THE short form 2020 NIFWA league season got underway this week, but it was a false start for Larne Ladies when difficulties with a pitch booking saw their opener away to Belfast Celtic postponed on Thursday night.
There were no such troubles for the Olympic side (pictured) on the same night as they got their Division 3A campaign underway against 22nd Ladies at The Cliff. Gary Hood’s side got off to a flyer with an emphatic 6-1 victory.
The match started as a cagey affair with the weather conditions not helping either team to get going. Larne started to gain momentum and the opening goal quickly followed when Laura Noble flicked a volleyed pass through to Courtney Watson. The Larne forward took on the full back and finished calmly inside the near post to put Larne ahead.
With both teams having chances at either end, Larne took one of their own to make it two. Laura Aicken played a ball over the top of the defence which found Laura Noble. who finished with composure into the bottom corner. On the stroke of half-time, 22nd Ladies got themselves back into the game with a great finish after some nice build up play.
Half time: Larne Ladies Olympic 2-1 22nd Ladies
Larne started the second half as they meant to go on, taking control of the game and creating more chances. Before long, it was Larne who extended their lead when Laura Noble pounced to poke the ball into in back of the net with a tidy left foot finish.
The home side continued to press and had control of the game. Abbie Quinn made it four with a great right footed effort from outside the box. Quinn lashed her shot high into the net leaving the goalkeeper with no chance to keep it out. 22nd Ladies didn’t give up though and they nearly pulled one back when a corner was superbly cleared off the line by Larne’s Aimee Shiels.
That gave the visitors a bit of encouragement but after glimpses of 22nd Ladies starting to create more chances, Larne made sure of the result. Mia Coffey travelled with the ball up the line and cut it back to Courtney Watson who, from 30 yards out, hit an stunning strike leaving the goalkeeper stranded for the goal of the game. Larne finished the game strongly and grabbed their last of the night after a well worked found it’s way through to Laura Noble who flicked the ball into the net to complete her perfect hat-trick.
Full time: Larne Ladies Olympic 6-1 22nd Ladies
Larne: McGucken, Massey, Shiels, Laura Noble, Watson, Aicken, Haggan, Montgomery, Mitchell, Morton, Geoghegan.
Subs: Hodge, McCourt, Quinn, Coffey
Larne Ladies will try again to get their league season underway on 8 September (8pm) when they host Portadown at Inver Park, while the Olympic will look to build upon their opening day victory on Sunday week (12pm) away to Carnmoney Ladies.