Strand girls retain Under 16 title
YEATS UTD STRAND CELTIC 0 4
STRAND Celtic U-16 Girls travelled to Carney on Saturday afternoon to take on the local side in the final of this season’s U-16 Cup.
Strand started the game on the front foot and put immediate pressure on the home side with some fine attacking football.
The game was being controlled from the midfield with Strand having the upper hand there with great work from Sorcha Reddy, Aife Haran and Kate Nugent.
This proved to be the area from which to break the deadlock when they linked up with their front players and after 20 mins Aine Gorman raced onto a through ball from Ciara Rushe and slotted the ball calmly past the Yeats keeper to open the scoring.
Yeats were now coming into the game more and started to apply more pressure winning a corner which was swung dangerously in from the left by Keela Scanlon but was brilliantly pushed away by keeper Ali O Shea and cleared to safety.
Yeats then lost Katie McGuire through injury which was another set back to their chances of getting back into the game. But Strand were in no mood to let this game slip and following on from some good passing play through Aife Haran and Siomha Heekin the ball broke to Kate Nugent on the left and she defied all the odds from 25 yards to unleash a cracking shot to the top right hand corner and make it 2-0.
A goal of this quality would be a contender for goal of the season let alone being scored in a cup final.
Strand were now in control of the game and were indeed unlucky not to go three up when they had a goal disallowed for offside just before the break.
So it remained at half time and the visitors took the two goal cushion into the second half.
Yeats started the second half applying more pressure with Alana Carty and Aoife McLoughlin working hard to restore parity. This was being dealt with by some very assured defending from the excellent centre back pairing of Erin Taheny and Lisa Powell who were being ably assisted by Shona Dalton and Diana McDonagh who were dealing well with anything Yeats had to throw at them on the wings from the lively Keela Scanlon.
Strand were now finding the upper hand again in the midfield area and when Sorcha Reddy took control and broke down a Yeats attack her strong forward run was finished off when she brilliantly slid the ball between the Yeats defenders to the on-running Aine Gorman who again finished with composure to put Strand three up.
Strand introduced Grace Mulholland to the game for Siomha Heekin who had run her legs off all afternoon causing the Yeats defence many problems. It wasn’t to be long before Grace put her mark on this final following some intricate work in the box from Sorcha Reddy getting the ball into Aife Haran whoes cheeky back heel beat the keeper and was finished to the net by Grace.
Strand introduced fresh legs with Laura Scully and Rachel Cawley entering the fray and when Rachel’s strong run down the right was crossed into the box, Ciara Rushe turned brilliantly and cracked a shot which was heading into the corner of the net but was brilliantly turned
SLIGO/LEITRIM YOUTHS RESULTS AND FIXTURES
around the post by the Yeats keeper Megan Byrne.
And so that was to be the final chance of the game and shortly after the final whistle sounded and Strand had retained their U-16 title.
For a number of these Strand Girls it was their second win of the season having secured the U-18 title against the same opposition just a few weeks ago.
It would be impossible to single out anyone for player of the match as this was a classic all round team performance from the Strand Girls and were deserved winners on the day.
Well done to Yeats Utd on making the final and although they fell short on the day they were real contenders for this title with some fine performances throughout the season.
On another day with these two sides at their best who knows what the result would be as there have been many hard fought battles between these girls in the past and no doubt there will be more to come in the future.
All in all a great advertisement for girls football in Sligo Leitrim.
Real Tubber U14 girls have won the Holland Cup and the League title after they played Yeats Utd in the final in the Showgrounds.