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Banbridge Ladies XI defeated in Ulster Shield final by Pegasus

Banbridge Ladies 1XI contested the 2022 Denman Ulster Shield final against Pegasus at PlayBall at Stormont, the expected nothing less than a tough encounter.

By Darryl Armitage
Wednesday, 18th May 2022, 1:27 pm

Bann started off on the front foot and were creating good goal scoring opportunities in the first quarter.

Unfortunately, the girls were unable to convert their opportunities and went into the first break in play at 0-0.

Pegasus upped their tempo for the second quarter and put the Bann defence under considerable pressure, making it difficult for them to connect with their midfield and get out of their defensive 25.

Orla Magee and Lucey Mackey remained alert to the Pegasus threat and displayed some sharp defensive awareness to keep Pegasus at bay for the majority of the quarter.

Despite their best efforts, Bann were unable to contain Pegasus until half-time and conceded from a short-corner routine just before the break.

Coming out for the second half 1-0 down, Bann knew they had a big fight ahead.

The girls grew into the game more and started to connect well between defence and midfield.

The centre-back pairing of Katie McDonald and Gina Woods remained composed in their build-up play and their patience began to pay off as they found themselves able to link with Gemma Hassan and Samantha Bann in midfield and exploit the space behind the Pegasus defence.

Stef Ardis and Rachel Kerr were instrumental upfront in making their trademark runs into the opposition half, catching Pegasus on the counter-attack on numerous occasions.

Not for the first time, Rachel Cairns did the hard yards to win the ball back from a Pegasus attacking PC and get Bann moving up the pitch. Yet again it was Ardis’ pace that created the goalscoring opportunity, which was calming slotted home by Pippa Wilson to level the score at 1-1.

The Bann midfield began to find themselves with more time on the ball and this was exploited by Hassan, as she made one of her signature turns out of midfield and found Ruby Wilson on the baseline who, not to be outdone by her twin sister, found the back of the Pegasus net, giving Bann the lead going into the final quarter.

As was expected, Pegasus threw everything at Bann in the final quarter and found themselves in the Bann circle more frequently.

Taylor Muir was in excellent form in the Bann goal and nullified any potential Pegasus threat with some great saves to maintain Bann’s 2-1 lead.

Unfortunately, Bann were unable to hold out and with 10 minutes remaining, Pegasus equalised to send the game into a nail-biting finish.

Despite beginning to show signs of fatigue, Bann pressed on and continued to create goal-scoring opportunities and were able to find Jenny Wilson and Sarah Russell high in the opposition half, but the experienced Pegasus defence defused any immediate danger.

Unfortunately for Bann it wasn’t meant to be and with only a few minutes remaining, Pegasus found a winner to claim their 27th Ulster Shield victory.

Banbridge would like to extend their thanks to sponsors, McCormick Fleet Solutions, for their continued support and particularly their coaching and management team for their hard work and dedication throughout the season.

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