Battling Larne Ladies are edged out by Raphoe

Nicola Lyness puts pressure on a Raphoe player. INLt 47-233-AM
Nicola Lyness puts pressure on a Raphoe player. INLt 47-233-AM
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Larne Ladies hosted second-placed Raphoe on Saturday in Senior 1 and emerged on the wrong end of a 4-3 scoreline.

From the start a determined Larne side applied pressure on the Donegal outfit and they dominated the first half.

Larne's Nichola Lyness tries a shot at the Raphoe line. INLT 47-227-AM

Larne's Nichola Lyness tries a shot at the Raphoe line. INLT 47-227-AM

The local girls unsettled Raphoe with their fast, attacking play, winning several short corners.

And Larne took the lead when Gillian Rennix finished a well-worked short corner with a reverse shot. Raphoe were then reduced to 10 players when a green card was shown after a defender was deemed to have deliberately stopped the ball with a foot.

Against the run of play, Larne conceded and Raphoe drew level minutes before the interval.

The Larne team continued the pressure into the second half. A good piece of play saw Gillian Russell drive into the Raphoe circle and beat their defence, restoring their advantage.

Raphoe were then awarded a penalty corner and they took this opportunity to level the score with a strike narrowly slotted in at the post.

The visitors then went ahead following a break when their forward rounding Larne keeper Lucy McClelland and finished well.

Raphoe scored their fourth soon after when the bounce of the ball wrongfooted Larne’s defence. A quick pass across the face of the goal was then slotted in at the far post.

In the dying minutes Diane Henry made a great run to the back line and fired in a powerful cross. Russell evaded her marker to brilliantly deflect the ball past Raphoe’s ‘keeper.

Larne proved that, despite their league position, they are a side that shouldn’t be underestimated and continued battling until the final whistle.

Larne: L. McClelland, L. Snoddy, N. Kempton (c), K. Neill, L. Booth, B. McFerran, G. Rennix, S. McGookin, B. McVeigh, G. Russell, A. McFall, D. Henry, P. Crawford.