The Dundalk FC Ladies team before their clash with Bellurgan United in Oriel Park
Dundalk 2-0 Bellurgan United
Dundalk FC Ladies continued their NEFL North Division title challenge at Oriel Park, courtesy of a hard-fought 2-0 win over a more experienced Bellurgan United outfit.
Eddie Conroy’s youthful side started brightly and were creating the bulk of the chances, but a resolute and physically capable Bellurgan were proving difficult to break down.
That was until the 30th minute when The Lilywhites were awarded a penalty following a hand ball in the area, and up stepped Katie Brophy, who made no mistake to make it 1-0.
Dundalk came agonisingly close to doubling their advantage just before half-time when a superb cross from the right was crashed off the crossbar by the alert Sarah McHugh.
In what was a thoroughly entertaining affair at Oriel, Dundalk continued to impress after the teams re-emerged, but Bellurgan started to push for an equaliser as the half wore on. However, Dundalk’s resistance was rewarded with a second goal in the 65th minute.
Louise Johnson put in a truly fantastic display out on the right flank and used her electric pace to exploit Bellurgan on the break several times throughout the second half. And, it was her neat exchange with Brophy that resulted in Dayna Ferguson sending a pinpoint cross into the head of Caoimhe Crichton, who bravely nipped in to make it 2-0.
Bellurgan sought a route back into the game, but an exceptional defensive performance from Dundalk ensured that they held on for a clean sheet and a crucial three points.
The result, which went some way to avenging a heavy 3-0 defeat at Bellurgan earlier in the season, means The Lilywhites – at the time of writing – are now just four points off league leaders Kingscourt Harps, but with two games in hand on the Cavan side.
Dundalk FC Ladies: Rebecca Lambe-Fagan; Aoife Byrne, Ellie Gorham, Stephanie Cunningham, Emily Johnson; Louise Johnson, Sarah McHugh, Katie Moran, Katie Brophy; Caoimhe Crichton, Dayna Ferguson Subs: Shauna Ward-Rice, Melissa Crosby, Ayo Adesanyo, Ailbhe Ford, Kerry-Ann Darcy.
Subscribe or register today to discover more from DonegalLive.ie
Buy the e-paper of the Donegal Democrat, Donegal People's Press, Donegal Post and Inish Times here for instant access to Donegal's premier news titles.
Keep up with the latest news from Donegal with our daily newsletter featuring the most important stories of the day delivered to your inbox every evening at 5pm.