Lurgan’s miserable run came to an end with this narrow but fully deserved victory over a determined Lisnagarvey at the Junior High School on Friday night.
Lurgan determined not to concede early, made a more focussed and composed start. They built their attacks well and almost scored on the 7th minute when Kerrie Burns got in a good strike on target which was well saved by the Garvey keeper.
Both sides vied for control in the middle of the park with Lurgan’s Hurst, McClure and Johnston having the upper hand in this battle. Against the run of play Garvey were awarded their first penalty corner in the 20th minute and despite a Lurgan defender getting a stick to the resulting strike, such was the power of the shot they were unable to prevent it from crossing the line to give the visitors a fortunate lead.
Garvey doggedly held on for the rest of the half as Lurgan bombed forward in search of an equaliser. Just before half time Kerrie Burns had a shot saved by the keeper with Jo-Anne Wilson just failing to steer the rebound goal wards.
At the start of the second half Kerrie was again very unlucky as her deflection on a beautifully disguised ball into the circle by Sarah McClure was brilliantly saved by the Garvey keeper.
Lurgan had taken almost complete control but having most of the possession and creating lots of good chances does not necessarily convert into goals and points as they had discovered in the Queens match.
Undaunted they pushed forward and all their hard work was rewarded with a deserved equaliser in the 44th minute. A beautifully worked switch move at a penalty corner saw wing back Emma Quinn slam home at the near post to the relief of her team mates. Four minutes later Natalie Barr and Sarah McClure linked up in a flowing move to provide a shooting chance for Jo-Anne Wilson but the shot went just wide. Two minutes later Lurgan took the lead when a straight strike from a penalty corner by Charlene Hull slapped against the backboard. It was virtually all one way traffic now as Lurgan fought to increase their advantage. Two more penalty corner awards for Lurgan in the next five minutes came to nothing and another switch move went wide in the 59th minute from another Lurgan penalty corner.
Despite their territorial possession advantage there was still only one goal in it and Lurgan were always vulnerable to a Garvey quick break. Lurgan failed to register from two more penalty corner awards in the 65th and 67th minutes and even fluffed a two on one with the keeper in the 68th minute. Garvey almost snatched an equaliser in the last minute when panic in the Lurgan defence almost gifted them an unlikely goal, but brilliant defending by Serena Barr saw her deflect the ball away from the net as the Garvey striker lifted her shot over a diving Naomi Costley. A somewhat relieved Lurgan held on for the win and a valuable three points.