Lurgan 0 Pegasus 1
Lurgan had to change their structure for this first match in the Premier League campaign against last year’s champions as regulars Louise Murray and Pippa Best were both unavailable.
Alex Hurst dropped into the back four and rising stars Stephanie Moffitt and Julie Morrow were given more pitch time and experience in one of the big home games of the season.
Little separated the two teams for most of the first period. Lurgan gave as good as they got and indeed created a couple of half opportunities in the early encounters.
Midfield battles were feisty and continuing her great form Sarah McClure bamboozled her opposite numbers with superb stick work and stick turns. The match was played at a hectic pace with both sides using their full benches intelligently to conserve energy and yet maintain the high tempo of the game.
Pegasus took the lead in the 27th minute when a defensive slip up allowed the ball to travel across the Lurgan circle for the Pegasus centre forward to give Naomi Costley no chance in the Lurgan goal.
A very entertaining game of hockey continued in the second half to the delight of the decent crowd who had turned up to watch the match.
Lurgan continued to battle hard and were putting it up to their opponents all over the pitch. They never shirked a challenge and the effort they put into pressuring and closing down the opposition was very impressive.
Lurgan pressed for an equaliser and the pace of Kerrie Burns, Kathryn Edgar and Jo Wilson was causing consternation in the Pegasus defence but try as they did they were unable to find a way through.
Then with ten minutes to go a superb turn and break by Sarah McClure found her racing to the edge of the Pegasus circle with plenty of players in support. Unfortunately the umpire did not apply the advantage rule and blew it up for an earlier offence by a Pegasus player. The fact that he then carded the Pegasus player was no consolation for Lurgan who had to watch the Pegasus defence re-organise and the whole impetuous of the attack had gone.
Right on full time Pegasus were awarded their only penalty corner of the match but a brilliant run out by Jo Wilson meant that nothing came of it.
The same two teams met on Wednesday night at the Junior High School in the Denman Shield. Report next week.