SION HIT SKY BLUES FOR SIX
Sion Swifts Ladies swept to a comprehensive six goal victory over newly promoted Ballymena United Women at The Showgrounds.
The visitors burst straight out of the blocks when, in the opening minute, Chloe McGlade ran onto a great through ball to send an excellent strike past Lucy Winton.
Swifts pressed forward relentlessly and were twice beaten by the offside flag before they doubled their advantage just four minutes later. Caoirse Doherty’s strong run down the right resulted in an inch perfect cross across the face of goal for Cora Chambers to slot home.
The Ballymena defence struggled to settle and a mix up at the back led to a Swifts corner on 18 minutes. Kerryanne Brown’s delivery was met by Teegan Lynch, whose powerful header made it 3-0.
The visitors should have had a fourth from another corner before half time, but Aimee Neal sent her header wide and Winton made a number of great saves to keep the score down.
The Sky Blues were much improved in the second half, better organised and more resilient defensively, with substitute Ellen McClure giving them more strength to hold up the ball in the middle of the park.
Swifts had a glorious opportunity to extend their lead on 50 minutes but Kelly Crompton’s fine strike from outside the box struck the underside of the bar and bounced out for Ballymena to clear.
Winton two more fantastic saves to deny Brown and Neal before Swifts finally added to their tally in the 84th minute when another Brown corner was met by the head of Lauren Haynes.
United’s resilience crumbled in the final minutes and substitute Saoirse Healey scored with an excellent curling strike from outside the box before, right at the end, Brown got her deserved goal with a cleanly struck volley.
Ballymena United Women: Winton, Millar, McCartney, Bamford, Stothers, Hunter, Z. McDowell, Doherty, Henry, Campbell, Firth subs McClure, E. McDowell, Rainey, King, Mitchell, Manson
Sion Swifts Ladies: Coyne, Neal, Donnan, Haynes, McCarter, Crompton, Brown, Chambers, Lynch, McGlade, Doherty subs Brennan, Healey, Long, Sheerin, O'Connor-Farren, McFarland, O'Neill