BLUES GET TITLE DEFENCE OFF TO WINNING START
Reigning Danske Bank Women's Premiership champions Linfield got their campaign off to a winning start with a 1-0 victory over Sion Swifts Ladies on Wednesday evening.
Abbie Magee's early strike decided the match at Midgely Park, with Jamaica's World Cup goalkeeper Nicole McClure making a string of fine saves for the visitors.
18-year-old Magee's strike around the quarter-of-an-hour mark was ultimately enough to win the game, finishing off Rebecca McKenna’s pass.
Lauren Brennan, on her return from pro football in Iceland, had a great opportunity to pull Sion level five minutes before the break when she found herself free on the edge of the box, but blazed high and wide.
McClure made several fine saves for Sion. Two fingertip stops from Kirsty McGuinness on the stroke of half-time kept the visitors in contention.
The second half saw Linfield create a number of chances with McKenna flying down the right wing and putting excellent crosses into the box only to see the chances go begging.
Linfield kept up the pressure with McClure forced into a world class save from Chloe McCarron in the final minutes, as the Blues ran out 1-0 winners in an entertaining encounter.
Linfield: Perry, McFrederick, Bell, K. McGuinness, Burrows, Timoney, McKenna, Magee, Howe, Donnan, McCarron subs Adams (not used), Bassett (replaced Magee 87), McDaniel (replaced McKenna 90+2), Cameron (not used), C. McGuinness (replaced Howe 60)
Sion Swifts Ladies: McClure, Connor, McCarter, Burns, Hyndman, Toland, O'Hagan, Grant, Brennan, Brown, McGlynn subs Crompton (replaced O'Hagan 65), Brogan (not used), McDaid (replaced Brennan 75), Lynch (replaced McGlynn 57), Mailey (not used)