Strand girls re­tain Un­der 16 ti­tle

The Sligo Champion - - SPORT -


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


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.

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