Saturday, May 24, 2008

Club Champs semi-final: Hermes 3 Pegasus 2 (after golden goal)

A delightful deflection in the sixth minute of extra from Nicola Evans saw Hermes shock Pegasus and set up an all Leinster final.

Their young legs held out the best as they took the first and only chance of golden-goal extra-time as the excellent Anna O’Flanagan slid the ball through to Evans. Through one on one with Sharon Moffett, she needed just one just deft touch to slide home the winner.

Pegasus dominated the opening stages with Claire McMahon and Suzanne Beaney’s skills causing havoc up front.

But the Booterstown ladies had the clearer cut chances. Nicola Evans’ pace combined with good work from O’Flanagan and Aoife Harte created three good opportunities in the circle saw Evans clear but she was unable to get away a clean shot on goal.

Pegs’ took the lead in the 30th minute in sublime fashion. Beaney’s bag of tricks conjured up some space in midfield to find McMahon on the top of the D, with only Emma Grey to beat. A fantastic dummy sent Grey the wrong way for the former international to roll home.

The lead lasted barely 90 seconds, though, when O’Flanagan stole the ball on the right wing. She fed Chloe Watkins on the baseline who provided the perfect slip pass for the diving Carol Devine to sweep into the net from five yards.

As much as Pegasus controlled the first half, Hermes came back strongly in the second, winning their first three penalty corners within 15 minutes of the restart. The third – won by O’Flanagan – was converted by Aoife Harte after a sweet switch move, Jenny Kinch providing the pass.

But their lead was short lived, too. Beaney rode three tackles on the 25 to play through to Alex Speers. Her cross was tame but the clearance fell straight to Beaney who played on as the rest stopped for a perceived foot. Kieran Bolger played a good advantage and Beaney leveled the game up.

Devine had the best chance to win the game with three minutes to go but was unable to fire home from eight yards.

But Hermes did not have long to wait, as Evans’ goal sealed the final place.

No comments: