Colemanstown U12B girls played their first match on home ground on Sunday last with the sun beating down and the weather getting hotter by the minute. Playing as a friendly, due to lack of numbers, the girls were excited but nervous especially given they fielded as a team of 8 versus a field of 10. Birthday girl Roisin Keague was Captain and Colemanstown had Lilly Kelly from U10’s stepping up to fulfil the striker’s role. Missing our regular keeper, Sophie Kelly assumed the keeper’s spot and played an absolute blinder – even the Salthill coach complemented her skills
after the match and couldn’t believe she’d never played in goals before!
Midfielder Liliana King took possession of the ball first off which very quickly resulted in a goal attempt by Lilly Kelly. What followed was some excellent teamwork from Salthill but Liliana King and Roisin Keague soon put a stop to that, passing it back up the field to Lilly Kelly who rose highest in front of a Salthill group to stop the ball with her chest and made three more attempts on goal. Tara Lally and Megan de Vos were stout defenders but Salthill pushed through 4 times for goals, 2 of which were saved by Sophie Kelly. Roisin O’Dea and Roisin Keague teamed well together throughout the match and there was some lovely passing from Catherine Irwin. Sophie Kelly saved another 4 goals in quick succession and Lilly Kelly had several more attempts on goal. Salthill were not at all keen on Megan de Vos’ fearless tackling and Liliana King and Roisin O’Dea seemed to be absolutely everywhere in the first half and at halftime they swapped with defenders Megan de Vos and Catherine Irwin who were redeployed into midfield.
Sophie Kelly made an epic save early in the second half, literally snatching the ball off the foot of the Salthill striker as she was about to strike! Another great attempt at goal by Lilly Kelly, from way down the pitch, but there was not quite enough power on it to smash past the keeper from a good distance out. Several more saves from Sophie Kelly, including one where she managed to sit on the ball! Following this, Sophie powerfully kicked out to Lilly Kelly who passed to Roisin O’Dea who drove to the back of the net – great excitement! Sophie Kelly saved another goal but then Salthill were successful in pulling 1 back. The heat was taking its toll and Tara Lally and Lilly Kelly swapped positions. Catherine Irwin took the tip-off and passed to Roisin O’Dea who passed back. Salthill attempted to take it from them but it was to-and-fro and they were not giving up without a fight. Tara Lally attempted a goal which bounced off the keeper’s knee so Roisin Keague took the corner and the two of them passed between themselves until Tara Lally tried shooting for a second time but it was not to be. Great teamwork between Roisin O’Dea, Tara and Megan and 7 or 8 more goals were saved by the rock solid Sophie Kelly before the Ref finally blew his whistle for the end of the match. Salthill had shown their experience in years of playing whilst our young girls are just beginning their soccer careers. 3-1 it ended to a strong Salthill side but one thing for sure, Colemanstown’s young ladies didn’t give up without a battle.
Thanks to mentors Tara Roberts & Sandra King, another great asset who has recently come on board to help out. Report by Diana Tuohy.