Neill seals the deal in dramatic penalty shootout

Trish Neill at full stretch
Trish Neill at full stretch

Goalkeeper Trish Neill was the star player in Larne Ladies’ dramatic penalty shootout win over National University of Ireland (Galway) in the second round of the Irish Senior Trophy.

The skipper was cool, calm and collected as she produced two superb stops.

Speaking after the game, Neill said: “It was a great all-round team effort from the girls, who are going out each week and putting in solid performances. Well done! I would like to say a special thanks to Sarah Russell for travelling down to Galway with us.”

The Larne flick scorers were Caris Greenwood, Gillian Russell and Polina Crawford.

A determined Larne side came out strong in the first half setting the pace and dominating the play with some superb passing and movement coming from the back line through midfield to the forward line.

The home side were equally as fast on the ball and applied pressure on the Larne defence.

NUIG won a few penalty corners, which were well defended by Neill, Gillian Rennix, Rebecca Dalton, Caris Greenwood and Gillian Russell. Both teams seemed evenly matched and were a threat on the attack. Sarah Russell made a great tackle and won a free in the NUIG defensive quarter of the pitch, which her sister Gillian quickly took, breaking into the home team’s circle before forcing the keeper to make an impressive save.

Rennix worked tirelessly, closing down any attacking play from the home side, feeding the ball to Gillian Russell, Polina Crawford and Teah Maguire up front.

Leigh Snoddy continued to cause problems on the left, sending some super aerials up the pitch for Maguire and Gillian Russell but the scoreline remained blank at the end of regulation time.

In extra-time Linley Booth made a superb goal-line clearance and Dalton came close at the other end.

Larne went on to claim victory on flicks, with Neill the star of the show.

Elsewhere, the 2nd XI won 4-1 against Ulster Elks 3rd XI with goals from Beth McVeigh, Dee Wallace, Zoe Purdy and Kerry McIlwaine.

The 3rd XI drew 0-0 away to Holywood 2nds.