The NIWFA Super Cup quarter final match between league leaders Lurgan Town Ladies and unbeaten new team Lisburn Rangers Ladies was always going to be a tight affair, and so it proved, with nothing separating the sides after extra time. The penalty shoot-out could have gone either way, but the young Lisburn side nicked the win 6-5.
The game at the Arena started out with both teams trying to get the measure of each other, and Lurgan playing more defensively than usual. After 20 minutes, a high bouncing ball almost caught Lurgan keeper Megan McCabe out, but Amy McAllister, playing centre-half tonight, was there to clear the goal-line. However, there was a handball in the box following the resulting corner, and Lisburn scored their penalty to make it 0-1.
A few minutes later, Lurgan conceded another corner, and this time Roisin Bolger cleared it away. On 25 minutes, a free kick from Dede Brady was tipped over the bar by the Rangers’ keeper. Then a few minutes later, Lurgan were awarded another free kick, and this time Elisha Donnelly’s shot was accidentally headed in by a Rangers’ defender to make it 1-1. There was a good attacking move 10 minutes later, involving Niamh Ruddy, Leanne Domican and Kerry Taggart, but somehow the Rangers defence cleared it away. On the stroke of half-time, Leanne had a final long range shot, but it went just wide.
In the second half, Lurgan again played quite defensively, and were happy to sit back and absorb the Rangers’ pressure (and presumably save some energy for their next league match on Wednesday). They conceded a free kick in their own half that went over the wall, but was well caught by Megan. Then a Lurgan free kick forced a corner, but KT’s downward header went wide. Lisburn Rangers got some long range shots away, but they were not on target, and the Lurgan defence held firm. As the end of normal time approached, Rangers got a free kick from just outside the box, but the Lurgan wall did its job and blocked the shot.
The full-time score ended at 1-1, so 20 minutes of extra time was played, but still there was no winner.
The tension continued to a penalty shoot-out, with the away side shooting first. It wasn’t until the 5th Lurgan penalty that a shot was missed, bringing to an end a highly competitive game. Lisburn Rangers will now go on to play Lisburn Ladies in the semi-final.
Highlights and interviews from this game will be shown on ‘NIWFA TV’ on Sunday evening – see the NIWFA Facebook page.
Congratulations once again to Debbie Douglas who got Lurgan’s POTM from the referee. Many thanks to our match Sponsor, Sharon Johnston ‘Designs for Living’ for her support for the ladies team. (www.sharonjohnstondesignsforliving.com)
The Lurgan Town Ladies continue their league campaign on Wednesday evening, with an away match against East Belfast at Inverary Park.
Team: M McCabe, D Douglas, A McAllister, C Rooney, D Brady, L O’Neill, K Taggart, E Donnelly, L Domican, R Bolger, N Ruddy. Subs: N Gray, T Orr, W Bailie (all used), R Davis, T Maguire