The Swans arrived at Clayfield to face the Crystals who they edged in the Cup Final last year ....... but who were unbeaten in the League. With the Swans down to the bare 11 players the game started very evenly with the teams trying to get each other’s measure. Some pressure from Crystals saw fantastic defending from Olivia and Abbey - getting to the ball first and not hesitating to challenge. Niamh as usual gave absolutely nothing to their centre forward and also won some great headers. Crystals managed a couple of long range efforts and Serena was as solid as ever despite very slippery conditions. Some great play in midfield with Courtney and Izzy T combining and releasing Ruby for some great runs down the right wing. Robyn fought hard on the left wing to gain possession and Leonie was playing really well up front to worry the defenders and had a couple of half chances but unfortunately nothing clear cut. Crystals were using their long throw but Maud was getting her position just right and clearing it every time ...... Crystals also had 4 corners in a row all of which Maud cleared !!
In the second half the game opened up a bit and Lianna was called into action as Crystals had a couple of breaks and she cleared the lines. Swans also pushed forward and Maud had a fantastic shot which slid just wide ...... probably the best chance of the game. Ruby became more and more dangerous and Izzy T was getting more time on the ball in the middle, playing some great through balls. Another Crystals foul gave us a free kick a third into their half and Lianna stepped up and SMASHED a fantastic shot on target which flew into the top corner ......... gggooooaaaallllllll !!!! Our first of the campaign !!!!! 20 minutes left but still plenty to do as Crystals reacted well and pushed forward. Again the back four supported by Maud were fantastic and Serena also made some great saves with one juggling show just for effect !!!! With the game heading into the final minutes Crystals just kept pumping the ball forward and with the final kick of the game (literally) they managed to force the ball into the box and (just) squeeze it past the amazing Serena. Very tough for the girls to lose the lead so late on but on balance probably a fair result. Great effort from the girls and a hard fought point.