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Super start to season for Rathfriland Ladies FC

Rathfriland Ladies recently travelled to Belfast for their first competitive game in the development league against Shorts Women’s FC.

With the team only together from February and a handful of friendlies nobody knew what to expect.

From the start Rathfriland shook off any early nerves and were competitive all over the pitch with a back line of Rebekah Johnston, Julia Herron, and Amy Brontë being well marshalled by the impressive Lucy Donaldson dealing with the Shorts attack. Rathfriland’s midfield of Katie Johnston, Natalie Wallace, Leanne McAleavey and Jessica McDowell were working hard supplying plenty of chances for Emma Johnston and player manager Leah Henning up front.

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Unfortunately the girls went behind after 20 min but didn’t let this get to them and got their reward 10 mins later when an Emma Johnston shot was handled in the box, up stepped captain Natalie Wallace who calmly slotted home from the penalty spot.

Rathfriland Ladies celebrate their first win after their first competitive match in the Ladies Development League

Amy Macaulay and Molly Spiers both came on and within minutes the ladies got a second when a loose ball fell to Lucy Donaldson who found the top corner with a shot from 40 yards.

Half time 2-1

The second half saw Shorts come out looking for the equaliser but the Rathfriland defence and Amy Gilmore in goals stood firm.

With the girls being encouraged from the sideline by coach Emma Trimble and a few more changes to the team, the ladies were able to see out the game and record their first win in the development league leaving players supporters and coaching staff going home very happy.

Full time 2-1

Team: Aimee Gilmore (goalkeeper), Rebekah Johnston, Julia Herron, Lucy Donaldson, Amy Bronte, Katie Johnston, Natalie Wallace (captain), Leanne McAleavey, Jessica McDowell, Leah Henning (player/manager) and Emma Johnston. Subs: Mollie Spiers and Amy Macauley.