CAROLINE Gallagher returned from injury in just the nick of time to inspire Lagan Harps to Glencar Cup success on Wednesday night.
The energetic midfielder spent three weeks on the sidelines because of a fractured toe, but a stirring performance from the captain announced her comeback in style.
Picture caption: Annette Pearson (right) from the Glencar Inn presents Lagan Harps captain Caroline Gallagher with the Glencar Cup on Wednesday night. Also included is Dessie Kelly.
Gallagher lit up The Diamond Park with a Player of the Match performance in which she netted a hat-trick that was capped off by a wonderful third goal in an 8-4 win over Glenree United.
“I didn’t expect to score at all, never mind three,” the 21-year-old Buncrana woman told Donegal Sport hub.
“I suppose I did alright since I was out injured there for three weeks.
“It’s not often they get one of them out of me.”
Lagan fell behind after just 40 seconds as Denise Doherty pounced for Glenree and there followed a madcap first half, after which Erin Coll’s goal had Lagan 4-3 in front.
Gallagehr said: “We didn’t get off to a great start. We were badly out of shape, but thankfully we got the act together again.
“Glenree gave us a good game. They came out to get us.
“Erin’s goal was a big goal because it put us ahead and we kind of killed the game off then with the two goals early in the second half.
“We could sit back and take it handy after that.”
The goal that sealed her hat-trick was one worthy of gracing any final. Gallagher took receipt of a pass rolled across the edge of the penalty box. With one back swing of her right boot, Gallagher gloriously arched high over Siobhan Coyle, the Glenree goalkeeper.
Gallagher’s restoration is perfectly timed with Lagan’s ladies challenging on three fronts.
On Saturday-week they take on Greencastle FC in the Ulster Cup final while they are within touching distance of clinching the Donegal Women’s League title with one game, against Fanad United, to play.
Gallagher said: “Hopefully we can push on now and win the other two.”Tags: