. The youngsters from Mid Ulster battled hard throughout but ultimately were outdone by goals from Stacey Murdough (x 2), Morgan Shannon and an injury time strike from Rachel Kerr, Mid Ulster’s goal came from Sharagh Murphy.
This result meant that there would be a great chance for the ladies of St James Swifts to move into second place in the standings and take that chance they did comfortably winning 10-4 at Belfast Celtic Ladies where two players (Amber Dempster and Carla Devine) notched up hat-tricks and they in turn were ably assisted by goals from Molly White (x 2 ), Cathy Kelly and Eimhear O’Prey. Celtic responded with goals from Elaine Loughran, Ursula McCotter, Emma McGonnell and Ciara Leinster.
In the Championships only other game last week the long journey to Castlederg proved too much for Ballymena Women who lost 0-5 to Killen Rangers Ladies, goals in that one coming from Stacey Johnston ( x 2), Hollie Johnston, Chelsea Scott and Emma Kee
Larne Ladies kept up their 100% record in division one but had to work hard to do so before eventually winning 2-1 at Coleraine ladies. Storm Ballantyne had given Coleraine the lead but the league leaders battled back to secure the points thanks to goals from Elle Houston and Amanda Morton.
Ballymacash Ladies remain in second place following a fine 4-0 victory over Portadown Ladies although it wasn’t until the second half that all the action took place in this one with all four goals coming in the second period of play when two goals from Chloe Glover and further strikes from Deborah McCarthy and Deborah Douglas secured the three points.
In the divisions final game Armagh City ladies comfortably won 5-0 at Crewe United Ladies, goals in this one coming from Phillipa Dougan-Toal (x 3), Megan Bothwell and Cara Corr
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The big game in Division two between Carnmoney Athletic and Lisburn Rangers was postponed due to the Co Antrim Cup, a rearrangement which gave St Oliver Plunkett and Belfast Swifts the chance to close the gap on the top two. SOP achieved this by winning at Bangor however the Swifts were unable to close the gap after losing at Banbridge Town. In the final game in this division Larne Olympic and Ballymena Utd Reserves drew 1-1
In division three the top of the table clash between Ballynahinch and Kilmore Rec saw the sides battle out a 1-1 draw a result which allowed Camlough Rovers to close the gap after defeating Carnmoney Ladies. Shamrock Ladies also had a comfortable win, this time 4-0 over Banbridge Rangers.
Rosario regained top place in division four following a comfortable win over Belfast Ravens Seconds whilst the 22nd Ladies also returned to winning ways with a victory at Dromara Viillage.
And finally there was just the one game in Division Five but it was an important one as Newhiill moved back to the top of the table over second placed Lisburn Ladies Swifts with a great win over Ballymoney Utd Ladies Reserves. The Swifts and Newhill play one another this week.
The NIWFA Championship got underway after its delayed start this week and with the prize of promotion to the Premiership on offer this season a number of sides made sure to make an early mark on the 2021 campaign. Leading the charge for promotion were Lisburn Ladies who secured a superb 9-1 win over Killen Rangers thanks to four goals from Kerry Taggart who was ably assisted by strikes from Sara Stevenson (x2), Jessica Hall, Claire Rooney & Mia Rowan. Killen’s consolation was netted by Chelsea Scott
Ballymena United Women also got their season off to a flier defeating Comber Rec Ladies 4-1 at Park Way. Goals in this one were spread around the park with Michelle McDonald, Megan Henry, Danielle Winter and Rachel Fulton all scoring for the visitors, Comber’s solitary strike coming from Lucy Carville.
And finally it was a much tighter affair at the Mid Ulster Arena where hosts Mid Ulster Ladies saw off a hard working St.James Swifts Ladies 2-0 thanks to goals from Sharagh Murphy and Eimear McGarrity. This game will feature on the NIWFA Weekly show which returns to our screens on Monday night.
Ballymacash Rangers Ladies made it two wins from two games played with a comprehensive 6-0 win over the Ladies of Armagh City thanks mainly to 5 goals from Mollie Moore, the other coming from Chloe Glover.
Larne Ladies also made it two from two with a great 4-1 win at Foyle Belles, Georgia Crawford being on target twice in that one and Cathy Dunn and Elle Houston being the others on target with Loren Smallwoods replying for the hosts.
And finally it was long journey home without any points for Portadown Ladies who lost 1-5 away to Coleraine Ladies. Two goals apiece from Alison Nicholl and Abby Alexander and one from Kylie Doherty saw the home side home with Megan Newell replying for the visitors.
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There were thumping wins this week in Division Two for Lisburn Rangers Ladies and Carnmoney Athletic Ladies who defeated Larne Olympic and St Oliver Plunkett respectively. Ballymena Uniited Ladies Seconds had a narrow win over Banbridge Town whilst the final game in Division two saw Bangor Ladies and Belfast Swifts battle it out for a point apiece.
There were wins in Division three for Kilmore Rec Ladies who comprehensively defeated Moneyslane and Banbridge Rangers Ladies who overcame Carnmoney Ladies. The game between Ballynahinch Ladies and Camlough Tover ended in a draw.
In Division Four Ballymoney United Ladies kept up winning ways with a big win over Rosario whilst elsewhere there were also victories for Ambassadors (v Dromara Village), Antrim Rovers (v 22nd Ladies) and Greenisland Ladies who edged home against Killen Rangers Reserves.
And finally in Division Five there were wins for Lisburn Ladies Swifts (v Newhill), Craigavon City Ladies (v JM Ladies) and Belfast Celtic Ladies Reserves who made it two from two after victory over Ballymoney United Ladies Reserves
The IFA Appeals Board has dismissed the appeal which delayed week one fixtures for the NIWFA Championship & Division Two.
Matches will therefore commence for these divisions from Sunday 30 May.
It is with regret that we have to advise that, following an appeal being submitted to the Irish Football Association by a member club, that the commencement of week one fixtures for the NIWFA Championship & Division Two are to be delayed pending the hearing of the appeal.
We appreciate this announcement will cause disappointment to many of our member clubs but you have our assurance that we will endeavour to get your seasons underway as soon as possible.
The women’s game continues to grow with an entire new division of new teams in 2021.
The Northern Ireland Women’s Football Association (NIWFA) has launched its 2021 season with an increase in the number of teams participating and an additional division. Despite a delay to training and play due to Covid-19 restrictions, the NIWFA Leagues, sponsored by Electric Ireland, will get underway with 49 teams playing in six divisions with one full division being comprised entirely of new teams.
League matches are due to start on Sunday 23 May with Championship side St James Swifts hosting newly promoted Belfast Celtic Ladies, among 3 matches that day, and are scheduled to continue until September.
Commenting on the return to play NIWFA Chair Valerie Heron said: “We are delighted to finally be able to launch the 2021 season. Although training has only been allowed since 12 April, and competitive matches have only been allowed since 23 April, we are in a strong position with an increase in both participating teams and divisions; for the second season running, we have had enough applications from new teams to fill a division, which reflects the continuing growth of the game.
“We know that all the clubs are looking forward to competitive football again, but there are still constraints around pitch availability, and the use of facilities, and everyone involved must continue to follow Irish FA protocols.”
Although a full League season is anticipated, the late start to the season means that NIWFA does not think there will be sufficient dates for divisional cup competitions however, plans are in place to arrange an overall NIWFA Super Cup competition.
The Electric Ireland Women’s Challenge Cup, CAFA Cup and Mid Ulster Cup competitions are expected to go ahead this year and Anne Smyth, Sponsorship Specialist at Electric Ireland welcomed the development. “It is brilliant that the women can finally get back onto the pitch and it is so heartening to see the rise in the number of teams taking part. There is clearly a hunger for the sport. The NIWFA leagues are a hugely important part of the women’s football community here in Northern Ireland and we are delighted they are part of our Game Changers campaign, and we look forward to a season like no other where we hope we can support the leagues and players more and continue to raise the profile of women’s football as well as participation in the game.”