Cheney Park Banbridge was the venue for Lurgan Town Ladies entry into Senior Women’s football for the first time. Formed this year the Ladies team have been placed in South 2 of the NIWFA. From the off the Ladies took the game to their hosts and only for some unlucky finishing and some great saves from the home keeper Lurgan would have been out of sight. As it was, the girls continued to play the ball on the deck and go through the phases they work on each week during training. On 17 minutes the break through was made all be it by an unlikely source. Another good cross was delivered into the box and as striker Dani Creaney ran on to it, a home defender deflected it into her own net. This seemed to settle the Lurgan girls nerves as they began to pass and move with more confidence as they pressed for openings in the home team’s defence. It wasn’t until the 42nd minute that striker Dani struck again, this time from a fantastic corner from Captain Tracy Orr. Dani showed her strikers instinct to the be in the right place to head the ball into the net. The half time whistle sounded not long later with Lurgan well on top.
Half Time: Banbridge Town 0-2 Lurgan Town ladies
At half time Ciara Lynn was replaced by DeDe Brady with a re-shuffle in midfield with ex Banbridge player Lauren Thompson joining the impressive Caroline O’Hare in midfield as Dede went into left back. Lurgan began as they finished off the first half, but try as they could they came up against an in form home keeper who denied them at every opportunity. Not deterred the girls kept pressing and creating opportunities and controlling the game with right back Debbie Douglas driving on from defence at every opportunity. 60 minutes in and ex Banbridge player Tina Brush was replaced by Lisa Goodman and then with 10 minutes to go Caroline Laird replaced Lauren Thompson. With the game looking like it would end 2-0 the visitors left their best move and goal to the end. A fantastic through ball from O’Hare split the home defence and Dani Creaney racing on to it dispatched it high into the net finally beating the home keeper. As she wheeled away in delight she was joined by her overjoyed teammates to celebrate the goal which confirmed the away team would be leaving with all three points. This was deserved reward for Lurgan as they controlled the game from start to finish and restricted the home side to little possession and no shots on the away goal, with Lurgan keeper Emma McClements a spectator for much of the game.
Final Score: Banbridge Town 0-3 Lurgan Town Ladies
Lurgan manager Davy Welshman commented “After a long pre-season it was great to actually play our first competitive game in South 2. I felt at times we seemed nervous and maybe the occasion got to us all early doors but once we scored we settled into our style of play. Over all I’m delighted with the performance from the girls who all gave 100% from our keeper to our subs. We wish Banbridge well for the rest of their season and now our attention turns to our first home game at The Arena on Wednesday 4th May when Killyleagh will be the visitors. This will be another special occasion for all connected to the club. Special mention to the large crowd who came to support the girls including a number from our own club including club chairman Nigel Johnston and girls favourite Adrian “Badger” Reid who took time out to cheer on the girls… #heartonthesleeve”