Burns rolls back years to inspire Rainey to first Senior Cup triumph
Mossley 1 Rainey 3
Carolyn Burns turned the clock back yesterday when she scored two goals and set up a third as Rainey lifted the Senior Cup for the first time with a 3-1 win over Mossley in an exciting final at Deramore.
The former international striker - now 56-years-old - won almost every trophy on offer, including three all-Ireland medals, during her time at Randalstown before moving to Magherafelt where she teaches at Rainey Endowed.
It was a memorable occasion for the Burns family yesterday as Carolyn's two daughters and team-mates, Rachel and Alex, also got their hands on the trophy although the former was unable to play due to a bout of glandular fever.
Rainey's game plan to play on the counter-attack paid rich dividends as they led 1-0 at half-time and added two further goals before Mossley's pressure paid off in the dying seconds.
The Newtownabbey outfit dominated possession but any time they did look like scoring, they found Rainey goalkeeper Erin Mulholland in terrific form until she was beaten late on.
"Winning any trophy at my age is something special," said Burns. "We defended well and soaked up a lot of pressure but we made the most of the few chances that came our way.
"We were a few players short and we missed Rachel, who had been scoring a lot of goals for us, but fortunately I was able to convert two opportunities."
It was also a good day for one of Burns' pupils at Rainey Endowed as teenager Betty Scott scored the all-important second goal after setting up the first-half opener for her teacher.
"Betty is a fantastic prospect and has already made it into the Ulster U16 squad," Burns added.
Burns' former Randalstown club mate and Mossley captain Louise Creighton admitted that Rainey deserved their victory but her team won't have long to wait as they plan a revenge mission.
"I told the girls afterwards it's no good playing nice hockey if you can't put the ball into the net and turn possession into goals," she said. "But winning the cup doesn't get you anywhere and promotion to the Premier League is our priority, so hopefully we can learn from the game and reverse the result when we meet in the league on Saturday."
With Creighton and Irish U18 starlet Sophie McDowell pulling the strings, Mossley dominated the early exchanges but it was Rainey who broke the deadlock against the run of play.
Scott raced down the right flank and crossed for Burns to score with a first-time shot.
The start of the second half was all Mossley and after McDowell had gone close, Mulholland pulled off a great point-blank save to deny Creighton.
But Rainey struck again four minutes later, Burns' slide-rule pass finding Scott, who rounded Mossley keeper Gemma Ferguson and slotted home.
In the 57th minute, Burns got her second when she fired home from mid-circle following a penalty corner before Molly Dougan hit Mossley's late consolation.