Shield semi-final spot eludes locals

Winemark Ulster Shield

Randalstown 2 Lurgan 2

Lurgan completed their Ulster Shield campaign with this fighting draw against group leaders Randalstown last Wednesday night.

The result was all the more impressive given that Lurgan were missing two of their regular midfielders, Shelly Sloan and Sarah McClure.

Lurgan started the more positive with lots of early possession and pressure but they were rocked back on their heels when Randalstown scored on their first attack on 11 minutes.

On 24 minutes Lurgan levelled when Zoe Hawthorne found space to turn and fire home in a crowded circle after being picked out by a perfect pass.

Lurgan continued on the offensive and strikes from penalty corner awards on 26 and 30 minutes were well saved by the home keeper and cleared.

Lurgan responded well to any Randalstown attack with Emma Quinn and Alex Hurst putting in confident performances and Vicky Parkes looking cool and composed in goal.

Lurgan continued on the offensive in the second period with Emma Lindsay and Charlene Hull linking up well to create an opportunity for Pippa Best but her shot was well saved.

Randalstown were still dangerous on the break and 10 minutes in they were awarded a penalty corner which they struck home to restore their lead.

Lurgan went in search of the equaliser and they won penalty corners on 25 and 28 minutes. The first was won after some excellent attacking play by overlapping fullback Alex Hurst and although the resulting strike was saved the keeper could not keep out the second after a lovely strike from Charlene Hull.

Lurgan were keen to find the winner but Randalstown held out and the match ended all square which assured their place in the last four.

Other results went against Lurgan on the night although they had the same number of points as both Randalstown and Ballymoney, they lost out on goal difference by a single goal to deny them a place in the semi-finals.