Match Report: Saturday 29th February – McDowell Cup Semi-final v Ballymena & 29th February v Dalriada
By Ballyclare High School on 2 March, 2020
McDowell Cup Semi-final v Ballymena
Tensions were high as the Ballyclare 2AXI faced up to Ballymena Academy on Saturday morning, since the winner of this game would secure a place in the final of the McDowell Cup. The game started with Ballyclare putting early pressure on Ballymena; however, it was very equal play with both teams having roughly the same amount of possession. Ballyclare made some good attacking runs and won a few short corners at the end of the first quarter, although none were converted. More determined, Ballyclare came out strongly in the second quarter leading to a goal from Rachel Cox, assisted by Kaytlin Meredith-Gault. Now leading 1-0, Ballyclare found themselves under immense pressure from Ballymena, but the defence held up well with good clearances and important saves from player of the match Lydia Brady. With some good runs up the pitch to relieve the pressure on Ballyclare’s defence, the final whistle eventually blew with the score a 1-0 victory and a place in the McDowell Cup final for the Ballyclare girls.
Saturday 29th February v Dalriada
The 2BXI were facing the Dalriada 2AXI on Saturday, but confidence was high after a superb 2-1 victory over Friends during the week sent them through to the final of the Gibson Cup. The goals were scored by Olivia McCartney and Jade Allison; goalkeeper Rhianna Logan was player of the match for several important saves which kept Ballyclare in the game.
Dalriada scored in the first quarter to go 1-0 up, but Ballyclare determinedly fought their way back with a equalising goal by Abbie Gilliland in the second quarter to make it 1-1 at half time.
Ten minutes into the third quarter, Katie McCullough scored Ballyclare’s second, enabling them to lead 2-1. Despite further pressure in the fourth quarter, the final score remained a 2-1 win for Ballyclare. Player of the match was Katie McCullough.
The 3rdXI produced a good first half performance and, although not able to convert their chances to score, some strong work from the defence – especially player of the match Hannah Taylor – ensured that Dalriada were kept at bay. The score was 0-0 at half time. Ballyclare retained much of the possession in the second half, winning several short corners which sadly remained unconverted. This was to prove costly as, in the final few minutes of the match, Dalriada scored. Although searching for an equaliser right until the final whistle, there was not sufficient time to find one. The final score was a 1-0 loss.
The U14A team were quick off the mark with an early goal, scored by Grace Cowden. A second, added by Katie-Anna Weatherup, saw Ballyclare 2-0 up at half time. A good second-half performance resulted in a third and final goal from player of the match Katie Ireland. Great preparation for the girls as they head into their Plate semi-final later this week.
The U14B team dominated possession in the first half of their game, with player of the match Rylee Boyd slotting home to see Ballyclare 1-0 up at half time. Five minutes into the second half, Mollie McDowell scored Ballyclare’s second from a difficult rebound opportunity, before adding a third to seal the win.
Despite some good first half pressure, the U13A team were unable to find the back the back of the net. The best chance was a short corner, where Cally McWhirter’s strike headed over the goal. Dalriada were putting the Ballyclare defence under some pressure in the second half and were the first to score from a good counter-attack. Determined to find a way back into the game, Katie Graham scored for Ballyclare to level the game with just five minutes remaining. Final score 1-1. Sarah Doherty was player of the match.
With much of the first-half possession, the U13B team saw their pressure finally pay off with just a few minutes of the half remaining, as Evie Moore put Ballyclare 1-0 up going into half time.
Dalriada came back very strongly in the second half and the Ballyclare defence had to absorb some pressure, with goalkeeper Ellie Andrew making some important saves. The final score was a 1-0 win; Jessica Manson was player of the match.