Both the 1st XI and 2nd XIIAs progress to the next round of their respective competitions
2nd XIAs progress to the quarter final stages of the Mc Dowell cup, by beating Methody 3-2 on 19 January at Deramore. This was an enthralling game and it was the most determined team that were victorious!
In the first half the VCB girls attacked throughout but were unable to convert. But Methody took their chances and scored in the first half. In the second half Robyn Chambers put the sweeper under pressure and stole the ball from the hit out and converted a skilful goal beating three of the Methody defence single handed. However, in a more even second half, Methody went ahead after 15 minutes. On the final whistle VCB a goal down were awarded a penalty corner, Emma Russell accurately passed the ball to Robyn, slipped to Victoria Johnson and slipped back into Robyn who shot the ball into the left corner. 2-2 on the final whistle so extra time commenced. Again on the final whistle VCB were awarded a penalty corner, this time they decided on a straight strike from Victoria Johnston who beautifully executed a strong shot again into the left corner to win the match. Roll on the quarter final!
Victoria College played Limavady Grammar School in the Preliminary round of the Schools Plate at Queens Playing Fields. After having reached the final of the Cup competition last season VCB rightly started as favourites against their north west opponents. The final 3-0 scoreline in favour of the Belfast school justified this tag as they easily ran out winners and progressed to the first round proper. The game started at a rather frantic pace with both sides struggling to gain control of the ball and put together any meaningful attacks. Half chances fell to Katherine Brown and Caitlyn Harvey, but they were thwarted by the Limavady goalkeeper who was superb throughout the game.
In contrast, at the other end Azka Yousaf was virtually untroubled behind a defence superbly marshalled by the impressive Megan Halliday. The breakthrough did eventually arrive when Olivia Blundell used her often unpredictable skill to weave her way through a number of defenders before crashing the ball low into the net to open the scoring.
The home side then asserted their superiority and could and should have extended their lead on a couple of occasions in the half when, firstly, Emma McAllister and then Olivia Blundell saw their efforts denied by the excellent Limavady Goalkeeper. Victoria College started the second half superbly with the midfield trio of Hanley, Lawther and Bamber excelling. The Limavady team were under a lot of pressure now and it was only a matter of time before the home side extended their lead.
This duly arrived when Lizzie Lawther slotted home from a penalty corner early in the second half. Odillia Goldsworthy, a live wire throughout the game, superbly cut inside two defenders before drawing the foul and winning Victoria's second penalty corner of the game. Lizzie Lawther then drilled the ball low and hard to the keepers left.
Sophie Hunter put the icing on the cake with a back post deflection late in the game after some superb work by Jessica Bamber and Rachel Hanley in midfield. Best for Victoria College on the day was Georgia Dick who excelled in both defence and attack from her right back position. Georgia has been deployed in a variety of positions this season but now seems to have found her niche in the back four.
Next up for Victoria is a match against the winners of Glenlola Collegiate and Bloomfield at the beginning of February.