BEANEY STRIKE SEALS SHIELD WIN

Mandatory Credit: Rowland White/Presseye'Men's Hockey: One 1918 Ulster Shield Final'Teams: Armagh (blue) v Pegasus (red)'Venue: Lisnagarvey'Date: 27th December 2011'Caption: Victorious Pegasus
Mandatory Credit: Rowland White/Presseye'Men's Hockey: One 1918 Ulster Shield Final'Teams: Armagh (blue) v Pegasus (red)'Venue: Lisnagarvey'Date: 27th December 2011'Caption: Victorious Pegasus

Super striker Susie Beaney came back from injury to become the hero for Pegasus as they beat Armagh 1-0 in a very tight Ulster Shield Final yesterday.

Beaney was out of the game for five weeks with a calf injury and timed her recovery to play in the local hockey showpiece at Lisnagarvey.

But she had to wait until the 27th minute of the second half before she scored the only goal of a game that never quite lived up to its billing.

Beaney dived full length to deflect in a penalty corner shot from Arlene Boyles.

Although Pegasus have dominated Ulster hockey in the past decade, and longer.

But their record in the Ulster Shield has been patchy by their standards and this is the first time their name will go on the trophy since the 2005/6 season.

Armagh are something of a bogey team for Pegasus and it was clear their game plan was to mark them tightly and rely on counter attacks.

Armagh started off in determined mood with young Kerri McDonald and Amy Stewart showing up well in early passages of the game.

Both sides looked a little tentative and perhaps the Christmas lay-off meant that neither side was razor sharp.

Pegasus won the first penalty corner of the game in the 17th minute and Armagh goalkeeper Rhiannon McNally made a tidy save from Arlene Boyles.,

Beaney and Vanessa Surgeoner both had chances to score and Rachel Mulligan also had opportunities at the other end but the half ended with no score.

There were good individual performances from a number of players – notably Vikki Lambe for Armagh and Grace Irwin for Pegasus – but the game never seemed to flow.

It was a day when good strong marking prevented fluent hockey.

The second half was livelier than the first and Pegasus won six penalty corners while conceding three, probably a fair reflection of the possession they enjoyed.

Both goalkeepers made decent saves but none of them was particularly troubled until eight minutes from time.

Claire McMahon got to the bye-line and won a penalty corner which Boyles blasted goalwards. Beaney was in exactly the right position to deflect the ball against the backboards.

Armagh did try their best to get back into the game and a shot from Catherine Rainey flashed inches past the post.

In the end one goal was enough to separate the sides.

And it was no real surprise that it came from the stick of the striker that has been a major threat to defences throughout her long career.

Beaney is an quality finisher and she once again rose to the occasion when it was most needed. And Armagh could not get the equaliser they needed.

PEGASUS: Sharon Moffett, Nadine Graham, Natalie Pinkerton, Shelley Sloan, Ellen Hood, Amy Cooke, Claire McMahon, Suzanne Beaney, Kate McConnell, Arlene Boyles, Kerry Harvey, Grace Irwin, Pamela Glass, Stephanie Quinn, Vanessa Surgeoner, Lucy Camlin.

ARMAGH: Rhiannon McNally, Julie Frazer, Kerri McDonald, Katherine Steenson, Gemma Frazer, Vicky Lamb, Scarlett Holdsworth, Amy Stewart, Rachel Mulligan, Claire Warnock, Beccy Anderson, Catherine Reaney, Sarah McMahon and Claire Hanna.