Lurgan 0 Greenfields 1
It was a very disappointed Lurgan side who left the pitch on Saturday as they fell to this unexpected defeat to Greenfields of Galway in this second round Irish Hockey League match.
Rarely will they have controlled a match so comprehensively, created so many opportunities and yet came away with nothing.
Lurgan started so brightly and but for their keeper pulling off a terrific diving save to a Sarah McClure break and shot in the fifth minute they would have been in early trouble. Lurgan were so much in control it wasn’t until the thirteen minute that they managed to get out of their own half and unbelievably they scored with this their very first attack.
Lurgan tried to respond immediately and were desperately unlucky to see a 15th minute penalty corner strike from Charlene Hull crash off a post and away to safety.
Lurgan continued to dominate possession for the remainder of this and the next quarter but nerves seem to get the better of them, particularly in the final third and several promising build-ups broke down with no end product. Another penalty corner strike just before half time resulted in the ball deflected wide off a defenders stick.
The second half continued in much of the same vein as the first with Lurgan pressing forward and Greenfields defending stubbornly.
Penalty awards on 41 and 43 minutes for Lurgan came to nothing as the routines broke down and disappointingly the keeper was not asked a question. Greenfields rarely got out of their half in the entire last two quarters as the home team controlled possession with wing backs Kerrie Burns and Alex Hurst overlapping on the flanks to put the squeeze on the away defence. Of the many incursions into the Greenfields circle not one resulted in a clean strike on the away goal.
The nearest the home team came to scoring in this period was a neat deflection on a well struck ball into the circle which appeared to be flying into the top corner but was confidently palmed away by the visiting keeper. In contrast Naomi Costley in the Lurgan goal hardly got a touch of the ball in the final two quarters.
Despite having six penalty corner awards in the second half and four of these in the final 15 minutes, they failed to convert any of these and this is something the coaching staff will be keen to work on in training. As the final minutes ticked away the frustration on the Lurgan faces was visible but try as they might they could not find a way through and the final hooter signalled the end of a disappointing day for the home side.
On Monday night Lurgan Ladies sealed their spot in the IHL with a 1-0 win over Queens.
Charlene Hull scored the all important goal.