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Saturday 15 Oct 2022
Glens and Sion to meet in Women's Challenge Cup decider

Glentoran Women and Sion Swifts Ladies will contest the Electric Ireland Women's Challenge Cup final on November 5th at the National Football Stadium at Windsor Park.

Holders Glentoran Women continued their defence of the trophy with a four goal semi-final defeat of Linfield Ladies at Inver Park.

Joely Andrews opened the scoring for the Glens after a quarter-of-an-hour when she connected with Casey Howe's cross delivered from wide on the left to direct the ball past Lauren Currie.

Glentoran had numerous opportunities to double their advantage after that but had to wait until early in the second half to do so when the evergreen Kelly Bailie grabbed arguably the goal of the night with a superbly executed free-kick from wide on the right into the opposite top corner.

Caragh Hamilton followed up with a third on the hour after a sensational run through the Linfield defence before flicking the finish past Currie from six yards.

Jess Foy might have added number four soon after only to rattle the crossbar from the edge of the area but Glentoran's fourth did arrive three minutes from time courtesy of Nadene Caldwell's far post header after Foy had sent over a set piece from the right flank.

Sion defeated Crusaders Strikers after coming from two goals down to force extra-time before triumphing 3-1 on penalties in a nail biting encounter at Stangmore Park.

Jessica Rea fired Crusaders in front as early as the sixth minute with a left-foot finish past Jennifer Currie but Sion did well to respond positively, coming close through Caoirse Doherty and Naomi McLaughlin.

However, the Crues doubled their advantage early in the second half thanks to a brave header from Caitlyn Hamilton.

But, as before, Sion didn’t let their heads drop and duly pulled one back with around a quarter-of-an-hour to go when Cora Chambers squeezed the ball home from an acute angle.

Then, less than ten minutes after that, Chambers struck again to level for Sion before in stoppage time Kelly Crompton almost snatched a dramatic winner when she sent a looping header onto the crossbar.

Extra-time failed to produce any further goals although Ellie Long and Kerryanne Brown both produced goalline clearances to thwart the Crues.

Keeper Currie was the hero of the hour for Sion in the penalty shoot-out that followed.

She denied both Rachel McLaren and Rea while McLaughlin, Chambers and Teegan Lynch all converted for Sion and when Amy McGivern sent Crusaders’ fourth spot-kick against the crossbar there was no way back for the Belfast side.