U12 manager Zoe Kennedy oozes the excitement of the latest girls league match yesterday.
It was a very foggy Colemanstown pitch that greeted both teams of U12 girls early yesterday morning and with temperatures near freezing everyone present tried their best to keep warm. However it didn’t dampen the spirits of either Loughrea or Colemanstown who were both itching to get onto the pitch for their eagerly anticipated league game.
Two early attempts on goal by Eva Molloy set the tone of the game and gave a glimpse of what the crowd could expect yesterday morning. The first attempt went just wide and the second came from a great cross into the box from Rachel Kennedy but again the ball whizzed just wide. Colemanstown were less than 60 seconds in and the girls were undeniably on a mission! The Loughrea girls were certainly a determined bunch and immediately turned the ball and delivered it back down the pitch. It was obvious, these were 2 solid teams eager for a win.
Just 3 minutes in saw another super cross by Rachel Kennedy which this time found a perfectly positioned Anna Barrett just outside the box who wasted no time in darting past the Loughrea defender and booted to the net for the 1st goal of the game. A strong Loughrea team were quick to retaliate with a number of threatening balls getting close to the Colemanstown goal but some first class tackling and clearances by the defensive trio of Aisling Ruane, Libby Kennedy and Della Griffin made sure they didn’t get any further. Aisling had a distinctively busy morning in defence. With superb tackling she apprehended every single player that took their chances with her. Great work Aisling!
On the 9th minute Della Griffin tackled a particularly determined Loughrea striker who was looking to break through Colemanstown’s defence. In one swift movement Della stopped the ball dead, nutmeged the surprised striker, spun round her, collected the ball where she left it and carried on down the entire length of the pitch without a care in the world. After dribbling around 2 more girls she crossed to Anna Barrett who charged towards the goal and smashed it in to give Colemanstown a 2-0 lead.
Half time score Colemanstown 2; Loughrea 0
Aoife Hynes was steadfast all morning in midfield. With her eye firmly on the ball every second of the game it’s no surprise that she took control of the ball each and every time it came anywhere near her! Grace Mitchell, Aoife Hynes and Annalise Doran formed a formidable partnership in midfield working together and assisting each other from the whistle.
Lucy Roberts donned the goalie gloves for this game and impressively took charge of her goal line from the off. She was quick off her line at each advancing ball and saved every single effort that came her way driving many of them back down the field with that powerful left foot of hers. So powerful were those kick outs that one of them in the 2nd half found Shona Barrett up front who immediately latched on to the ball, rounded the solitary defender and blasted to the net. This saw Shona rack up a hat trick in less than 10 minutes!! Her outstanding performance and hard work was recognised by everyone and her amazing hat-trick was richly deserved. Another girl who was certainly on a mission in Colemanstown.
Special mention must go to a very heroic Annalise Doran who nearly put her life on the line as she stepped in front of a thundering effort from Loughrea that was undoubtedly goalward bound, resulting in her neck taking the impact. As she dropped to the ground her teammates sped over to make sure she was ok. She had absolutely no intention of leaving the pitch to rest up and insisted she stay on.
Almost half way into the second half saw the 6th and final goal of the match. A massive clearance by Libby Kennedy in defense found Eva Molloy upfront. Keeping the ball close to her feet, Eva dodged both defenders in her path and hammered the ball past the keeper to leave the final score: Colemanstown 6; Loughrea 0.
This was an unbelievable result which does not reflect the efforts and superb play of Loughrea. You don’t get a result like this without all players playing with the determination and passion which was in abundance from the Colemanstown girls yesterday. Both the tackling and passing were phenomenal and the girl’s overall improvement, as a team, was so obvious and undoubtedly impressed the early morning onlookers. This team have worked so hard to learn so many new football skills in such a short space of time that you would never have guessed that a year ago this team never even existed. This latest win makes it 5 league wins out of 5 – very impressive indeed.