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Womens Premiership


17 Sep 2019
© NI Football League The title race between Sion Swifts and Linfield will go down to the wire

Sion Swifts coach Tommy Canning insists his side winning the Danske Bank Women's Premiership would be an 'incredible achievement' for the club.

The Strabane-based side are three points clear of leaders Linfield, who have a game in hand, and they have just one match remaining - a trip to Derry City.

The Blues also have to visit the Brandywell while they also take on Comber Rec - who are battling against the Candystripes to avoid bottom spot in the league (both sides are on four points, but Derry have a superior goal difference).

It appears highly likely that Sion and Linfield finish the season level on points at the top, while Sion have an advantage of 11 goals going into the final stretch of the campaign.

This hasn’t been a campaign without challenges for both clubs.

For Sion, Republic of Ireland international Tyler Toland joined Manchester City, Zoe McGlynn went to Central Connecticut State University, captain Kendra McMullan was forced into retirement while Donna-Kay Henry only featured for a handful of matches during a break from work.

Linfield too have lost star players - star midfielder Megan Bell joined Durham while another Northern Ireland international, Louise McDaniel, joined Blackburn.

“It would be an incredible achievement,” Canning has said of Sion’s possible title triumph.

“I'm reluctant to look too far ahead because football can absolutely kill you, but for us to be in this position as a local community club up against the other established teams in this league, is an unbelievable situation.

“We will win a league, even if it's not this year, I have no doubt about that.

“But if we can get over the line this season it would unbelievable for our community and our club.

“It would be nothing short of incredible.”

Sion know that despite their goal advantage, the Blues could pull off the killer move in the title race at the eleventh hour and will look to wrack up comprehensive victories over Comber and Derry.

“There are so many variables, we just have to do what we can,” added Canning.

“We have to give Derry the respect that they deserve, it's not a case of us turning up and winning the game - we've struggled before at the Brandywell and we're not naive, but we would be bitterly disappointed if we didn't win the game.

“All things being equal, you'd imagine Comber Rec will struggle to get anything against Linfield, which will leave both of them going into the final game fighting for their lives.

“We need to go and focus on ourselves, do what we can to win the game and ensure we are professional in how we go about it.

“We want to finish the season off well, and if goal difference beats us then it beats us.

“We've just wanted to put pressure on Linfield all year, even when it went out of our hands, we just wanted to keep pushing.

"They are going to have to score a serious amount of goals, but we're talking about Linfield here so it's absolutely possible.”