The Derry players celebrate Lauren Cregan's goal. Photograph by JPJ Photography
Derry City's ladies team last night won their first league game in almost two years.
As Derry manager Kevin McLaughlin congratulated Lauren Cregan on her winning goal against Sion Swifts last night, he displayed a comfort that said, told you so.
It may have been twenty-three months since he said it, but he was right.
In the 47th minute of this equally contested north-west derby, Lauren Cregan’s athletic goal, was greeted with an equal sense of joy, determination, and purpose.
The opening twenty minutes were even, with few chances.
Teegan Lynch should have put Sion in front shortly after but a decisive last-ditch tackle from Kathryn Canavan cleared the danger.
The remainder of the half was played in a similar fashion with little between the teams.
As the second half progressed and a goal down, Sion found themselves in the unusual position of potentially conceding a second.
On 71 minutes, however, Keegan should have levelled matters.
She could only find the side netting with her rebound, after Clare Friel had blocked her initial effort. At the other end, Nicole Gordon had two attempts at making the points safe for Derry.
On 80 minutes, the crossbar saved Derry and only an injury to Laura Connolly, five minutes later, relented the Sion pressure.
In injury time, as Keegan again attempted to redress the imbalance, Derry stood firm, Naomi McMullan swiftly made up the ground to block Sion’s final attempt on goal.
This was a satisfying night for the female Candystripes.
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