Lyttle steals the show as Seconds demolish Harlequins

Carrick Ladies' second-team.
Carrick Ladies' second-team.
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Having beaten their opponents only by a narrow 2-1 margin earlier in the season, Carrick Ladies 2nd XI fully expected another close-run encounter on Saturday afternoon when Belfast Harlequins visited Carrick Amphitheatre.

And even when Rebecca McRoberts seventh-minute strike was deflected into the net by a Harlequins defender, nobody on the pitch or the home terraces could have reasonably anticipated the goal avalanche just about to break on the unfortunate visitors.

But with Carrick having added another three goals within the next eight minutes, courtesy of Jeni Leigh Patterson, Rebecca McRoberts, and Abbie Lyttle, it gradually became evident that the young Carrick squad were looking to deliver an early Christmas gift for their appreciative supporters.

Seven minutes later, Lyttle added her second of the afternoon, Carrick’s fifth, following a brilliant weaving run by Patterson.

Just before half-time, Carrick captain Lyndsey Reid made it 6-0 for the home side.

A shell-shocked but still determined Harlequins defence were under almost immediate pressure as the second-half opened when Lyttle completed her hat-trick after only four minutes.

And seven minutes later a Holly Robinson strike was well saved by the Harlequins goalkeeper only to be netted on the rebound by Karen Nelson.

Harlequins did their best to turn defence into attack whenever they could and were eventually rewarded with a consolation goal late in the match from a penalty-corner play.

But, even then, Carrick were not finished, and Erin McElvogue returned the favour almost immediately, scoring from another penalty corner at the opposite end of the pitch to leave the scoreline 9-1 for an ecstatic young Carrick squad.

Carrick Player of the Match was midfielder, Abbie Lyttle.