LISNAGARVEY Ladies Seconds hosted Hermes Seconds at their Comber Road venue on Sunday March 10 in the Irish Junior Cup semi-final.
Being the only Ulster team left in the competition, ‘Garvey were feeling the pressure of the province in the build up to the match but nerves were showing on both sides as a tentative start was made.
Against the run of play Hermes attacked through their central players, making good runs and providing accurate passes to create a goal scoring opportunity which was taken clinically.
Lisnagarvey didn’t let their heads drop and began to build up attacking moves, retaining the majority of the possession.
Hermes conceded back to back penalty corners but Lisnagarvey could not convert. During the next spell of open play, a mistake by Hermes central defender allowed ‘Garvey Captain Sara Allen to step into the circle unmarked. A deflection on the shot sent it into the top of the Hermes goal, giving the goalkeeper no chance to save, levelling the score at 1-1.
‘Garvey were reduced to 10 players twice during the second half, with Lisa MacDonnell and Laura Wilson both receiving green cards, but they didn’t let the tempo drop and the team adjusted well to compensate.
Five minutes before the final whistle Lisnagarvey won a penalty corner. Having attempted a few variations throughout the game captain Sara Allen had learnt the habits of the Hermes goalkeeper and went for a straight strike from the top of the circle. Knowing that the keeper would dive, a slight lift in the shot allowed the ball to soar into the bottom right of the goal leaving the defence stunned.
As the clock ran down Lisnagarvey kept their foot on the pedal and created more chances in the Hermes circle. Lisnagarvey were delighted when the whistle called full time on a tough game.
This will be the second Irish Junior Cup final for Lisnagarvey in 3 seasons and the determined team are hoping to make club history by being the first ladies side to win the coveted Irish competition. Lisnagarvey HC vs Pembroke Wanderers HC at UCD 1.15pm, Sunday 7th April.