U12 Girls produce stunning comeback to win 2-1

Our U12 girls currently lie joint top of Div1 with Colga 4 games into the league. Feel the excitement of yesterday’s game, thanks to match reporter Zoe Kennedy. You would almost lose a few pounds just reading it….

Colemanstown 2; Athenry ‘B’ 1

Our girls had a hardworked win of 2-1 over Athenry ‘B’ yesterday. Each one of the girls worked their socks off against a particularly tough team. We were missing 2 of our strikers to illness and 20 minutes in, another striker, Libby Kennedy also had to be taken off, complaining of feeling unwell, after giving it all she had. It wasn’t the best start to the match.

10 minutes in and we had our first attempt on goal by Eva Molloy. She was very unlucky to hit the post as we all watched the ball roll just wide. The second attempt came just minutes later when Eva took a great corner. The ball found Grace Mitchell who expertly turned the ball towards Anna Barrett who, together with Grace manoeuvred the ball into the box for Eva. Unfortunately the ball just couldn’t find its way into the net.

Midfielders Annalise Doran, Grace Mitchell and Eva Molloy just never stopped. The ball seemed to, to and fro up and down the pitch as both teams scrambled to get the ball forward to their retrospective goals but these girls just never let the ball out of their sight. Grace Mitchell had her best game to date, showing great skill and sheer determination to drive that ball up to our strikers time and time again with what seemed to be endless energy!

Honor Tuohy was kept very busy in the first half and made a number of impressive saves from a determined Athenry strikeforce desperate for a goal. It all seemed no bother for her. Unfortunately 20 minutes in, Athenry had another chance on goal and this time, scored the first goal of the match. No heads dropped after the ball went in – if anything it made the Colemanstown girls even more determined.

There was so much pressure from the Athenry strikers in both halves. After their first goal Athenry were looking for a second and it was our defenders Lucy Roberts, Rachel Kennedy, Ally Nutley and Aisling Ruane who stepped up to the mark magnificently. They tackled continuously, turned balls and these very impressive defenders showed the opposition they were in no mood to let in another goal.

At half time we were a goal down: 1-0 to Athenry.

The second half saw the girls really take the game forward. They thundered back into the game with determination and plenty of encouragement from the home crowd. Amongst the shouts of encouragement came an almighty roar of  “COME ON PEARSES!!” from one  supporter, who was obviously overcome with confusion with all the excitement!! Shona Barrett displayed some super tackling and with the help of Ally Nutley and Aisling Ruane forced the ball away from the Athenry strikers.

Another magnificent save from Honor put a stop to Athenry pushing out their lead. All players had stopped play convinced that Lucy Roberts had been fouled. On realising that there had been no foul play and hearing no whistle the Athenry girls rushed at the ball and thundered towards the goal which was free of any defence and booted it in. But Honor just leapt and saved the ball. Well done Honor!!

Anna Barrett, Shona Barrett, Grace Mitchell and Aoife Hynes all had attempts on goal but all were saved by Athenry’s eagle-eyed goalie.  It was 10 minutes into the second half when we made the breakthrough and scored!!! The ball had been toing and froing in front of the goal between Shona Barrett, Anna Barrett, Rachel Kennedy and Annalise Doran before Aoife Hynes booted the ball past two defenders who were left helpless to stop the ball as it flew into the net. Her triumphant and well-deserved celebratory air-punching and whooping were echoed by loud cheers of congratulations by an excited and rather vocal home crowd. It was an incredibly close match, particularly tense at times and the crowd’s explosive delight reflected everyone’s sentiments. We now drew 1-1

The clock was ticking and Athenry were determined to get another goal and finish on a win but defenders Lucy Roberts, Ally Nutley and Aisling Ruane were having none of it! After a number of hair-raising attacks by the Athenry girls we finally cleared the ball and some clever passing saw the ball weave its way up the field. Some lovely passing and plenty of encouragement and cheering from our rather enthusiastic crowd helped the ball find its way to Annalise Doran and Rachel Kennedy and then on to Eva Molloy whose delivery found Shona Barrett who expertly weaved the ball in and around the last two defenders and with no more than 60 seconds on the clock planted the ball, past the keeper and into the back of the net!!!

Athenry poured forward, looking to equalise again but our whole team worked to shut them out in an attempt to seal the win. We all willed the ref to blow his whistle and when he finally did there were jubilant girls, coaches and supporters everywhere!!

Report by Zoe Kennedy.