Hockey: Bann girls push Armagh all the way in semi

Banbridge Ladies lost out in their bid to reach their first Senior Cup final on Sunday.
Banbridge Ladies lost out in their bid to reach their first Senior Cup final on Sunday.

On Sunday, Banbridge pushed Armagh all the way but were ultimately frustrated with a 1-0 defeat in the Senior Cup semi-final.

Banbridge were heavy underdogs against the league leaders, who won the previous meeting between the teams earlier in the season.

On a cool crisp day, it was Armagh who started the stronger but the Bann defence held strong.

That was until the 20th minute when Armagh got the break through with a great free-flowing move that saw a one-on-one with Bann keeper Sarah McCabe doing her best but beaten with a good strike.

Armagh pushed on and wanted to keep the upper hand but Bann refused to be beaten again. With Bann holding on for counter attacks, they had sparadic chances that were worrying to say the least to Armagh.

After coach Robin Madeley got the girls in for half-time, only praise could be said and the girls came out for a fight in the second half

The pace was fast, the skill slick and the fans in good voice. Bann came out the better side in the second half with Sarah McCracken linking up well with Gail amd Amy Atkinson. The forward line runs cause more trouble for Armagh, with Rachael, Chedd and Alex battling. They forced the Armagh keeper into some good saves but Armagh stood strong and gave as good as they got with Bann’s back line showing just how good they are with Alannah putting her body on the line time and time again and Megan showing experience beyond her years.

In the end, the Bann girls couldn’t muster an equaliser but go out with their heads held high.