Colemanstown U15 Girls 3 – 1 Loughrea
I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t nervous going into this latest U15 Girls league match against Loughrea on Sunday afternoon. Our last match with Loughrea had seen two equally strong teams playing end to end for the entire match with very little between them. We had come away with a win that day, but it could easily have gone either way.
The nerves were evident in the first 10 mins as we struggled to settle, with both teams desperately trying to secure the first goal. Our mids Eva Molloy, Lillie Kirby, Libby Kennedy, Ally Nutley and Anna Barrett then settled nicely and worked very skilfully at constantly driving the ball forward with impressive passing and keeping it well away from the Loughrea players. Our first attempt came from a powerful volley from Roisin Ruane which unfortunately sailed just over the bar. Anna Barrett got in on the action, rounding a defender and then looking for the goal but after losing the ball to a second defender and losing her footing she still managed to flick the ball back towards the box whilst fully laid out on the ground! Impressive!
Libby Kennedy was kept busy with an abundance of corners in the first half but we just couldn’t find the opening we needed to slot them in. With our strikers, Grace Mitchell and Roisin Ruane constantly in on the ball we knew a goal was coming. The girls were rewarded in the 26th minute when Lillie Kirby drove the ball towards the box and rounded the goalie. The crowd got behind her but unfortunately the goalie got a foot to the ball as she went down and cleared it away! Grace Mitchell saw her chance, sprinted to the loose ball and powered it at the goal …..only to hit the cross bar!! The groans of disbelief could be heard right round the pitch but Lillie Kirby wasted no time in gathering a loose ball and booting it into the back of the net!! The girls (and management) were visibly delighted as with nearly all the possession up until then, their hard work had paid off and we had secured the all important first goal!
Fired up after her goal Lillie was back in the box 4 minutes later with another powerful shot on goal, unfortunately seeing it go just wide. The Loughrea defence were outstanding making it very hard for our midfielders and strikers. Ally Nutley made sure the ball was back where we needed it and along with Lucy Roberts they found Eva Molloy who had a great attempt on goal but the quick reflexes of the Loughrea goalie saw it return outfield once again. The ball quickly made its way back to Libby Kennedy who delivered a pin-point cross-in to a waiting Eva Molloy who wasted no time in slotting the ball into the back of the net to make it 2-0 to the Colemanstown youngsters. Loughrea responded shortly after tip-off with a spectacular volley from one of their strikers who chipped it right over Edel Egan’s head . There was no saving that one! Edel was just fantastic from start to finish. I am sure the Loughrea players were getting fairly frustrated with her as she blocked and saved anything that came her way.
The second half saw the Loughrea girls return with force and they looked to level the score but our defenders, Chloe Manley, Lucy Roberts, Aisling Ruane and Annalise Doran were not letting anyone past them and cleared nearly every ball that threatened to break through. With the fresh legs of Honor Tuohy, Aoife Hynes, Nicole Brennan, Laoise Maybin and Leah O’Connor, the girls began to dominate the second half and poor Edel Egan started to feel the cold.
Lillie Kirby and Eva Molloy worked tirelessly on the wings constantly driving the ball up to our strikers and Ally Nutley and Libby Kennedy dominated the midfield exchanges, rounding defenders and pushing the ball up and creating chances. Lucy Roberts was causing the opposition a few headaches; they simply couldn’t get the ball off her as she moved in between them providing impressive through balls.
With 10 minutes left in the game we were awarded a corner. Libby Kennedy struck the ball perfectly with an impressive spin and it flew straight into the top left corner before anyone else could get near it. The girls were on a high at this stage and there was a fair amount of jumping and cheering going on along the sidelines also!! Well done girls. An impressive win and well deserved 3 points which now sees 5 wins out of 5. Match report by Zoe Kennedy