Belfast Telegraph

Sion skipper missing League Cup final for sister's wedding as Swifts face Glentoran

 

Wedding date: Kendra McMullan will miss the final
Wedding date: Kendra McMullan will miss the final

By Graham Luney

Sion Swifts and Glentoran will battle it out in the final of the Women's Premiership League Cup at Seaview tonight (8pm).

It promises to be a thrilling and tense showdown with little separating the sides in the Women's Premiership.

Strabane outfit Sion Swifts are two points behind the second-placed Glens and the rivals played out a 2-2 draw in the league last month.

Tonight's game will be a proud occasion for the players but spare a thought for Swifts skipper Kendra McMullan, who will miss the clash for another big match - her sister's wedding!

"The timing of the match is desperately unlucky for Kendra and she is devastated - she's a dynamic midfielder and there's no denying we'd much rather have her available," said Swifts coach Tommy Canning.

The Glens are, arguably, favourites to grab the prize, particularly as the Swifts are missing key players.

As well as McMullan's absence, Northern Ireland international Claragh Connor and Teegan Lynch are sidelined with injury.

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"Tony (McGinley, Sion Swifts manager) recruited well in the close season and this is an ideal opportunity for girls who haven't played as often to step into a cup final arena and enjoy the experience," added Canning.

Jamaica World Cup goalkeeper Nicole McClure will be in goals again for the Swifts.

The Glens have made an impressive start to the campaign with Demi Vance, Nadene Caldwell and Rachel Rogan in red-hot form.

Only one defeat in the league so far this season indicated that confidence is high, especially after a 7-0 win over Derry City.

Northern Ireland and Glentoran goalkeeper Emma Higgins said: "To lift the trophy and bring success to the club would be a great achievement and one that we would all take a great sense of pride in. I came to the Glens to win big trophies and this is a good opportunity to do that."

Andrew Johnston, managing director NI Football League, said: "We're delighted that we're once again bringing our Women's Premiership League Cup to a live broadcast audience.

"The growth of the Women's Premiership in Northern Ireland this year has been superb and we're looking forward to a great game between two of the title challengers at Seaview."

Meanwhile, Linfield Ladies returned to the top of the Danske Bank Women's Premiership after scoring two goals in three minutes to come from behind to beat Crusaders Strikers 3-2 at Midgley Park.

The reigning champions hold a three-point lead over Glentoran after eight games.

Cliftonville skipper Marissa Callaghan struck twice to lead her side past Derry City.

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