Larne Ladies II had to do it the hard way to see off their North Down counterparts in the quarter-final of the Intermediate Plate on Saturday
Larne were 3-0 up and cruising with 15 minutes to play when North Down hit a purple patch netting three in quick succession to force the tie into extra-time. But, it was to be Larne’s day and Zoe Purdy had the final say as she netted the winner in extra-time.
After an evenly contested opening spell, Anne Snoddy put Larne in front with a penalty flick.
Substitute Tracey Martin almost doubled their advantage but was inches away from scoring with her first touch of the game.
Martin did get her name on the scoresheet in the second half when she was picked out by Purdy in the circle. She took one touch to control and another to give herself half a yard, before slotting past the onrushing ‘keeper.
Only a matter of minutes later, Larne were three goals to the good. Carla Blair was on hand to force the ball over the line after Dee Wallace had saw her shot rebound off the post.
A shell-shocked North Down were exposed again, this time when Martin broke through the defence to square the ball only just out of reach of a fully stretched Blair.
North Down didn’t give up and they rattled Larne in the final 15 minutes. They pulled a goal back from a penalty corner before adding a second with only minutes remaining.
The momentum had swung in their favour and the home side found the net in the dying seconds to level the game.
Extra-time followed and both sides were weary from an action-packed second half. But it was Larne who won the day when Purdy netted the all-important silver goal.
Elsewhere, the Thirds’ promotion hope suffered a blow on Saturday as they lost 2-0 at NICS II.
This weekend the 1st XI welcome Cork Church of Ireland in the Irish Senior Trophy semi-final.