Lurgan pulled off one of the shock results of the Ulster Shield with a 2-1 unexpected but deserved victory over the holders Ballymoney last Wednesday night at the Junior High School.
Ballymoney came to Lurgan knowing that a win would virtually guarantee them a semi-final spot but they went away empty handed and Lurgan have now given themselves an outside chance of reaching the last four.
The visitors started strongly and a fourth minute penalty corner saw their effort well blocked by Chloe McCann.
Lurgan’s solitary penalty corner of the half came in the 10th minute after some clever play in the circle by Jayne Clarke.
A neat switch move saw the ball slipped to Sarah McClure but her strike flew just wide of the post.
Money kept the pressure on for most of the half but a 12th minute penalty corner strike was well saved by Naomi Costley in the Lurgan goal.
Lurgan defended well with Charlene Hull and Louise Murray ably assisted by young up and coming stars Alex Hurst and Emma Quinn.
With eight minutes to go to half-time Ballymoney eventually broke through with a strike from a penalty corner.
Lurgan almost equalised three minutes later when Zoe Hawthorne fired the ball across the goal-line after a jinking run into the circle but unfortunately none of the other Lurgan forwards could get a stick to the ball.
After half-time Lurgan went in search of an equaliser and began to put more pressure on the Money defence.
Sarah McClure, Emma Linsay and Shelly Sloan ere beginning to link up well and find gaps in the money defence but too often the moves broke down in teh final third of the pitch.
Lurgan’s best chance of an equaliser seemed to be from a setpiece and so it transpired.
With eight minutes to go captain Charlene Hull drilled her first time strike against the backboard to level matters.
Stung by this Ballymoney went on the offensive and with five minutes to go a penalty corner strike of their own was blocked and cleared by the Lurgan defence.
Lurgan snatched victory with three minutes to go when Charlene Hull again hit the backboard from another penalty corner award.
The home side then held on for the remaining few minutes for a vital moral boosting win.
On Saturday Lurgan proved that Wednesday’s win was no fluke when they travelled to Ballymoney in the league and came away with a 1-1 draw against late year’s league runners-up.
This young and much changed lurgan team from last year are starting to gell well together and striker Chloe McCann was the hero of the day with a second half equaliser after Money had taken the lead earlier in the game.