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Academy girls at their clinical best

Omagh Academy 1st XI………….5
Down High School 1st XI……….0

OMAGH Academy 1st XI were at their clinical best in securing a place in the second round of the Schools’ Cup following a convincing 5-0 victory over Down High School at Campsie on Wednesday evening.

In truth the winning margin flattered the Academy girls in some respects but there was no doubting their prowess in front of goal as Leah Bogle, Amy McCollum, Emma Hamilton, Katie Ballintine and Sophie Egerton all found the target.

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Another major positive for Omagh was a brief first half appearance of skipper Lauren Armstrong, who is slowly but surely making her return from injury.

In the opening exchanges it was the visitors who asked the early questions but the Academy defence, led by Amy Sproule and Emma Hamilton, worked hard to keep their opponents at bay.

Omagh took some time to find their rhythm and towards the end of the first quarter duly took the lead when, following a counter attack involving Holly Barrabah and Katie Ballantine, Bogle scored with a first time shot through the keeper’s legs.

That strike, which came somewhat against the run of play, set the tone and in the second quarter Omagh took a firm grip of proceedings by netting a further three times with devastating effect.

Amy McCollum coolly doubled the advantage with a penalty stroke after a Down defender had blocked a certain goal with her foot.

The Academy were rampant at this stage and two goals from penalty corners in quick succession effectively ended the game as a contest. The first saw Mia Nethery stop McCollum’s hit for Ballintine to play a disguised pass to Hamilton and she swept the ball home first time.

Moments later a variation of that routine ended with Ballantine playing a one-two with a team-mate before striking the backboard for 4-0.

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There was simply no way back for Down after that although the visitors refused to throw in the towel and they gave as good as they got for the remainder of the game but, despite their best efforts, they simply couldn’t find a way past home net-minder Nadine Hunter.

Omagh continued to look threatening on the counter attack and Egerton completed the scoring by adding an accomplished finish to yet another sweeping counter attack.

The Academy girls will now play the winners of Royal School Dungannon and Bloomfield.

Team: Nadine Hunter, Amy Sproule, Emma Hamilton, Emma Marechaux, Katie Beattie, Sara Hamilton, Amy McCollum, Lauren Armstrong, Mia Nethery, Katie Ballantine, Leah Bogle, Hollie Berrabah, Sophie Egerton, Sophie Alexander, Amy McFarland, Jessica Rennie.

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