Belfast Telegraph

Sister act for Larkfield with Bowmans to fore in final

 

By Richard Bullick

Sisters Lisa and Kyla Bowman scored all the goals between them as depleted Larkfield saw off neighbours Kingsway 72-52 in Saturday's Senior Cup final at Lisburn Racquets.

In normal circumstances, Larkfield would have been odds-on favourites to net a second successive domestic double after romping to a fourth NI Premier League title on the trot.

But they went into the season's showpiece without four of their top eight players, including club and Northern Ireland captain Caroline O'Hanlon, against emerging challengers Kingsway.

Larkfield coach Denise Prue, who has been at the helm for more than a quarter of a century, must have wondered whether her team could cope in the middle of the court.

She was still able to field a trio of full internationals in that sector but Kingsway would have expected to dominate there with the imposing Niamh Cooper at centre.

But as always Larkfield found a way to play to their own strengths and Laura Montgomery's girls were hit by a whirlwind as the holders raced into an 8-1 lead inside the first four minutes.

That made it tough for unfamiliar finalists Kingsway but their heads didn't drop and it was honours even for the rest of the opening period which finished 19-12.

Larkfield's diminutive playmaker Laura Mason typically worked well with the towering Bowmans and goal attack Kyla came out the court to good effect.

Giant goal machine Lisa netted some memorable long-range efforts but there was also accomplished shooting at the other end where Dearbhla Coleman showed her potential.

Trailing 37-24 at half-time, Montgomery switched daughter Sarah to centre with Cooper moving to wing defence and their fellow international Sinead Redmond was withdrawn.

Larkfield edged the third quarter 15-13 and also took a high-scoring last period to finish with the commanding margin of 20.

Belfast Telegraph

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