With Larne Ladies’ First XI’s game away at Omagh called off due to a frozen pitch, the club’s Secends took centre-stage in their Intermediate Cup quarter-final at Newry on Saturday.
Senior 4 side Larne came away with a creditable 3-0 win thanks to goals from Leigh Snoddy, Carla Blair and captain Tracey Martin.
The visitors started brightly winning a short corner in the opening two minutes of the tie and Snoddy calmly converted with a well-placed flick low into the Newry goal.
The home side never really got started and Larne continued to press well and won a number of other corners, threatening the home goal again and again from their well-rehearsed set-pieces.
Newry began to get themselves back into the game midway through the first half, keeping the ball well and making the Larne defence work to get it back.
Larne keeper Caroline Morrow was called into action when a wicked deflection almost embarrassed an otherwise solid back line.
The second half started in similar fashion to the first with Larne doubling their advantage with another early goal. This time, good work from the midfield saw them press into the Newry circle after some tidy passing down the left. A dangerous ball across goal evaded number of players from both sides, but Blair was in the right place at the right time to slot home at the back post.
A few minutes later Larne increased their lead further when Martin controlled and finished a deflected cross.
This seemed to spark life into Newry and they dominated possession for most of the remainder of the second half.
Larne countered well, with Nicola Kempton finding a defence-splitting pass to put Trish Neill through one-on-one with the home ‘keeper but the Newry ‘keeper covered her angles well and forced Neill to shoot wide of the goal.
Moments later an excellent piece of individual skill saw Neill beat the Newry defence and round the keeper only to miss from the tightest of angles.
Larne II: C. Morrow, J. Wilson, C. Blair, T. Martin (c), C. Greenwood, L. Snoddy, S. McGookin, L. Booth, N. Kempton, R. McIlwaine, S. Russell, T. Neill, L. Bell, P. Crawford.
Thirds defeat Mossley
Larne Ladies 3rd XI defeated local rivals Mossley 3-1 at home on Saturday to return to the top of theJunior 8 table where they spent so much of 2013.
Larne started on the front foot putting early pressure on the Mossley defence which resulted in captain Tyler Dobbin scoring the opening goal.
After a lot of battling all over the pitch from both teams, Mossley came back to even the scores from a penalty corner before half-time.
The game was settled in the second half with Tyler Dobbin once again putting Larne in front.
A short time later, Diane Henry put the game to bed with an outstanding drag-flick from a penalty corner.
Both sides battled on but it was to be Larne’s day. With closest rivals Ballynahinch’s league game falling victim to the heavy frost, Larne returned to the summit.
Team: L. McClelland, L. Colburn, C. Lyness, S. Russell, L. Liddle, T. Dobbin (c), L. Robinson, J. Birkett, S. Evans, D. Henry, T. Maguire, C. Maguire
Fixtures (January 18)
Larne v Cookstown (2:30 pm); Larne II v Knock II (1 pm); Larne III v Grosvenor IV (4 pm).