Late strike from Withers secures draw for Larne

Larne II's Teah Maguire makes a run down the wing in the match with Ballymena II. INLT 41-330-PR
Larne II's Teah Maguire makes a run down the wing in the match with Ballymena II. INLT 41-330-PR

Larne travelled to the Showgrounds on Saturday and maintained their unbeaten start in the league with a 2-2 draw against Ballymena Ladies.

The first half saw Larne putting the home side under continuous pressure, creating numerous chances through strikers Kerry McIlwaine, Ingrid Carmichael and Laura Withers.

Michelle Finlay pressed forward from defence but her shots on goal were pushed wide. Ballymena looked dangerous on the break and were unlucky not to convert their chances.

Larne came out all guns blazing in the second half and, after two minutes, a brilliant piece of individual skill by Gillian Rennix at right midfield set up McIlwaine on the penalty spot and she made no mistake in finding the back of the net.

Larne continued to pressurise the Ballymena defence with Leah Craig causing havoc in the circle and were unlucky not to be rewarded with another goal.

Larne even managed to hit the Ballymena bar and post through Clare Holmes and Laura Withers.

Ballymena came back into the game with 20 minutes to go and were rewarded with a goal against the run of play.

This seemed to spur the home side on and they took the lead from a penalty flick.

Larne picked themselves up from the disappointment of falling behind and fought hard in the last 10 minutes. Just when it looked like a defeat was inevitable, Withers hit home to tie the game as the final whistle blew.

Larne: T. Neill, L. Craig, R. Beggs, Rebecca Dalton, M. Finlay, G. Rennix, Ruth Dalton (c), C. Holmes, I. Carmichael, K. McIlwaine, L. Withers, L. Snoddy, N. Kempton, S. McGookin.

Larne Ladies’ Seconds drew 1-1 against their Ballymena counterparts. Ballymena took an early lead before Zoe Purdy equalised from what seemed an impossible angle.

Larne II: C. Morrow, L. Coborn, K. Neill, J. Wilson, L. Booth, P. Crawford, A. Snoddy, R. McIlwaine, C. Blair, T. Martin (c), T. Maguire, S. Russell, C. Greenwood, Z. Purdy.

Larne Thirds lost 3-2 to Ballynahinch Seconds. The Larne goals came courtesy of skipper Tyler Dobbin and Anne Snoddy.

Fixtures (Saturday, October 12): 1st XI away to Victorians in the Irish Trophy; 2nd XI away to Knock 2nd XI; 3rd XI away to Mossley 3rd XI