It was a top of the table against bottom of the table match tonight at Lurgan Town Arena, as the ladies hosted newly promoted Crewe United Ladies in the #ElectricIrelandNI league.
As you might expect, Crewe played very defensively, and even though Lurgan Town dominated possession in the early stages, with great runs by Leanne Domican and super tackles by Louise O’Neill, they were limited to shots off target, as Crewe looked to smother each attack. Elisha Donnelly almost opened the scoring when she picked up on a loose ball after the keeper fumbled in the damp conditions, but her shot came off the inside of the post. Then a few minutes later, she shot a cross from Kerry Taggart over the bar. The deadlock was finally broken on 34 minutes, when Elisha’s ball in to Wendy Bailie was finely controlled and then knocked in past the keeper for 1-0. From then on, the goals came thick and fast, with the next goal coming less than 5 minutes later, from a well-worked free kick by Elisha and KT, finished off by Elisha. On her debut for Lurgan Town, Cassie Halliday doggedly chased down the ball, and crossed it into the box for Wendy to head in her second goal to make it 3-0. Three minutes later, Nicola Gray scored her first goal for the Town, after good work by Cassie and Elisha. Then Debbie Douglas had a great shot-come-cross after her customary dash up the wing. Wendy completed her hat-trick before half-time with a well-placed shot, to make it 5-0 at the break.
The home side picked up where they left off in the second half, with Elisha scoring from what looked like an impossibly tight angle on 47 minutes, which was soon followed by another goal as KT pulled one back to Nicola who guided it into the bottom corner of the net for 7-0. Crewe were tiring and picking up injuries, and 12 minutes later, Wendy passed back for Cassie to score her second, and then a great through ball from Debbie was crossed by KT and hit in by Elisha for 9-0. Elisha’s next goal was a great individual effort as she skipped past 3 defenders before pulling it across into the bottom left hand corner. The scoring was completed by our two centre-halfs, when Claire Rooney set up Tracy Orr from a corner who made it 11-0.
The reverse league fixture will be played next Wednesday evening (venue TBC) but the ladies will not be complacent, as Crewe will be strengthening their squad. Having said that, it’s been a great first half of the season. Thank you all for your continued support, and particularly Gary & Ellie Beattie who sponsored toight’s match.
Team: M McCabe, L O’Neill, T Orr, D Douglas, C Rooney, L Domican, N Gray, E Donnelly, K Taggart, W Bailie, C Halliday. Subs: T Maguire, C Young (both used)