Lurgan Town Ladies maintained their winning league form, with a comfortable away victory over a depleted East Belfast Ladies team at Inverary Park.
The ladies started brightly, with the first attacking move coming from Niamh Ruddy and Teah Maguire. But this was closely followed by an East Belfast shot from close range which went over the bar, and then danger from a long East Belfast throw-in into the box, which was eventually gathered by Megan McCabe.
However Lurgan chances soon came thick and fast – Kerry Taggart had a long-range shot just wide, and a looping shot and a header both over the bar, while Elisha Donnelly’s shot after a driving run went just over the bar, and the ball got caught under her feet resulting in a tame shot on target. Elisha also had a cross-come-shot, but Roisin Bolger couldn’t quite get on the end of it.
The break-through came after half an hour, when a through ball from Claire Rooney sent Elisha on her way, and she crossed to Roisin who put it away for the opening goal. East Belfast tried to hit back, but their long-range looping shot was caught by Megan. Shortly afterwards, Elisha took the ball from a throw-in and scored to make it 0-2. Just a minute later, Louise had a cross-come-shot which fell to Wendy who scored a third goal for the visitors. Wendy then had a shot across goal which beat the keeper but was just wide, and Niamh had a further half-chance but two defenders closed her down. Then a curling shot from Louise O’Neill into the top right corner made it 0-4 just before half-time.
In the second half, East Belfast went down to 10 players, as a player went off injured with no substitute to replace her. For Lurgan Town, Leanne Domican came on for Teah, and Rachel Davis (welcomed back from England) and Magda Stepien both got game time too. Within 10 minutes, Roisin was almost brought down in the box – she gamely stayed on her feet, but her shot went over the bar. A few minutes later, Roisin set up Wendy who scored Lurgan’s 5th goal. Soon after, Elisha played a short corner to Claire who drilled it home for 0-6. On the hour-mark, a corner was headed in by captain Tracy Orr for a seventh goal. Another corner was headed in from close range by Wendy for her hat-trick. This was followed by a super shot from Claire from within the centre-circle which chipped the keeper for a ninth goal. In the closing stages, Niamh made it 0-10 after good work in the box to beat the defender, and then the scoring was rounded off by another header from Wendy.
The win keeps Lurgan Town at the top of the Premiership table, with 3 league games left. Well done to Elisha Donnelly who got the referee’s POTM. Thank you to the Happy Villa in Camlough (@happyvillachinese) for their sponsorship of tonight’s game.
Next week, the ladies travel to Carnmoney on Monday for a re-scheduled league fixture, and then their final home match of the season is on Wednesday. All support appreciated!
Team: M McCabe, T Orr, C Rooney, D Douglas, L O’Neill, W Bailie, T Maguire, R Bolger, K Taggart, E Donnelly, N Ruddy. Subs: L Domican, R Davis, M Stepien (all used), D Brady, A McAllister