U17 SBYL Divisional Cup Group 1 Final

Larne v SOPFC

It was a real test for the girls against a physical and determined St. Oliver Plunkett side. For most of the first half the game was played in and around the centre of the park, with some gruelling challenges and battles being waged, as neither side created very many chances.

After changing formation in the second half, opting for a five across the middle, the Larne girls injected more tempo into their play and finally gave some width to their game.

With fifteen minutes left to go, a pinpoint cross from Riley Harrison found the clinical right foot of Katie Dalrymple and the game was settled.

After topping the group the team is now through to the semi-final.

U12 SBYL

Larne v Dungoyne

This was a hard-fought performance by the girls. From the get go, there were tackles, crosses, and runs up the wing from each side, but with few chances to score. Larne’s best opportunity came when Sofia was unfortunate not to break the deadlock, although both teams were well-matched.

Into the second half of the game, we started to slip giving more chances to Dungoyne. Special mention must go to Amber O’Toole and Holly McKeen who both played exceptionally well. The team will take the draw and come back again stronger.

After a break for the half term school holidays, it was back to action for our youth teams. Take a look below to see how they are progressing, in this week’s edition of the Youth Round-up

SBYL U17 Divisional Cup

Larne v Aquinas

It was all the Larne girls’ way in the first half, with Rachel Robinson leading the attack as per usual. Complimented by Morgan Beattie and Alix Wilson rounded off the goal tally with some superb finishing.

Special mention must go to the back three of Morgan Hanna, Rebekah Robinson and Riley Harrison, who played with complete confidence.

The second half was a more subdued affair with the team taking their foot off the pedal which allowed Aquinas to seize the opportunity to pull back a late consolation goal, but the game was never in doubt. Our under-17’s now find themselves top of the table by two points, with three games to go.

U12 Valley

Larne v Ballyclare

A great performance by the girls, with some excellent attacking football being played. In the end, they were unfortunate to come away with only a draw. The team continues to grow week by week, coming together and really supporting each other.

This week the team continued to drive the play up the pitch for the second half, with some great passing by Mia, Ellie and Chloe.

While it was disheartening at the time for the team, the girls will regroup and come back stronger knowing they played well.

SBYL U12

Larne v Sandy Row

The girls started off well and were unfortunate in the second half to concede a goal. They have made some real progress since last week. The girls simply ran out of steam in the second half, meaning they weren’t able to press as hard as they had been, making life hard for our goalkeeper. Conceding some unlucky goals, the team’s defence still looked strong with some great work shown by Faith and Paisleigh.

Our team will be able to take this game on the chin and come back stronger next time.

SBYL Under 14

Larne v Grove United Girls

It was certainly a different game compared to last week’s performance. Even though it took them a while to wake up, the girls were fighting hard. Both teams were lucky enough to go into the break level. The coaches read the room and told the girls to show more vigour, and thankfully they listened.

With our keeper Ailise making some crucial saves, we started to play football like a pinball machine, Sophie Jenkins made some impressive runs and earned herself a goal. Next up was Leah McPherson who scored a cracker. Chole Morrow, who is learning the game quickly and settling into the role of a striker quickly, neatly settled the ball in corner of the net.

All the players have improved massively since last week and the team continues to go from strength to strength.

Under 12/13s

Larne v Newhill

After playing some incredibly tough games this past month, the team was glad to see a fairly evenly matched-team this week. There was some great stand-out performances from the girls this week, with Mia Campbell barrelling the ball in the top corner and Orla Curneen being sublime on the ball to set up team mate Ellie McKnight to slot it in the bottom corner.

After a talk at half-time about confidence, the girls took this on board and battled on well, driving up the pitch and making some terrific passes.

Mia and Roxy both played well in nets to keep Newhill strikers out, who all had their fair chance to shoot. However, Eva McKee scored a great goal for Larne to finish off the game.

2013 7-a-side

Larne v Cliftonville

This was a tough game from the get go, with some mistakes made at the back, but for the remainder of the match, the girls held their own, battling on until the end.

The girls will learn more about this in training, showing more discipline in exiting the defensive areas, to go on the rebound. A very physical game from beginning to end, the girls battled hard, but unfortunately, it wasn’t their day.

We saw some great goals from Ava and Annie, as well as great defending by Larah and an excellent work rate by Farah and Chloe.

2013 7-a-side V36

Larne v Linfield

This was a tough match from the get go for the girls, as Linfield hit the ground running scoring some easy early goals. However,  the girls lifted their heads and were ready for the attack.

Rhiann had some great chances and was extremely unlucky to not have them converted. Our keeper Jessica, was brave in goal, making some excellent saves on the day. In the final third the girls shifted up a gear, playing the game entirely in the opposition’s half.  The girls looking better than ever before, showing how they can take it on the chin and battle on, until the end.

Irrespective of the score-line at the final whistle, there was some great talent on show.

SBYL U17 Divisional Cup

Larne v Lisburn Rangers

A rock solid performance from a very young Larne team, coming away with a well deserved win from a wet and cold Hammer Community Centre. Dominating the game from the start, with the goals coming from Rachel Robinson and Eimear Ward, but with a late penalty in the first half, the game was closer than what the team wanted going into the break.

With some great football in the second half, the team continued to fight on with more goals from Alix Wilson and Rachel again.

Praise must also go to Poppy Restrick who was superb in defence, not letting up once. Leading by example, encouraging her own teammates and driving play up the field.

With Ailise McAllister and Leah Pherson making their debut for the team, it was obvious that they have the ability to make the step up, impressing all the coaches involved.

With the season well underway across all divisions in Northern Ireland, we take a look at how our players out on loan have been getting on at their respective clubs.

Andrew Mitchell

Since the last update, Carrick’s form has begun to stutter, winning two out of their last five in the Danske Bank Premiership and crashing out of both the Co. Antrim Shield and the BetMcLean League Cup to Dundela and Cliftonville, respectively.

Mitchell has been ever-present for Carrick this season, starting in the last four league games, only being named on the bench for the defeat to Cliftonville in the BetMcLean League Cup. With some vital goals and assists so far this campaign, with two assists coming in a 4-3 win against Crusaders, Mitchell has proven to be vital for the Amber Army who will look to stick to winning ways after their recent 3-0 victory over Dungannon Swifts.

Harry Adair & Conall Curran

Harry Adair has started all of the Comrades last five games, while Curran has started two.

Ballyclare have found goals hard to come by in recent weeks, scoring just three times in their last five games. Curran will be hoping to get more appearances over the next few weeks and to be the man who gets our East Antrim neighbours firing once again.

Harry Adair has cemented his place in the middle of the park for the Comrades, with impressive displays making him a mainstay in the team. However, Adair, Curran and the rest of the Ballyclare side will be hoping to find some winning form again in the Championship after picking up just two points from their last four league games which has seen them fall to 7th place in the table.

Ryley D’Sena

Ryley D’Sena has started three of Bangor’s last five games in all competitions, which have seen the Seasiders continue their unbeaten start to their Premier Intermediate campaign.

Sitting top of the table after five games played, D’Sena has played a key role in the defensive stability of their unbeaten start. Bangor’s only defeat in recent times came in the BetMcLean League Cup as they bowed out to Championship side Annagh United, a game that D’Sena started and played 90 minutes.

Odhran McCart

Since being cup-tied for the BetMcLean League Cup tie against his parent club, McCart has started their last two league games, including their first win of the season over Moyola Park.

Both McCart and the Whites will be hoping to build on their latest win and build some momentum to continue pushing up the table.

In cup competitions, Lisburn Distillery have crashed out of both the Steel & Sons Cup and the Intermediate Cup to Glentoran Reserves and Rosemount Rec, respectively.

Max Greer

Max Greer has started four out of the last five games for Knockbreda as they continue to look for consistent form in the Championship.

With their most recent victory coming over Dergview in the Championship, Breda currently occupy 10th place in the league. After showing his talents on loan last season, Greer has been able to find consistency in his performances this season again and he will now be looking to help Knockbreda climb up the table and avoid a relegation battle.

Larne 2012 vs St. Matthew’s

On a cold morning the girls seemed to show an unusual lack of desire to commit to tackles, which plagues them for the rest of the sessions. While it was a goalless draw in the first session, the girls still defended well, but still sluggish in getting the ball up the field. Going into the next session, the girls utilised more of the field, with the girls breaking the deadlock with a great strike by Mia.

The final session saw two great goals by our Roxy, but also saw St. Matthew’s equalising, all from temporary lapses in defending and from changes in players being subbed on. While there are plenty of positives to take away from the game, with some great battles by Bella and Molly, and goals from Mia and Roxy. The girls will need to work om their tackling and pressing on the ball, but all will come in time.

SBYL Under 14

Larne vs Lisburn Girls

From beginning to the end the girls controlled play, with no player ever setting a wrong foot. Cara Noble and Lucy Urwin were simply fantastic in defence. From the goal scorers, we have Jodie Ferguson with her sublime hat-trick, Clare McAleese pushed into a defensive midfield position scored a cracker, Leah Pherson slotting a couple in, with Maggie Deller and Aoibh McLaughlin getting a goal each.

It was great morale raiser for the team, now it’s time to settle down and prepare for what’s next.

2013 7-a-side

Larne v Cliftonville

It was great day for the girls at the Valley today, with plenty of chances and tackles from the girls to go up 1-0 in the first session courtesy of Bailey.

Going into the second session it was all Larne’s way, with a great work ethic from the team. With some crunching tackles, some players maybe went too hard for win and sustained a few bruises. Jessica was able to sustain our lead going into the third session.

With some new blood being subbed on from Cliftonville the girls saw themselves more under attack and feeling the pressure. In the end the girls stayed cool calm and collected to see out the win with another goal from Bailey. A fantastic match from the girls against tough opposition.

SBYL Under 17 Divisional Cup

Larne vs St Oliver Plunkett

It was a feisty match up by two tough opponents, but unfortunately it wasn’t Larne’s day.

An on-going issue for the girls, they were slow to start and saw them selves go 1-0 down, but quickly enough the team woke up and the fight was on. An impressive free kick by Rachel Robinson was met by a Morgan Beattie’s header that settled neatly in the bottom corner.

With a decision going SOPFC’s way, the girls saw them go down again by a penalty. Though the team wasn’t done yet, with ten minutes remaining, the clinical finishing of Francesca Agnew were able to equalise. A tough game of football for both team, finishing a point each.

Despite the goals that were let in, Riley Harrison was simply superb in defensive, going for every tackle, who with Rebekah Robinson setup a rock solid partnership.

The captain Rachel Robinson, put in a great shift, driving the whole team forward and let up for a second.

SBYL Under 12

Larne vs Dungoyne

A fantastic shift today from the girls that saw them go ahead early on, with a good finish by Eryn Wilson. Having worked on her finishing in training, it was great to see her comfortable slot the ball in the bottom corner.

Going into the break the girls talked about being more ruthless upfront, were in the first half the girl would have maybe passed, instead of shooting on goal.

With some good runs by Sofie, Gracie and Holly on the wing. A corner kick came in, with Luci reacting quickly and her shot came off the Dungoyne defender and went in. All credit due to the opposition, they continued to battle on, Paisleigh, Luci and Faith had to work hard to defend against their attacks.

A toughly fought battle, girl had to fight for their 3 points.

2012

Larne v Barn

Larne v St Mary’s

In the first session of the day, a more physical Barn side showed great possession on the ball and out muscled the Inver Reds. Though going into the second half the girls shifted up a gear and saw great improvement in play, making the pitch bigger and picking their battles. While it was still a loss, the girls showed great character, taking the loss on the chin after the game.

For the second session, the girls faced St. Mary’s. They took the first game as a lesson learnt, heading into the second game with confidence. With superb goals by Anna and Annie, it was a good matchday for the girls heading home.

Under 17s SBYL Divisional Cup

Larne vs Belfast Swifts

A comfortable win for the girls from start to finish. To their credit, the Belfast Swifts’ defence was stubborn in the second half, toughing up greatly and proving to be a much improved side.

With Mia Snoddy and Morgan Beattie returning from Northern Ireland call-ups, the pair worked like machines and were comfortable on the ball, not letting up.

Goals in this one came from Alix Wilson, Francesca Agnew and Anna Clark, all showing supreme finishes.

This win will give the girls confidence for the future

It has been another busy period for our Girls Academy, with an action-packed week for each age group. Below we take a look at the key moments.

Under 17 Friendly

Larne vs Glentoran

It proved to be a dominant performance against the East Belfast opposition. Under the management of Tommy Elliott, the girls never put a foot wrong throughout the match with goals coming via a spirited Katie Dalrymple, a clean finish by Dee Kenny and the scoring rounded off through Francesca Agnew and a new trialist, Ellen.

Some notable mentions from the match go to Anna Clark, who won each and every tackle as well as showING great control on the ball and an all-round fantastic performance. Poppy Restrick and Eimear Ward were also star performers, as they covered the park and refused to give the opposition an inch.

Under 14 SBYL

Larne vs Dungoyne Girls

The ball took its time to fall for Larne in this one, with chance after chance, save after save, as the  Inver Reds just couldn’t seem to find the breakthrough. Pressing throughout the game, their efforts were rewarded when a sublime pass from Teagan Gribben found Jodie Ferguson and she finally put the game to bed.

Under 12

Lisburn vs Larne

It was a slow start for the team in a game which saw them fail to utilise the full size of the pitch. Improving as the game went on, the team were worthy of a draw but ended up undone by some crucial errors to lose this one.

Hopefully, the team can take these mistakes on the chin and improve next week. As ever, Larne goalkeeper Macy Brenan made some critical saves between the sticks.

Under 13 SBYL

Larne vs Crumlin

The team continued their great start to the season with a brilliant performance. From the start the Inver Reds never let go of possession, creating some great chances. Our first goal came from Sophie Aiston when she saw her first shot saved but slotted it in the bottom corner from the rebound.

For the rest of the game, the girls kept pressing, with some brilliant runs by Jodie, Karis and Erica but were made to wait before closing out the game as Sophie secured a second goal from the edge of the box. An all-around great game for the team to go on from.

2012 7-a-side

Larne v Crusaders

The opening period of this game was all Larne, but they were unable to convert their play into an advantage. Going into the final third of the match the girls mixed it up well to out muscle the physical Shore Road side. All in all, it was a great game of football for the Inver Reds.

SBYL

Larne U12s vs Sandy Row

It was a tough game for the girls, that saw them defeaged by Sandy Row Girls. Dominated the midfield, the team controlled the game from beginning to end.

While our defenders, Eryn and Luci, kept battling as hard as they can, they couldn’t stop the goals going in. The girls will learn from the game and go on knowing what to expect of Belfast teams.

SBYL U17 Divisional Cup

Larne vs Aquinas

A masterclass performance by the team, with the girls never letting up. They never needed to shift out of first gear, while they played fantastically there will be bigger challenges coming their way. With a little bit of fine-tuning, this team will be ready for anything.

Today’s Player of the Match was Mia O’Flaherty – with an incredible work rate, she never shied away from a tackle to get the ball, winning every single one along the way.

Francesca Agnew was simply fantastic bagging herself all the goals – a stellar performance from kick-off to the final whistle.

Poppy Restrick and Rebekah Robinson were phenomenal at the back, reading every pass and never setting a wrong foot.

SBYL Divisional Cup

Larne vs Portstewart

Missing key players, it was always going to be a tough match for the girls. While the girls played well at the start, it was early goal by Portstewart that saw them take the lead.

No matter how hard the girls tried, the play just didn’t fall for them and they were not able to equalise. The same can be said for the opponents, they were unable to score with Leah being as solid as a rock in midfield.

Jodie Ferguson, Hannah McClenaghan and Hannah Abram all got their opportunity to show what they can do.

Larne U13s vs Ballyclare Comrades

The team did not look at their usual selves, having started off very slowly in the first half, but still dominated the play although they just couldn’t hit the target.

Catching the defence by surprise, Ballyclare snagged an easy goal and this finally spurred the team on and they shifted up a gear. With Jodie Ferguson, driving the team up the centre of the park to score a goal. Unfortunately, the opponents quickly responded with a goal to equalise.

The Ballyclare keeper made some excellent saves throughout the match.

Larne 2012’s v Ballyclare Comrades 7-a-side

Continuing their winning form, Larne beat the Comrades with a mix of physicality and skill.

Ballyclare had some great strikers that at times broke through the tough Larne defence, but there was nothing to stop Larne dominating in the game. With some great finishes by India, Jodie, Orla and Rachel today, they showed a great variety and depth in the squad.

A strong and consistent performance from the whole team.

Following the launch of our official 2022/23 Nike Apparel range, we are excited to announce that the club will have a permanent presence on Larne Main Street once again through a renewed partnership with CS Sports.

 

As a result of our growing fanbase, there has never been more demand for official Larne FC merchandise. The renewed partnership with CS Sports, which boasts a prime town centre location and is open six days per week, will ensure that it is easier than ever before to pick up a gift, spend birthday money or simply browse through our Nike merchandise range all year round.

 

While our CS Sports Superstore will focus on selling Nike merchandise six days per week, supporters will still be able to purchase our full product range both online and from our matchday superstore at Inver Park before every game.

 

Speaking on the expansion of the partnership, General Manager Niall Curneen said:

 

“I am delighted to partner with CS Sports once again. We are committed to supporting local sponsors/businesses and this partnership benefits both parties. It also helps us to continue driving people down to the shop on our Main Street, which is something we are committed to using our platform towards encouraging people to do.

 

“CS Sports will provide access to our primary merchandise ranges with ease, including replica shirts and the brand-new Nike training wear range for the season ahead.  Alongside this, our online shop will continue to make official merchandise accessible for Larne fans located across the UK and further afield – or for those who prefer the online shopping experience.”

 

Colin Steele, owner of CS Sports added:

 

“Both Niall and I arrived at this point naturally and we’re excited to assist the club in growing the Larne Football Club brand here in the heart of our town. 

 

“Having a thriving Main Street is vital to towns like Larne and the impact that this will have in encouraging people to continue to shop local will be significant.

 

“There is a natural synergy between the local senior club and the local sports shop, and we’re excited to be able to provide something so beneficial to the club.”

“The whole team is extremely excited, these types of matches only come around once.” Captain, Katherine Haveron sums up the thoughts of all of her teammates as Larne Women go into tonight’s title decider at Ballymena United.
The team already have promotion secured so come what may this evening, they will be playing Premiership football next season but as Haveron says “you want to go up as champions”.

It is an incredible climax to the season in that the two Shane’s Hill rivals sit level on not just points but goal difference and while the Sky Blues came out on top in a League Cup tie, the return league game at Inver Park finished 1-1 and the two teams could hardly have been more well-matched.

The Inver women have only lost one league game all season which was a 2-1 away reversal to Foyle Belles but when the side from the Maiden City came back to Inver, William Noble’s side brushed them aside 4-0. This was one of the recent results that the Larne number 5 says that she is most proud of the team for.

“Apart from Ballymena, the other sides we knew would be up there this season were Foyle and Ballymacash so to defeat them like that in the run-in was brilliant. The girls have really dug out some great results throughout the season to get us here.”
While Haveron emphasizes that all of the focus is rightly on tonight, this will not be the last game of the season for the Inver Women. They have an upcoming rearranged PWC Super Cup semi-final against the afore-mentioned Belles and an Electric Ireland Challenge Cup tie against Crusaders Strikers.

To be fighting on three fronts this late in the season is an incredible achievement that the centre-half has not taken for granted.
“In the past couple of seasons, while our league form has always been brilliant, we haven’t really been able to sustain a cup run so to be this far in two cups as well as promotion already secured is a credit to the girls.
We have been able to get strong sides out in the league and cup competitions.”

That tie against Crusaders is one that Haveron says is effectively a free shot and is pretty much the first time this season that the side will go into the game as underdogs but will be a marker for where the team will need to be in the Premiership next season.

“To be able to play a competitive game against one of the top Premiership sides will be a great learning curve for next season. We know the Crues will be wanting to progress so will put out a strong side so the girls will have more of an idea of what is to come week in week out next season.”

As for tonight, Haveron says “there’s a real fire in the girls for this one.” Part one of the Shane’s Hill Derby double-header this week is at 7:30 pm tonight at the Ballymena Showgrounds and Haveron, William Noble and all of the team and coaching staff are raring to go. The supporters’ bus leaves Inver Park at 6:30 pm tonight so get across the hill and support your team, your club, and your town!

Larne Football Club are delighted to announce that our Academy and first team players will support Lewis’ 100 Mile Challenge this Friday ahead of our opening Danske Bank Premiership game against Glentoran.

Six-year-old Lewis Rennie has captured the hearts of the local community as he attempts to walk 100 miles over the summer months to raise money for the ‘Big C Foundation’ in memory of his brother Callum who sadly passed away in May.

Having initially set out to raise £250 towards the worthy cause, Lewis has obliterated the total and has now raised close to £9,000 and completed over 90 of the 100 miles.

With many Larne-based sports teams getting involved in the walk, including our 2012 and 2013 girls teams last week, it is now the turn of our 2010 boys side who will be accompanied by some first team players on Friday night.

The walk will begin at Inver Park early on Friday evening, where Lewis will be welcomed by our entire first team squad. The group will then cover a few miles before returning to Inver, where his final steps of the day will be out on to the pitch to the roar of a jam-packed stadium at 7.30pm.

We can’t wait to welcome Lewis and his family to Inver Park on Friday night and would encourage all supporters to get into the stadium early to ensure he gets the hero’s welcome his incredible efforts deserve.

For more information on Lewis’ fundraising activities, please click below:

www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/lewis-rennie?utm_term=8kJB5rbe4&fbclid=IwAR2E6jXWr2txBn1h_6VmzoIxJPiut0BRr27nEAx2hkGOTpCNtnI3XTdmhZc

We are delighted to announce the signing of midfielder Max Hutchison on a free transfer.

The 21-year-old Englishmen has officially signed for the Inver Reds, having impressed Tiernan Lynch’s management team during several weeks on trial with the club.

Despite being young in age, Hutchison is no stranger to the professional game having gained experience during stints with Motherwell and most recently Waterford in the League of Ireland, before spending the majority of this pre-season at Inver Park prior to the move becoming permanent.

Naturally a central midfielder, the Essex-native has also featured as part of the defensive line during his trial period, most notably impressing on the right side of defence during the second half of our friendly against Hamilton Accies in Scotland and in a behind closed doors training game against Larne Tech Old Boys.

Hutchison then returned to the middle of the park against Championship side Annagh United, with the three outings plus impressive performances in training proving enough to make Tiernan Lynch make the move permanent.

Discussing his arrival at Inver Park, Max Hutchison said:

“I’m delighted to be here, it’s a fantastic opportunity for me and I can’t wait to get going. We have a great bunch of lads who’ve made me feel welcome and it’s been really easy to settle in.

“The club compares very similarly to my time at Motherwell, in terms of the runs we’re asked to make and the style of play, which I think makes me suit what is expected at Larne.

“My aim is get minutes under my belt, as I say it’s a great opportunity and I’m just looking forward to the first game of the season.”

The Trustees of the Brighter Futures Community Fund Programme were delighted to support local racer Scott McCrory last month, providing a £500 donation towards competition costs.

The Larne-based motorcyclist took part in the Neil and Donny Robinson Memorial Race at Bishopscourt Race Circuit on the 16th and 17th July, sporting the Brighter Futures and Larne Football Club logos on his helmet as he competed in four races within the Supersport Pro Class.

Having never previously raced his Kawasaki motorcycle on the Bishopscourt circuit, the young rider improved in each race over the two days, gaining two P10’s and a personal best of P5.

Everyone at Brighter Futures wishes Scott the very best of luck with his future races and are proud to have been able to play a part in his exciting journey in racing.

“It’s great to be coming into form at the right time of the season.” Angela Buckley has been an ever-present between the sticks for Larne this season and has been the calming and reliable presence for the Inver Women as they approach the business end of a season that sees them in both a title race and in two cup competitions.

“We had a poor result against Ballymena straight after the break there a couple of weeks ago but to follow that with two wins is exactly what we needed and all of the girls are really pleased with our reaction.”

Since that defeat against the Sky Blues at Inver – which clearly stung players and coaches alike – William Noble’s side have defeated St. Oliver Plunkett in West Belfast to advance to the PWC Super Cup semi-final followed two days later by a 4-0 home victory over Foyle Belles. This put them level on points at the top of the NIWFA Championship table with their Shanes Hill rivals with just three games to go. Foyle will also be the opponents in the Super Cup semi-final at Inver Park on 15th August.

Buckley, who joined from Lisburn Ladies at the start of this season, says that she is enjoying her football more than ever this year.

“Lisburn have a great set-up and I did enjoy my time there but this is the most consistent run of games that I’ve had and the attention to detail that William (Noble), Gary (Hood) and Bradley (McAdam) put into training and matches is incredible.”

Buckley and her team-mates have two games this week, first travelling north to take on Coleraine in league action tomorrow (Wednesday) followed by an Electric Ireland Cup tie at home to Craigavon City on Friday.

Larne have made reasonably light work of the newly-promoted and youthful Bannsiders this season with an 8-0 success at home followed by a 14-0 win in the reverse fixture. However, the Larne number 1 says they will not be underestimating their opponents.

“We have been working hard in training and will not be taking Coleraine for granted, particularly at this time of the season where every game matters so much. We have seen all season that there are no easy games in this league.”

Likewise with Craigavon, who are four tiers below the Inver Women. They are, however, top of the NIWFA Division 4 with a perfect 10 wins from 10 and Buckley knows that they will be coming to Inver Park full of confidence and looking to cause an upset.

“Having a cup run in the Super Cup has been brilliant and we want another one in the Electric Ireland Cup so we will be full tilt against Craigavon. There is a real potential for a banana skin there if we aren’t 100%.”

Speaking in broader terms, Buckley is delighted with the coverage and support for the recently concluded Women’s Euros – won by England of course.

“It was incredible to see 87,000 at Wembley for the final and Northern Ireland qualifying for the first time was brilliant. I was so pleased for the girls, including my old Cliftonville teammate Marissa Callaghan.

Hopefully, it will encourage more young girls to play football and that you can play on the same sort of stage as the men. I remember going to football camps when I was younger and being the only girl! Let’s hope that the Euros can encourage the next generation.”

That is most definitely a sentiment to get behind and let’s all get behind the Inver Women on their title run-in and upcoming cup ties. It’s sure to be an exciting few weeks!

Linfield Summer Camp
Larne Girls 2 – 4 Linfield Ladies Swifts

The team dominated in the first-half, having battled hard and were rewarded with a 2-1 lead at half-time, thanks to two goals from Mia O’Flaherty.

Unfortunately, the Inver Reds were dealt a number of injuries and suffered in the second half. The Blues responding with three goals to win the game 4-2.

While fighting hard to score a late goal, and having flurries in the final third, they were unable to reduce the deficit.

To their credit, it was a fantastic performance by Linfield, being supremely clinical in the second half, stopping the Inver Reds in their tracks.

Special mention to Ailise McAllister who was superb in goals, with Lucy Urwin selected as POTM by the Blues.

Players of the Week:

  • Lucy Urwin (Def) – Never made a wrong step in the match, solid as a rock in defence.
  • Leah Pherson (Def) – Helping Lucy at the back, putting in a great performance as ever.
  • Mia O’Flaherty (Mid) – Produced two great goals, playing with enthusiasm from start to finish.

“We kept playing right until the end which was great.” Leola McErlane was one of six different scorers for the Inver Women on Wednesday night as they eased past Killen Rangers 8-0.

The striker was Player of the Match for William Noble’s side and spoke of how pleasing it was that they played their game through the 90 minutes.

“We played our style of football the whole way through, kept the ball on the deck and that was great.” she said.

“With the score running up, sometimes it’s difficult to keep your focus and things can get a bit disjointed but we kept playing and kept our focus right to the end.”

With five first half goals, the hosts had the game finished as a contest but McErlane was happy with how the team played in the second half.

She also commented on how the entire squad contributed to the impressive victory. With a bench of Megan McMurray, Elle Houston and Georgia Crawford, the depth of the squad is a clear asset.

She added: “Every girl contributed tonight and played so well. The momentum never dropped when the subs came on.

“We have only just come into the Championship this season and are putting eight and six (against Coleraine) goals past teams so we are showing that we’re here to fight and here to compete.”

Under 12s SBYL Semi Final

Larne v Bloomfield

The girls put 100% effort into this game but unfortunately it wasn’t their day. It was a cagey first half as both teams kept it tight while figuring each other out. Larne took the lead when Annie McCann scored from a corner but Bloomfield quickly equalised when we were caught in possession.

In the second half, Bloomfield moved into the lead through a deflected goal and found a third five minutes later. It was unlucky for the girls to concede twice so quickly. Larne pulled a goal back through Hannah Abram who pressured the defence and ran through on goal to finish well.

The girls were fired up and pushed hard for a leveller but unfortunately, Bloomfield found a fourth and decisive goal at the end. They sprung a counterattack and scored with just 5 minutes to go.

The coaches are immensely proud of their efforts this season and know that there is more to come.

Lisburn League

Larne v Hillsborough

This was a fantastic all round performance from the girls with two well-taken goals from Mia O’Flaherty and Alix Wilson. Those goals were enough to secure a well deserved victory. The match was played in a great sporting and competitive spirit. Both teams were praised by the referee who said it was the best game he was involved in this season.

Under 16/17 Girls

Larne took on a tough and physical North Belfast side in the semi-final of the Divisional Cup at the Hammer Rec. The girls started on the attack and Morgan Beattie was on hand to slot in early on. Larne continued to press throughout the second half and Rachael Robinson sealed the win with a tremendous drive from 25 yards. This win put them through to the final against Comber.

The final took place on Friday at the Bangor Fuels Arena. Larne set up in an attacking formation and had some great approach play. They ran out of deserved winners with goals from Morgan Beattie and Mia Snoddy.

On Sunday the goal was winning the South Belfast Youth League. They went into the game knowing that a win would seal a league and cup double. They pulled off the fine feat and ran out comfortable winners thanks to goals from Rebecca, Mia, Jodie, Morgan and Rachael

Lisburn League

Larne v Crusaders Strikers

The girls were a bit rusty and found themselves behind at the break against the physically imposing Crusaders side. However, after a rousing half time team talk and a formation adjustment, the girls came out firing. They got their reward when Alix Wilson thumped in a freekick. The future looks bright if they can maintain that level of performance.

Player of the week- Chloe Morrow

Larne U11s v Larne Boys 2013s

The boys were faster to the ball and more physical but the girls put up a strong challenge. They played a progressive style of football with plenty of passing moves. The girls grew into the game and were performing well towards the end. There are plenty of positives to build on.

Player of the match- Ellie McKnight

Larne 2012s v Barn United

It was a hot morning at The Valley for the last game of the league season. It was a tight contest in the first third with Barn going ahead and Larne quickly equalising. It was a well-worked team goal which was rounded off by Mia. It was honours even in the second third but the final period went in Barn’s favour. Larne wasted a few good opportunities and Barn was able to capitalise and see the game out.

Player of the match- Alise Dunce

Larne 2013s v Linfield

This was a difficult morning for the team against tough opposition with two of the thirds being very tightly contested. Larne defended well in the first half against a series of Linfield attacks. However, they took the lead after a fine strike. Although their lead didn’t last long as Annie found an equaliser.

Larne took their eye off the ball in the second third which Linfield took advantage of. It was one sided and the girls failed to create any meaningful chances.

There was a spirited fightback in the final third as the girls got stuck into their opponents. Linfield managed a lucky ricocheted goal and scored through another brilliant strike, unfortunately. Larne kept going and played the ball forward to trouble the Linfield defence. This was a massive improvement and the girls deserved to get more goals.

Player of the match- Ava Steward

South Belfast Youth League

Larne 3-2 Aquinas

Larne continued their winning streak but they had to work hard for it. Aquinas was quick off the mark with an early goal that caught Larne off guard. It wasn’t long until Larne equalised through a corner with a header from Morgan Beattie. The girls began to play great football and created space for Jodie to score the second goal. The game slowed down in the second half largely due to the heat on the day. The girls switched off and gave Aquinas time to build attacks and score an equaliser. However, Larne bounced back to find a late winner with a strong finish from Jodie.

Players of the match- Mia Snoddy and Jodie McCourt

Under 12 Friendly

Larne v Santos

The girls started slowly and found themselves behind inside the first 10 minutes. After this, they recovered and began to play some good football. Their first goal was a thunderbolt from Teagan. Larne continued to pile on the pressure but got caught on the counterattack after a defensive mix up which allowed Santos to score.

The Larne girls came out fired up in the second half and got plenty of shots away but weren’t clinical. The girls had 15 shots in the second half alone but the Santos keeper made great saves. Larne finally got their second when Sophie finished from a tight angle.

Player of the match- Isla Taylor

Saturday 14th May Matches

Larne U11 Whites v North End United

This was a great Friday night of football from the off as the girls played great football throughout. The new girls also showed great signs of improvement. Chloe performed well in goal and produced some excellent saves. There was fantastic link up play between Gracie, Amber and Ellie which led to plenty of chances being created. Sophia played well throughout, making some great tackles and threading delicate through balls.

Player of the match- Amber O’Toole

SBYL U11 Cup

Larne v Rosario

Unfortunately, the Larne girls exited the cup at this stage but they took an early lead through Amber O’Toole. However, Rosario quickly came back into the game and their central midfielders began to dominate. It seemed like they covered every inch on the pitch. Larne gave their all and nothing more could have been asked of them. There is a lot to work on but the girls deserve praise for how much they have improved.

Team of the week nominations- Macy Brennan, Amber O’Toole and Holly McKeen

 

SBYL U12 Cup

Larne v Crumlin

This was a fantastic performance from the girls and they were dominant despite just winning by a single goal. They played with high intensity from the first whistle, pressing all over the pitch and playing with width. Crumlin could not get out of their own half.

Larne created chance after chance but was unable to make the breakthrough. Imogen Taylor, Sophie Aiston and Teagan Gribben all came very close. Erica Ross and Annie McCann were a constant threat down the flanks and put in great balls.

The defence wasn’t too busy but they were capable when called into action. Jodie Ferguson marshalled the defence well and Gemma Stranney and Isla Taylor did well in the full back roles.

Crumlin held on until Eva McKee nipped in and calmly finished past the keeper into the bottom corner.

Lisburn League

Larne v Hanover

This was an entertaining evenly matched game that showed plenty of encouraging signs. The girls led at half-time thanks to a hat-trick from Alix Wilson  Hanover levelled in the second half but Larne regained the lead thanks to another goal from Alix. Larne controlled most of the game until Hanover found an equaliser right at the last minute.

Player of the match- Alix Wilson

Larne Under 11s Carniny

This was an end to end the game with plenty of goals for both sides. There were brilliant displays from the defence and attack with the girls getting to play in a variety of positions. It was good for them to get experience across all areas of the pitch. Nearly all of the team managed to get on the scoresheet.

Player of the match- Gracie Hodge

Friendly- Larne U11s v Carniny Under 12s

This was a tightly contested game with lots of quality from both sides. Larne started off well with plenty of passing and they were confident on the ball. Faith was particularly impressive at left back. Carniny began to utilise their physicality and got two goals against the run of play. Larne created plenty of chances but was unable to find the net. It was a similar story in the second half with great hard work from the midfield. A goal eventually came that was finished well.

Player of the match- Faith

Larne 2012s v Ballyclare Comrades

This was an extremely tight game against the Comrades. The first third was close with Roxy making some great saves and she was helped by a strong defensive showing. The defence and midfield worked hard to quell an aggressive Ballyclare opening. Despite Larne’s best efforts, Ballyclare scored a fine goal from 8 yards out.

The second session was end to end with Larne taking the lead through Roxy who slotted in off the post. Both teams created chances and Ballyclare managed to find an equaliser to level the session.

Alise went into goal for the final session and Ballyclare’s keeper was also in fine form. Larne whipped in a number of crosses that their keeper dealt with. However, the keeper was beaten with five minutes to go when Roxy crossed for Orla to score with a great lob.

Larne Women take on Comber Rec at Inver Park tonight, with kick-off scheduled for 8pm in what will be our third competitive game of the 2022 season. Take a look at the information below before heading to the game to ensure that you make the most of your midweek matchday experience.

Tickets and Stadium Access & Parking

Tickets are not required for tonight’s NIWFA Championship opener. While entry into Inver Park is free, the option of donating any amount that you wish towards our women’s football operations will be available.

During the game, spectators can watch from either the Landmark Underwriting Main Stand or the Landmark Underwriting Terrace. All other sides of the stadium will be closed, and we ask that anyone in attendance avoids these areas in the interest of health and safety.

There will be no parking facilities open inside Inver Park tonight. Those in attendance should park in the areas surrounding the stadium while being mindful of local residents while doing so.

Half-time Entertainment & Mascots

We welcome our U11 Academy side to tonight’s game as mascots, who are set to walkout with the team ahead of the 8pm kick-off. The young players will also take part in small-sided games during half-time, giving supporters something to enjoy at the interval.

Stadium Facilities

The kiosk inside Inver Park will be open this evening to serve soft drinks, teas and coffees, alongside the Dream Spanish Homes Agnew Lounge, which will also be serving the before mentioned drinks and alcoholic beverages. The Lounge will be open throughout the game, with an excellent view of the pitch on offer while you enjoy your beverage.

The Inver Reds

Tonight marks the start of the Inver Reds’ NIWFA Championship campaign. The fixture follows two emphatic Challenge Cup victories in recent weeks, and William Noble’s side will be eager to make it three wins from three games in order to build some early momentum in their new division.

New signing Hollie Johnston, who arrived this week from Crusaders Strikers, will be eligible for selection and could make her debut in front of the home crowd.

Video

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