Unbeaten Lisburn Ladies hosted Cappagh Spurs from Omagh on a night when they were to receive the Concentrix NIWFA Division 1 League Cup and medals, so they were out to impress. Cappagh Spurs had travelled about 60 miles with a depleted squad but were still out to spoil the Lisburn party. First placed Lisburn were taking on their closest rivals Cappagh who by this stage could not catch them being nearly 10 points adrift. Could they shorten it to 6 points tonight?
From the start Lisburn tested the keeper, Alison Long, but she was more than competent. Kerry McCann made a dazzling run solo but there was no end reward for her skill. Cappagh's Chloe McGlade had a great run too and her shot just went wide of the right post. The game was in the balance and both teams were hungry to secure a win. Then on 12 minutes the deadlock was broken when Abbie Burrnett crossed from the left and Stacey Hamilton met it perfectly for the first goal of the night, 1-0. Two minutes later Hamilton pounced again as it was an awkward ball in the air for the keeper to catch and after a fumble Lisburn were 2 nil up. (Lisburn Ladies 2-0 Cappagh Spurs). Cappagh Spurs were working hard and full of creativity but could not break down the Lisburn defence. McGlade again went on a strong run through the middle of the park but found there was no way through the final defence. Lisburn sent a ball into the edge of the box and Stacey Hamilton completed her hat-trick when she spectacularly scored from an overhead kick that soared over the keeper, 3-0. However, Cappagh Spurs kept their heads up and their Chloe McGlade struck a sweet shot from about 25 yards out which flew into the top corner on 33 minutes. One minute later and McGlade perfected a header into the bottom corner again the Lisburn keeper Jessica Poots had no chance, 3-2. This was becoming a pulsating tie - it felt like a cup final. The balance swung back in Lisburn's favour when Nadene Stewart then controlled the ball and volleyed it into the back of the net. 4-2. Then their number 11, Abbie Burrnett, scored two in quick succession on 41 and 42 minutes from the right hand side. It was now (Lisburn Ladies 6-2 Cappagh Spurs).
The half started frantically again. Another Lisburn goal 7-2 as on fire Hamilton got a tap in goal this time to make it 7-2. Cappagh Spurs to their credit never gave up and continued to pressurise but with a tiring defence Lisburn's Nadene Stewart broke free for a one and one with the keeper and tucked the ball neatly in the bottom left corner for 8-2. Chloe McGlade for Cappagh Spurs nearly got her hat trick but it wasn't to be and Spurs had been over powered by the newly promoted Lisburn Ladies who should excel in the Championship with their power and ability to create and convert chances. To round off the night Lisburn captain, Stacey Hamilton scored another goal to make it final score, (Lisburn Ladies 9-2 Cappagh Spurs) and five goals to her.
Cappagh Spurs should take a lot of heart from this game as they have a lot of potential and were worthy runners up in Concentrix NIWFA Division 1. But Lisburn were on fire tonight and were in the mood to celebrate. They now have a chance of a League and Divisional 1 Cup double when their challengers that night will be The Cliff Larne Ladies at Solitude, Friday 5th September. It should be a cracking match if this game is anything to go by.
(Match Report - Rosie McKee)