BONAGEE UNITED can secure the 2019 North West Women’s Super League title this Thursday night – but the Dry Arch Park side must beat the defending champions, Illies, in order to claim the prize.
Bonagee sit eight points clear at the summit, with four games to play, so victory at Illies will give them an unassailable advantage.
John Doherty’s Illies lost 1-0 to Greencastle two weeks ago, giving Bonagee a real edge. A 6-1 win over Culdaff at home last time out has taken Bonagee to the cusp of a first ever senior women’s League title.
However, Illies have won the Super League in each of the first two runnings of the new League. After sweeping the boards in the inaugural Super League term in 2017, Illies had the edge again in 2018, taking the title after a 2-0 away win over Bonagee.
Games between the two teams have been wafer thin this season with no more than a goal between them in each of the three previous meetings.
In the last League fixture, Natalie McFadden scored a second-half double as Bonagee won 3-2 at Dry Arch Park.
Illies, thanks to a cracking winner from Paula McGrory, whose late, late goal forced extra time, took the spoils in the Ulster Cup, while Bonagee’s Chantelle Grant netted the only goal of a tense FAI Intermediate Cup encounter.
As well as the prowess of McGrory, Illies can call on the likes of Zoe Green, Deirdre Grant and Emma Doherty, not to mention a solid goalkeeper in Aoife McColgan.
Clare Friel has proved an excellent acquisition for Chris McNulty’s Bonagee since last season.
Bonagee have recently added Geraldine McLaughlin, who was among the goals last week in the big win over Culdaff, while the experience of Maureen O’Donnell, the guile of Alice Diver and a spread of scorers has ensured that Bonagee have a perfect League record as they head for the lion’s den.