It was a dramatic last-gasp winner for the girls as they came out on top against a bigger and stronger Grove United side. In the first session, Larne dominated but could not find the breakthrough as the Grove ‘keeper pulled off some remarkable saves.
In the second session, Grove went down to six players but, rather than play lopsided, Roxie swapped teams to even up proceedings. This helped the Grove side but it was the Larne girls who took the lead through India Wilson after some excellent build-up play between Gracie and Paisleigh.
Going into the last session, there was a flurry of goals. The home side grabbed an equaliser when a corner fell at the feet of the striker straight in front of goal and she could not miss. It was back-to-back blows for the Inver girls after an unfortunate ricochet ended up in their own net to see them behind by a goal.
This would have been enough for many teams to let their heads go down but not Larne as they responded with a barrage of efforts that the Grove goalkeeper did an incredible job of keeping out. However, she could not stop a long-range strike from Anna McAleese that rifled into the top corner.
The girls did not stop there either as they continued to push right to the final whistle and were rewarded with what was almost the last kick of the game. Paisleigh made incredible strides down the wing but her cross was slightly over-hit. However, Gracie Hodge showed wonderful determination to keep it in play on the far side and cut back inside to curl a shot into the far corner for a stunning winner.
The girls came away with a resounding win over Berlin Swifts having dominated from the off. Sophie scored the opener early in the first half after being played in on goal by a lovely pass from Imogen. Sophie thought she had her and Larne’s second shortly after but it was ruled out for offside.
However, she played a part in the second goal which did stand as she linked up well with Ellie who crossed for Lisa to score. Just when the girls thought they had a comfortable half-time lead, they allowed Berlin back into it to halve the deficit at the break.
However, after the break there was no such easing of the gas pedal as the Inver girls immediately went on the attack. Hannah had some good chances which couldn’t find a way in but, eventually, she got her reward with a goal.
There were plenty more opportunities and it was Ellie who grabbed the fourth and final goal to put the gloss on a great result and great performance.
The senior men’s team were not the only Larne side to win a title this past weekend! The U15 girls sealed the Division 2 title in style with a win over Lisburn Rangers.
The team had the lead at half-time thanks to a double from captain ‘Boom Boom’ Ward and a classy finish from Zara Mahoney. After the interval, the girls really turned on the style. Slick, confident passing and running forced Lisburn Rangers into desperate defending and they were forced into an unfortunate own goal.
The Inver Girls did not stop there as captain fantastic completed her hat-trick and, not to be outdone, Dee Kenny completed a quick-fire treble of her own to round off the scoring and secure the trophy.
It was an incredible achievement for a side only put together in the new year and many of the squad having never played 11-aside football before. All of the coaches could not be more proud of this team!