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Womens Premiership


24 Jun 2022
© Presseye Lauren Wade celebrates

Glentoran Women’s Lauren Wade found the net in Northern Ireland Women’s 4-1 defeat against Belgium in Thursday’s Euro 2022 warm-up clash.

Wade was one of six Danske Bank Women’s Premiership stars to start the match for Kenny Shiels’s side, with nine of the league’s players featuring in the encounter.

Wade's superb equaliser on the stroke of half-time cancelled out Tessa Wullaert’s opener for Belgium in Lier and it was not until the 82nd minute that Belgium re-took the lead.

Northern Ireland goalkeeper Jackie Burns – formerly of Mid Ulster Ladies and Glentoran Women – was sent-off with 21 minutes remaining before late strikes from Ella van Kerkhoven, Wullaert and a Laura Rafferty own goal saw Belgium’s numerical advantage count.

Northern Ireland open their Euros campaign against Norway on 7 July at St Mary's before taking on Austria and England in Southampton.

Despite the result, Northern Ireland can take heart from matching the side ranked 19th in the world – 28 places above Shiels’s side – until the closing stages, and having had a player dismissed.

Wade’s Glentoran teammate Nadene Caldwell also started the game while Chloe McCarron was introduced as a second half substitute.

Cliftonville Ladies trio Abbie Magee, Kirsty McGuinness and Kelsie Burrows all started the clash, which captain Marissa Callaghan sat out through injury. Fellow Reds stars Caitlin McGuinness, Toni-Leigh Finnegan and Louise McDaniel were all unused substitutes.

Crusaders Strikers defender Julie Nelson started the game while her teammate Emily Wilson was a second half substitute as was Linfield Ladies star Ashley Hutton.