The game was played at a high tempo from start to finish, despite the heat, and the home side earned a hard fought victory to keep them at the top of the Championship table.
The game was finely balanced at the start, with a fast pace forcing some loose passes, and within 10 minutes, Lurgan keeper Megan McCabe had to palm a long strike over the bar, and then catch the resulting corner on the line. Lurgan nearly struck back straight away, when Elisha Donnelly ran up the wing, and cut back to Leanne Domnican, but the cross didn’t quite find Kerry Taggart’s head.
With Amy McAllister and Louise O’Neill winning tackles in mid-field, it wasn’t long before Louise was able to set up Leanne for a shot on goal from the left, but the keeper saved it. Two minutes later, however, the keeper had no chance, as Elisha hit a 25-yard screamer into the top left hand corner, for a 1-0 lead after 20 minutes.
Lurgan needed to stay focused, as Lisburn continued to apply pressure, and just a few minutes later, Megan caught a well-watched shot on target. After half an hour, Lurgan won their first corner of the match, and a great delivery by Elisha was headed just over by KT. There were anxious moments towards the end of the half, as both Amy and KT needed treatment on the pitch for injuries, but they battled on.
In the second half, the game continued at the same fast-moving pace, with neither side giving the other time on the ball. KT forced a great save from the Lisburn keeper at the bottom corner, when it looked like the ball was heading in for a second. But then at the other end, there were nervous moments before Megan gathered from a corner. Midway through the second half, many spectators thought Elisha had scored again from a tight angle, but apparently her looping ball hit the outside of the netting. Ten minutes later, a free kick from Tracy Orr was knocked down by KT and there was no mistaking when Leanne scored from 15 yards to make it 2-0.
Towards the end of the game, Teah Maguire and Cassie Halliday came on to give some players a well-earned rest, and young Jessica Greenlee made her senior team debut. Megan kept a clean sheet despite late pressure from Lisburn, with the aid of some confident catches and a goal-line clearance by Dede Brady.
Needless to say, the coaching staff were all justifiably proud of each and every player tonight. They gave it their all, and worked so hard for each other. Fortunately, there will be some recovery time now, as the next league match is still to be confirmed.
Thanks to our sponsors Number 10 and Jennifer, who provided the post-match sandwiches and buns!
Team: M McCabe, D Douglas, C Rooney, T Orr, D Brady, A McAllister, L O’Neill, W Bailie, K Taggart, L Domican, E Donnelly. Subs: T Maguire, C Halliday, J Greenlee (used)