MID-ULSTER FALL TO ARMAGH
Mid-Ulster Ladies's entertained Armagh City in their third league game of the 2002 season. Armagh have had a team in the 2nd division for a number of years so the girls knew they faced an experienced side.
Mid-Ulster started slowly with the new striking partnership of Laura Burton and Michelle Derby taking time to get settled. Their speed soon started to show through, and they continually exposed the weakness's in the Armagh defence with only a good display by the Armagh keeper and some dubious off-side decisions stopping them from scoring.
The Mid-Ulster defence had little to contend with, allowing Ruth Brown and Natasha Stewart the opportunity to push forward, their searching crosses into the Armagh penalty box from both wings helped Mid-Ulster maintain the pressure on Armagh, and again only some scrambled clearances off the line and the occassional goal post kept the sides level.
Despite having so much possession the Cookstown girls were unable to take their chances, the first half finished with both teams level.
Mid-Ulster 0 Armagh City 0
In the second half Armagh came out with renewed determination, but where still unable to trouble Karen Stirrup who was once again rock solid in the centre of the defence. Mid-Ulster started to dominate the game again, with Clare McGrath and Pamela Bates controlling the mid-field, they used their skills to great effect, spreading the ball wide, giving wingers Julie Kirkpatrick and Oonagh McCann plenty of opportunity to keep the crosses coming into the Armagh box.
With Mid-Ulster still having no luck in the last third of the pitch it seemed inevitable that the game would end with the points shared, when totally against the run of play Armagh scored. A defensive mix- up between sweeper Heather Hunniford and goal keeper Tracey Bell allowed an Armagh striker to get a foot on the ball, the bounce favoured Armagh and presented their player with an open net.
The Mid-Ulster team showed great spirit and went on the attack straight from the kick-off in search of the equalizer, but unfortunately it was not to be and the girls suffered their second defeat of the season.
Mid-Ulster 0 Armagh City 1
Player of the Match :-
(Her speed and ability troubled the Armagh
Defence through out the game)
Squad - Tracey Bell, Heather Hunniford, Natasha Stewart,
.............Karen Stirrup, Ruth Brown,.Michele Derby, Clare McGrath,
.............Pamela Bates, Julie Kirkpatrick, Laura Burton,
.............Elaine Junk, Judith Black, Sharon McGuckin, Sheree Junk
MATCH BALL SPONSORED BY
RAILWAY BAR, COOKSTOWN
Presented to Captain Ruth Brown