Missed chances leave Lurgan with just a point

Lurgan's Pippa Best in action against Lisnagarvey. INLM39-712.
Lurgan's Pippa Best in action against Lisnagarvey. INLM39-712.

Lurgan picked up another valuable point on the road last week with a draw against Randalstown at the Antrim Forum.

It was another gritty performance by Lurgan but their failure to convert chances into goals and to kill of teams when in front is preventing them from turning draws into victories.

For the most part they were in control of this match especially in the first half but it was Randalstown who created the first scoring opportunity with an early penalty corner award as they caught Lurgan napping from the whistle.

Fortunately for Lurgan goalkeeper Naomi Costley was fully alert and pulled off a great save to parry away the initial strike which her defence then cleared. On seven minutes Sarah McClure, who had a superb game in midfield, jinked her way into the Randalstown circle but her final strike flew just wide.

Lurgan were forcing the pace now and two minutes later Emma Lindsay was hugely unlucky to see her lofted strike crash off the crossbar and bounce away to safety.

On 15 minutes striker Jayne Clarke fired the ball across the Randalstown goal line but their keeper was alert to block Pippa Best’s goal bound deflection and the danger was cleared.

It was all one way traffic as Lurgan surged forward but they failed to convert penalty corner awards on 18 and 25 minutes as the Town keeper pulled off two great stops. With three minutes to go to halftime Lurgan should have gone in front but a loss of control in the circle saw an excellent chance go abegging.

Lurgan continued to apply the pressure in the second half and Sarah McClure’s surging runs were causing havoc in the Town defence. An early dribble and feed by her into the circle created a shooting chance but this was blocked and cleared.

Randalstown were growing in confidence as Lurgan failed to capitalise on their possession and only a superb intervention by Louise Murray prevented a very dangerous situation for the visitors.

Louise again demonstrated her defensive qualities as she cleaned up for Lurgan from a penalty corner two minutes later.

Lurgan eventually edged in front ten minutes into the half when Pippa Best lifted the ball over the keeper, who had dived to save a penalty corner strike, but her initial save was not cleared from the circle and an alert Jayne Clarke picked up the rebound to finish.

Stung into response Randalstown went on the offensive and looked very dangerous going forward.

They won a penalty corner eight minutes later and although keeper Costley saved the initial strike the ball fell to a forward who scored.

Both sides were capable of sneaking a inner but Lurgan probably had the better chances to wrap it up failing to convert penalty corner awards on 21 and 24 minutes and then missing another gilt edged chance on 25 minutes.

Lurgan Seconds lost 2-0 at home to Randalstown Seconds.

Lurgan Firsts have no match on Saturday (postponed due to U16/18 Interpros).

Lurgan Seconds play Belfast Harlequins Seconds at home at 2.30pm while the Thirds travel to Ards Seconds.