Ballymena Showgrounds will host a women’s international featuring Northern Ireland and the Republic on Saturday (3pm) as a curtain raiser to the Dale Farm Milk Cup.
Organisers hope the game will further enhance the appeal of the international youth tournament which sees matches staged in the Ballymena area next week, culminating with finals night at the Warden Street venue on Friday week.
Down the years the highly successful international youth tournament has occasionally staged women’s games but now the organising committee are looking at the possibility of incorporating an official competitive event within their tournament.
“I think it is important that our tournament incorporates an element of the women’s game,” said tournament chairman Victor Leonard.
“The rise in popularity of the women’s game over the past decade is fantastic and we have long felt that our event should reflect that.”
“It is not a new venture in the sense we have had women’s matches before over the years but we have been exploring ways of introducing an annual competition.”
The 33rd Dale Farm Milk Cup officially begins with the traditional parade of competing teams through Coleraine on Sunday, July 26, concluding with finals night at Ballymena Showgrounds on Friday, July 31.
See page 46 for more countdown to the Milk Cup in Ballymena.