Report & photograph by Sam Johnston
Larne Ladies left it late on Sunday to beat a strong Comber Red side, but a terrific free-kick by Marion Gage and late goal from Rebecca Boyce sent them through to the next round of the Cup.
The Inver Women got the game underway and immediately went on the front foot through Elle Houston who was fouled on the edge of the box. Helen Curneen stepped up to take the set piece and it was narrowly wide of the post.
There was drama at the other end of the pitch soon afterwards, with Comber striker Amber Dempsey through on goal. In the end she was fouled by Larne defender Lois Millar, who gave away a penalty. Dempsey stepped up and smashed the ball home putting the hosts one up with 10 minutes played.
Comber were through again shortly after and it was Amber Dempsey once again, but her shot hit the post and came the whole way across goal line, where it was eventually cleared by the Larne defence.
As half-time approached Larne were very much on top with several well defended chances before William Noble’s side won a free-kick on the edge of the box. This time it was Marion Gage and she sent a rocket of a shot into the top corner of the net to equalise on the stroke of half-time, to make it 1-1 at the break.
Comber got us underway for what was set to be an exciting second half. Elle Houston had the first chance of the half when she went one-on-one with the Comber defender, only for left-footed strike to go narrowly wide of the post.
With 20 minutes left to play and the game at 1-1, Helen Curneen won the ball in the middle of the park and set herself up for a shot from all of 45 yards, but the ‘keeper managed to get her fingertips to it to divert it over the bar.
With the game looking like it was going into extra time, Larne won a corner with two minutes left to play. Rebecca Boyce’s in swinging corner found its way into the back of the net to give the Inver Women the lead with just two minutes to play and seal the 2-1 win.
Congratulations to Jodi McCourt and Christine Morton who made their debuts for the first team. Well done also to Helen Curneen, who was selected as player of the match. The ladies travel to Foyle Belles on Friday night
Larne Olympic, meanwhile, played their third league game of the season at the Cliff against a strong Camlough Rovers side, with the visitors running out 2-1 winners.
Goalscorer for the home side was Aimee Shiels with a wonder strike from the halfway line, on the stroke of half-time. The Inver Women were unfortunate not to get a point in the end, as they were the dominant side for much of the match.