Lurgan gave a good account of themselves in the Town’s Cup against a side who have regularly had the upper hand over them in recent seasons.
However their improved performance against Larne was not to be rewarded with a win, as Lurgan bowed out of the competition in a narrow defeat in Glynn. With minutes to go Lurgan trailed by two points and had a last gasp drop goal by Stephen Nolan gone over the posts it would have been the Lurgan men celebrating a very significant victory.
Larne raced into an early 14-0 lead and another heavy defeat at the hands of the hosts was feared. The Lurgan XV had other ideas and got their game together culminating in Marty Follis crashing over for a try which was converted by Nolan.
For the last quarter of the first half Lurgan had all the play and influential number 10 Nolan added a second try to tie the scores at 14-14 going into half time.
Injuries to Ben McIlwaine and Jason Kane saw Jamie Clarke and Paddy McVey called into action. Lurgan lost a bit of continuity and Larne took advantage to get another try and regain the lead 19-14.
Lurgan bounced back again and after a period of good play they forced a penalty close to Larne’s posts which Nolan dispatched.
As the game drew to a close Lurgan created an opportunity to win the game but Nolan was just off target with his drop goal attempt.
Larne added a very late penalty to leave the final score 22-17.
It was an impressive performance from Lurgan’s pack with coach Bruce Cornelius’s methods and motivation from training bearing fruit. Man of the match for Lurgan was Michael Campbell.
This Saturday Lurgan Seconds have a cup match against Randalstown at Pollock Park. Kick off is 2.30pm.