Lurgan Town Ladies travelled to Kilkeel on Wednesday to play last year’s South 1 league & cup winners Valley Rangers Ladies. The match saw the return of Rachel Davis and Dede Brady to the squad (who had both been away in England) and also the debut of new signing Sophie Weir.
From the outset, Lurgan Town played their usual passing football on the new 3G pitch at Binian Park, and restricted Valley to long range shots. But Lurgan were up against a solid Valley Rangers defence. The deadlock was broken after 20 minutes, when Lana Black crossed into the box, and Kerry Taggart was brought down just as she was about to strike. For the second week running, captain Tracy Orr confidently put away the resulting penalty, to put Lurgan Town 1-0 up. Unfortunately, Tracy limped off injured 20 minutes later, and soon after that, a long ball through to Valley’s lone striker was struck low and right, and although keeper Emma McClements got a hand to it, she couldn’t keep it out, and the score was 1-1 at half time.
In the second half, Lurgan continued to press, but Valley defended in numbers, relying on counter-attacks and long balls forward that were comfortably dealt with by the Lurgan defence. Then midway through the second half, Kerry’s shot from Sophie’s corner was saved, but Lana scored on the rebound, to make it 2-1 to Lurgan. This settled the team (and any nervous supporters!) and 9 minutes later, Lana had options to pass, but instead cheekily chipped the keeper to make it 3-1. Two minutes after that, the Valley keeper fumbled a long-range shot by Caroline O’Hare, to make it 4-1 to the visitors.
Unfortunately, the game was stopped 7 minutes from time, when Valley Rangers stalwart Leanne Martin fell awkwardly and required an ambulance for a suspected dislocated knee. Lurgan Town Ladies wish her a speedy recovery. Next match – home to Comber Rec Ladies (the only other unbeaten team in South 1 so far) on Wed 24 May KO 7:30pm
Team: E McClements, D Brady, T Orr, C O’Hare, S Weir, D Douglas, L Black, C Lynn, L Gibson, D Creaney, K Taggart
Subs: L Thompson, T Brush, C Laird, R Davis