First match for Gers Ladies

Banbridge Rangers Ladies......3

Dromara Village Ladies...........8

BANBRIDGE Rangers Ladies got off to a dream start in their first ever match on a full pitch by taking the lead against Dromara after only five minutes play.

The Ladies team are under no illusions that it will plain sailing from the start but were overjoyed at being able to record three goals in their first outing which has eluded many new teams on inception.

Donna Donnell was on hand to record the teams first ever goal from twelve yards out after a handball by one of the Dromara Ladies after only four minutes of play. Pacey forward Donnell kept her cool in front of a three figure crowd to slot home low to the keepers left to give the Rangers girls a lead.

Donnell’s striking partner Lauren Thompson was also showing some touches of class with the two girls having a great understanding and causing problems to Dromara from the outset.

It wasn’t long before the established Dromara side equalised and took the lead in the game capitalising on some hesitancy in the Rangers backline. A few nervous touches were soon out of the way with Banbridge Rangers coming into the game with every minute but conceded three times as the half drew to a close.

From the outset of the second half the Rangers girls had renewed confidence and started making their challenges felt all across the park with a midfield of Stacey Gibson, Victoria Baird, Emma McMinn, Caroline Magill and Kerrie Rippon becoming more involved in the build up play.

Banbridge Rangers scored the first goal of the second half with Stacey Gibson coming in off the left hand side and punishing a goalkeeping error with a composed finish at the back post.

Dromara lifted their game and pegged Rangers back with Melissa Roke pulling off two very good saves midway through the half to prevent Dromara extending their lead. Claire Beckett had dropped into the holding role early in the match to replace the injured Vicky Baird and was instrumental in helping the Rangers back line of Julieanne McGaw, Rebecca McKee, Charlene Ogle and Jessica Gamble keep the score down.

Thompson and Donnell continued to press the Dromara Ladies back at every opportunity and scored a third goal of the game when Donna Donnell scored her second goal of the game with a well driven low shot after going past the last defender with ease. Right winger Kerrie Rippon then saw a shot go wide of the upright after being played through by Victoria Baird.

Dromara edged two more goals before the end of the game to extend their lead but the last six months efforts by the coaching staff and the players have shown some great improvements to a squad that is mainly consisted of Ladies who are completely new to the game. Banbridge Rangers Ladies have been accepted into Division Four of the NIWFA League set up and the summer league will get under in five weeks time with several derby games to look forward to this season.