IN a tight encounter which saw five goals scored, Dalriada lost their Plate final to Friends Lisburn in extra time 3-2.
After being under the cosh for long periods of the game, the Dalriada side had come from behind on two occasions to level the score and indeed had an opportunity to win the game with two minutes when they were awarded a penalty flick.
The game was played at the Antrim Forum in good conditions. Dalriada always knew it would be a tight struggle against the Lisburn team but went into the game with quite confidence. Friends opened the scoring.
Friends started with early pressure on the Dalriada defence and as result they came away with an early goal after a penalty corner. Dalriada started to play with more determination and with the forwards Johanne McAlister, Rebecca Webb and Holly Clarke moving well and after some good play Katie Mullan powerfully slotted the ball into the net to make it 1-1.
With the scores level after the break it was Friends who started the stronger and with ten minutes had taken the lead after the defence had failed to clear the ball from a short corner.
This now spurred Dalriada into action with Katie Mullan running powerfully at the Friends defence and Rebecca Turton and Sara Gardner combining well in mid field.. She eventually forced a penalty corner and from the subsequent shot from Sara Gardner the ball fell to Jessica Smyth who scooped the ball into the net to level the score.
With only several minutes left the momentum had shifted back to Dalriada and again Katie Mullan picked up the ball deep in her own half and after taking the ball down the right wing she cut in to goal only for to be fouled and be awarded a penalty stroke. Unfortunately it was not converted and with the whistle for full time blown.
Into extra time and with two minutes Friends had scored to lead for the third time.
A well combination of passes saw the ball crossed to an unmarked player close to goal who slotted it easily. Dalriada tried hard to work their way back up the pitch but spend a lot of time defending their own goal.
On the final whistle they were very disappointed to have come so close to victory.
Their were outstanding performances with again Katy Mullan the most outstanding player on the pitch, a constant threat throughout the game and indeed the manufacturer of both Dalriada’s goal. At the back the defence stuck to their task well and the captain Jessica Smyth was outstanding.
Thee team would like to thank all the people who came to support and to their coaches Mrs Cleland and Mrs Ruddock.