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Lurgan look for some luck in semi draw


Lurgan's Sarah McClure deals with conditions

Lurgan's Sarah McClure deals with conditions

Lurgan's Sarah McClure deals with conditions

Lurgan defied the odds and the elements to book their place in the semi-finals of the Irish Senior Cup for the first time in the club's history after a hard fought 1-0 win over the Ulster Elks.

A well struck 32nd minute penalty corner strike from Lurgan captain Charlene Hull proved to be the only goal of the game and they will be Ulster's only representatives in the draw for the last four after Ballymoney lost 6-2 to Railway Union.

Pembroke Wanderers beat Dublin rivals Loreto on penalties, while UCD beat Old Alex 2-0 in the other all-Leinster tie.

Railway are the holders and UCD the Leinster champions so it isn't difficult to work out who Lurgan would prefer to avoid.

Team manager Darwin Murray says his team are just delighted to be in the semis for the first time .

"Let's be honest we are the team that all the other sides will want to play, but we'll take whoever we get as it's great for the club and the players to be where we are," said Murray.

"All the Leinster sides left in the competition are strong so we will be underdogs whoever we meet."

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Saturday's game was played in horrendous conditions at the University of Ulster and the Lurgan manager gave credit to both sides.

"The rain started before the game at about two o'clock and it never stopped. There was a gale force wind blowing and it was an awful day for a game of hockey," said Murray.

"You have to pay tribute to both sets of players who just got on with it with no complaints, although no-one could have enjoyed playing in conditions like that."

Elks coach Ricky Lee, who is a firm advocate for a winter break from outdoor hockey, found himself in agreement about the conditions.

"Everyone was extremely cold and wet in the horrendous weather and wondering why we are not playing indoor hockey at this time of the year," he said.

Ballymoney were unable to join them in the semi-finals as they went down 6-2 to Railway Union.

The Dublin side never looked back after racing into a 3-0 interval lead before 'Money responded with a late flourish.

"It was an enjoyable, against a top quality side who gave us a lesson in finishing while we didn't take our chances," said 'Money defender Aine Kearney.

Nikki Parke got both Ballymoney goals, but by that stage the game was over as a contest as Railway led 4-0 at the time.

The weather forced the postponement of the Premier League game between Pegasus and Randalstown at the Antrim Forum so Ards stay a point ahead at the top.

On Friday night Lisnagarvey eased their relegation concerns with a 1-0 win over Armagh.

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