First outing for U17’s Colemanstown 1-2 Craughwell

Another little bit of history was made in Colemanstown United yesterday as the U17s lined out to fulfil their first ever U17 fixture in this years Premier division played in Colemanstown. Before the game kicked off the captain for the year Leah Moran and Vice Captain Lucy Kenny were announced. A fantastic pair to lead the team out! 

This was the first ever match for 10 of the 13 players involved yesterday. 

The game kicked off and the girls applied great pressure from the off.  Midfielders Sinead McManus, Lauren Keary, Leah Moran and Sina Schwitalla were ferocious in their tackles and only on the 3rd minute Leah Moran struck a thundering shot at the Craughwell goal only for the keeper to block but failed to hold it and Niamh Kennedy was quick to react as she rounded the keeper to slot it home for a fantastic opener. The girls were on a high and the home crowd were loving it.

Fantastic keeper Nina Bujak deserves special mention as she was just outstanding in goals! She made some amazing saves making them look easy as she calmly gathered the ball every time, fantastic Nina!.  On 7mins, the girls went on the run, this time the move originated at the feet of Rachel Gannon involving  Lauren Keary who gave a pinpoint accurate through ball to Niamh Kennedy but Niamh was just caught offside in what was a fantastic piece of play. Rachel Gannon is worthy of mention as it was not only her first game but only her 2nd day playing alongside these girls and she did a fantastic job and showed amazing talent. The defence were outstanding with Shauna Hynes, Lucy Kenny, Ruth Murphy and Molly Fahey all forming a tough wall that the Craughwell girls struggled to get through all day. Lucy Kenny’s clearances were fantastic and one landed at the feet of Sinead McManus who ran from the half way mark right in on goal only to be pulled down on the edge of the box. Leah Moran stepped up to the free and was unlucky not to see her effort slip into the bottom corner as the keeper blocked it and Niamh Kennedy was quickest to react again but the Craughwell defence closed down play.

The water break came and the girls were on a high & they were also fantastic in acknowledging where they could improve and earmarking potential danger posed by the opposition. Keva Hynes was introduced in midfield for the remainder of the first half. 32 minutes into the first half and the Craughwell girls were quick to react to a bouncing ball and grabbed themselves an equaliser late in the 1st half. The girls were not giving up and put on the pressure once more winning themselves a corner. Keva Hynes connected beautifully with a volleyed effort only for the Craughwell defence to block it. On the resumption of play, Niamh Kennedy was in on goal again but was closed down. Half time came at 1-1, the jaffa cakes were ate and the girls discussed their plans for the 2nd half.

They restarted strong from the tip off and instantly put pressure on Craughwell again. Lauren Keary’s throw in found the feet of Sinead McManus who beautifully flicked the ball to Rachel Gannon as they created an amazing passage of play and the Craughwell girls were feeling the pressure. 

Lauren was on fire in the 2nd half as she ran straight in on goal only to see her efforts once again snuffed out & cleared for a corner. The defence unit worked tirelessly all day and Nina’s powerful kickouts were just fantastic and her backline were brilliant in supporting her. Molly Fahey’s pitch length runs with the ball down the left wing were phenomenal and Shauna Hynes was a force to be reckoned with on the right wing as she has a hard day’s work done in covering Craughwell’s No.11alone. Ruth Murphy brilliantly covered all high balls and perfectly placed them to her teammates all day, well done Ruth!. Craughwell weren’t done there and grabbed themselves a goal with 15 minutes left in the game. Lucy Kenny’s clearance’s had such power behind them and they were perfect through balls for our girls up front creating constant pressure on the Craughwell goal. 

Saoirse Moran was introduced into centre mid and she was absolutely outstanding on the field. She was strong in her defensive role while also creating attacking threats upfront. She was an absolute star and it must be noted Saoirse is not only an U15 player but yesterday was only her 3rd ever match soccer match to play. 

The girls were pressuring for the equaliser but unfortunately it never came but the girls walked off the pitch with their heads held high after an outstanding team performance. Well done to Nina Bujak who received her certificate for outstanding goalkeeping and to Niamh Kennedy who received her cert for her persistence upfront and for securing her goal.

Niamh Kennedy x1

Match report compiled by Laura Parker