Wednesday, 28 June 2017
The destination of the Women's Premiership League Cup will become a little clearer after the four sides left in the competition contest the semi-finals tonight (Wednesday, 28th June).
Holders Newry City Ladies face Crusaders Strikers at Solitude while league champions Linfield Ladies lock horns with Glentoran Belfast United at Ashfield Boys School.
Both games kick-off at 7:30pm, and will be played to a finish with extra-time (ten minutes each way) and penalties if required.
League leaders Newry won the inaugural running of the League Cup last season, and booked their place in the last four this time around following a 6-3 quarter-final defeat of Cliftonville Ladies.
Indeed, they go into tonight's semi-final on the back of a thumping 12-1 victory over the Reds a week ago which stretched their current winning streak to seven games.
City might have hit a dozen in their last outing but the Crues went one better earlier this month with a whopping 13-1 defeat of Chimney Corner Breda Ladies in their recent Irish Cup quarter-final.
Whilst it might have been a challenging season so far for Stephen Calvert's side they have proved they can be a tough nut to crack, having twice held champions Linfield Ladies during the league campaign.
In their head-to-head meetings this season, Newry hold the upper hand. A 4-2 victory on the opening day of the season at Allen Park -featuring a Trudi Harbinson hat-trick - was followed up by a further four goals without reply in the return at The Showgrounds last month.
The other semi-final sees Linfield take on Glentoran Belfast United at Ashfield Boys.
Losing finalists a year ago, the Blues accounted for Sion Swifts in the last round while Glentoran swept past Ballymena United All Stars.
Not that it was needed but a little extra spice was added to the game following Glentoran's defeat of Neil Morrow's side in the Co. Antrim Cup semi-final as recently as last Friday.
Kelly Bailie opened the scoring for the Glens after ten minutes, but a Kirsty McGuinness double either side of the break gave Linfield the advantage until Samantha Kelly levelled midway through the second half.
That was how it stayed for the remainder of the game, before the Glens eventually emerged on top after a penalty shoot-out.
The only other meeting between the sides this season came back in April when Rachel Rogan handed Glentoran an early lead before McGuinness, Chloe McCarron and Jessica Doran responded to secure the points for the Blues.
Women's Premiership League Cup semi-finals - Wednesday, 28th June, 2017 (kick-off 7:30pm)
Crusaders Strikers v. Newry City Ladies - Solitude
Glentoran Belfast United v. Linfield Ladies - Ashfield Boys School
Ties to be played to a finish, with extra-time and penalties if required