Newry play beautiful game
Tuesday, 20 May 2014
Newry City Ladies 11. St Matt's Belfast 1.
FOOTBALL is coined the beautiful game and it doesn't get much better than the style played in Newry's Showgrounds on Thursday night.
Newry City Ladies outplayed Belfast Short Strand side St Matt's to convincingly win their second Championship league game of the season.
Remarkably the Newry girls have not tasted one single league defeat in their four years since forming, having won promotion each season, and the early indications this year is that Newry girls are on the right road to play Premiership football next season.
Four year's ago Newry were made up of mostly 14-year-olds but they have grown up together, playing breathtaking exciting attacking football and they aren't too far away from being the finished article.
Manager James Feehan was happy with the win and how they played.
“Everybody knows we play attractive attacking football, that's our philosophy and we have strengthened the squad to push for promotion. We want to
play in the Premiership next season - that's our goal," said Feehan.
Manager James Feehan strengthened his side with the signing of Republic of Ireland senior international Grace Murray. An excellent playmaker, strong in the tackle, Murray steals seconds from opponents with her visionary passing and combined with the lightening quick Northern Ireland senior internationals Aimee Mackin and Moya Feehan in attack, Newry have found an exciting formula.
Captain Aoife Lennon has returned from her scholarship in the United States, she adds composure to the Newry side.
Newry got off to a dream start with Aimee Mackin heading her first of seven goals in after only 4 minutes.
Only 10 minutes passed and Newry doubled their lead after Murray played an incisive long ball to Mackin who crossed low where another new signing Ali McMaster tapped home.
McMaster was on the scoresheet again before the Mackin blew St Matt's out of the water with three goals in 15 minutes, including a sensational strike where she sped over 40-yards, dancing through defenders before slotting home.
Lennon then gave Newry and 7-0 lead with a powerful header from Murray's cross.
St Matt's attacks were rare but they managed to pull a goal back when Aine Flynn's long effort looped behind stand-in keeper Blaithin Mackin.
The second half was a little more pedestrian but Newry, while squandering a number of chances and perhaps trying too hard to thread ambitious passes, still displayed a cutting edge.
Mackin rattled the net a further three times, while Lennon sent a magnificent cheeky 45-yard lob into the net.
While the plaudits deservedly go to the talented Mackin, Newry played as a great team. Young Emma McMaster is another new signing and a great addition at full-back, while Clara Mulvanna, Lisa McCann, Moya Feehan were excellent throughout.
It was excellent to see Newry Ladies play on the front pitch, which was in excellent nick and as a forward moving and title chasing arm of the club, it is where they should play all their home games this season.
The Democrat caught up with team captain Aoife Lennon and new signing Murray, who were
adamant the teams ambition is promotion and they were impressed with the playing surface at the Showgrounds.
“I am happy to be back with the Newry girls and we are aiming for another promotion," said Lennon.
“It is great to get Grace on board, she is another international and I think she will help strengthen the side and we welcome her to the team."
Murray who at 24-years-old is a senior member of the squad plays for Dublin side P Mount, but as they play in the Winter League, she is free to play for Newry City.
“Tonight the team we played are rated as a good team and I don't know how much we beat them by, so hopefully that continues," said Murray.
“It is a bit slower style of football than I'm used to but the girls are young and still learning and I think promotion is a realistic ambition."
This was Newry's second league game of the season, having won 2-0 against title challengers Sion Mills in Strabane. Newry's next game is tonight (Tuesday) where they play Armagh City at Holm Park at 7.30pm. Go see it if you want to watch a refreshing brand of attacking football.
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