McMaster and Getty end Queen's 84-year Shield drought
Lurgan 1 Queen's 2
Irish internationals Jessica McMaster and Erin Getty were the star performers as Queen's University finally got their hands on the Denman Ulster Shield after an 84-year wait with a hard-fought 2-1 win over holders Lurgan in yesterday's final at Stormont.
McMaster scored two superb opportunist goals, one of which was set up by team-mate Getty, who was an absolute colossus at the heart of the students' defence.
The 19-year-old's tackling and distribution were outstanding and she was also impressive going forward when the opportunity arose.
McMaster and Getty were understandably overjoyed at the final whistle as Queen's lifted the famous trophy for the first time since 1933, having lost in the last two finals.
Getty said: "I'm absolutely delighted to have helped us win the Shield having also won it with Randalstown when we beat Queen's in the final two years ago.
"I'm especially happy for the girls who were playing in the third final who, at last, got something to show for their efforts."
McMaster added: "It's great to have scored the two goals but it was a real team effort from all the girls."
McMaster broke the deadlock from the opening penalty corner of the game in the 11th minute when her outstretched stick deflected the ball home after Getty's initial strike had been going wide.
Queen's had a let-off in the 27th minute when a sloppy pass across the back put Getty in trouble, but keeper Sarah McCabe - who also had a fine game - came to the rescue from Jo-Anne Wilson's shot.
Two minutes later, McMaster got her second, reacting quickest after the ball had looped up in the air after a free as she fired a superb backhand shot low into the net.
McCabe then produced an excellent double save from Wilson after great work by Sarah McClure, who had to go off with a shoulder injury only to return early in the second half.
Lurgan pulled one back in the 50th minute when Olivia Gibson struck home a rebound after Chloe McCann's shot had been saved.
Coach Robbie McMinn pulled his goalkeeper Susie Taylor in the final three minutes to have an extra outfield player, and the ploy almost paid off as Lurgan finished the game on top but they were unable to find an equaliser.
McMinn said: "Losing McClure after her injury affected us adversely as we had to move her upfront but we had our chances, especially at 1-0 down, although all credit to Queen's."
Lurgan: Susie Taylor; Abbie McCullough, Charlene Stewart, Phoebe Preston, Emma Lindsay, Sarah McClure, Carly Johnston, Jo-Anne Wilson, Chloe McCann, Lauren Wright, Hannah Magowan. Subs: Olivia Gibson, Poppy Smith, Amy Edwards, Kate Hamill, Sarah Patterson, Lydia McNeill.
Queen's: Sarah McCabe; Paige Brown, Erin Getty, Rachael Henderson, Megan McKenna, Robyn McKee, Emma Kernohan, Katy Aston, Tori Hastings, Jessica McMaster, Emily McStea: Subs: Ellen Hood, Claire Whiteside, Rebecca Quinn, Jodie Kee, Beccy Anderson, Anna Hutchinson, Sarah McGucken.
Umpires: Lyn Morrow, Adare Brady