LURGAN LADIES THIRDS 8 BALLYCLARE SECONDS 0
LURGAN Ladies Thirds played Ballyclare Seconds, sitting fourth in the league and with just three games left to play, a win was vital to maintain both a top four finish and recognition.
It was clear from the whistle that this time around Lurgan were going to have it all their own way.
The midfield of Chelsea Holden, Sarah Denver and Julia Kennedy were quick to pounce on loose balls and thread pass after pass though to the front three, Samantha Bann, Judith Edgar and Rachel Hull. The Ballyclare defence simply could not cope with the pace of play. The long ball clearances were picked up by Sue Gibson, Demi McCauley and Katie Hayes, with sweeper Louise Currie barely needed at all and goalkeeper Eileen Mitchell a spectator between the sticks.
Sam Bann opened Lurgan’s account when she pounced on a loose ball in the circle. Displaying lovely individual control she picked her spot and slid the ball into the left hand corner of the goal. Soon after Lurgan were awarded a penalty stoke for a foot infringement on the goal line. Judith Edgar stepped up and smoothly lifted the ball into the back of the net giving the keeper no chance.
Lurgan kept up the pressure through Denver and Gibson on the right of the pitch. Both combined to find Rachel Hull who fed the ball through to Bann who was unmarked in the circle. A quick spin and she fired home for number three. Kennedy and Holden were soon in on the act sliding the ball to each other and taking out two defenders in the process. Julia found Edgar in the circle and she made it 4-0 just before half time.
Ballyclare came out a little stronger in the second half, but their frustration began to show when their captain hit the ball away after a free was blown and she was sin binned for 2 minutes. Lurgan
were quick to capitalise and won a succession of penalty corners, one of which was blasted home by Denver. The pressure in the circle was incessant, and following a goal mouth melee the keeper cleared the ball to the top of the circle only to find Chelsea Holden who slammed the ball into the back of the net. Rachel Hull went close on several occasions but a combination of excellent keeping and last ditch defending prevented her from getting a goal.
Denver got her second of the match after Lurgan were awarded a free in the 23 metre area. Holden was quickest to react and slid the ball through to Denver whose first time shot gave the keeper no chance. Demi McCauley and Louise Currie were by now venturing further up field as Lurgan pinned the opposition deep in their own half. After good work by McCauley set Bann up for another run into the circle yet another short was awarded. Louise Currie, on her 21 st birthday stepped up to take the strike. She fired off a fantastic shot that simply flew into the net with such force it stunned the defence who then applauded her goal.
8-0 was the final score and with just two more matches to play, both against Ards Seconds this team will need to keep up the good work and secure their highest finish position in Junior 2.