Nine-woman Greencastle make Lagan go the extra mile for Ulster Cup final spot

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It was only when Amanda Callaghan broke through, in the dying moments of extra-time, to fire home that Lagan Harps booked a spot in the Ulster Cup final at the expense of a badly depleted Greencastle.

Lagan Harps 3 Greencastle FC 2 (after extra time)

Greencastle began this semi-final at Orchard Park with just nine players and their number was reduced to eight in extra time owing to an injury.

But still, Paddy Hannon’s team made Lagan earn their corn.

In a repeat of last year’s final, which Greencastle won 3-0 at The Lakeside, Greencastle actually came from behind to lead, but Lagan eventually made numerical advantage count.

Nightfall was descending over the Swilly when Callaghan was sent clear by Laura Gallagher, playing outfield, and fired past Sarah Faulkner for the winner.

Lagan twice hit the woodwork in extra time with Nadine Crawford and Danielle McDevitt both denied by the goalframe following a 2-2 stalemate in 90 minutes.

Lagan broke the deadlock when Callaghan headed in from a Bronagh Gallagher cross.

But Greencastle drew level when Shannon McDonald fired home from distance.

Greencastle hit the front when Megan Havlin beat Neve Scanlon from close range.

The Inishowen side had an upset in their sights, but Zoe Green forced extra time when she headed in from Crawford’s free.

Just when penalties looked on the cards, Callaghan dented the dreams.

Greencastle had won the last four Ulster Cups and now another name will be etched by the silversmith.

Lagan meet the winners of Monday’s other semi-final between Illies and Moville.

Sports writer from St Johnston, now based in Letterkenny, with ten years' experience covering sport in Donegal. Was a nominee for NUJ Sports Journalist of the Year in 2010. Honoured by the Donegal Boxing Board in 2016 for his coverage on the sport.

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