The Senior Hockey Team from Victoria College Belfast were extremely unlucky to lose the final of the Schoolgirls Shield on Penalty Strokes after at pulsating match at Lisnagarvey HC on Wednesday 9 March 2016.
Despite taking the lead on six minutes through Co-Captain Lizzie Lawther the Belfast schoolgirls were unable to convert a number of other chances as the match ended in a stalemate and the Lisburn school prevailed on penalties.
Victoria started the game brightly with Odilia Goldsworthy and Lizzie Lawther in midfield particularly prominent. And it was the latter, who opened the scoring. After a powerful surging run from midfield she was a free around the edge of the circle. Lizzie then took the free quickly herself driving into the circle wide on the left and unleashing an unstoppable reverse-stick shot across the keeper and into the net.
As the half went on Wallace became the more dominant team and put the Victoria defence under immense pressure. They won ten penalt corners in the latter part of the first half. However the VCB defence, in particular Amy Edwards and Caitlyn Murphy were superb in thwarting the Wallace attacks.
Wallace drew level on the stroke of half-time. After a series of penalty corners which were superbly defended by Victoria, Wallace scored after a melee in the circle. An initial shot was deflected high and Georgia Heatherley made a fantastic reaction save but the ball fell mid circle and was eventually turned into the net.
The second half was an equally combative affair with both sides creating and squandering a number of chances. Georgia Heatherley in the Victoria goal made a number of brilliant saves and Co-Captain Bronagh McCann made an excellent goal line clearance.
At the other end Victoria had chances also with Lizzie Lawther sending an opportunistic first time effort from the edge of the circle agonisingly wide, and Robyn Chambers just failing to get a crucial touch to a ball that rolled across the Wallace goalmouth.
Victoria had a chance to win it near the end when a quick counter attack saw Emma Conlin race clear. Her centre found Caitlyn Harvey who's first time effort was saved by the Wallace keeper.
So the game ended 1-1. It was an enthralling game with action switching from end to end throughout and both keepers playing key roles in keeping their teams in the tie.
This pattern did not change in extra time with Victoria winning a couple of penalty corners early in the first period. From the second of these Beth Walker's fierce shot was superbly saved by the Wallace keeper whilst at the other end VCB's Georgia Heatherley saved superbly to deny the Lisburn school.
The keenly contested match ended in an entertaining 1-1 draw with both sides having chances to win but neither taking them. So it was onto penalty strokes and despite Lizzie Lawther scoring Victoria's first, Wallace were deadly accurate with all four of their efforts to run out 4-1 winners.
Squad: Georgia Heatherley; Hannah Beattie; Erin Blundell; Robyn Chambers; Emma Conlin; Emilia Cutrona; Amy Edwards; Odilia Goldsworthy; Caitlyn Harvey; Charlotte Hill; Lizzie Lawther (Co-Capt); Charlotte Little; Rebecca Lobo; Bronagh McCann (Co-Capt); Caitlyn Murphy; Beth Walker