THE West Cork Schoolgirls U15 Inter-League squad produced a superb display before losing out to Kerry in the SFAI Gaynor Cup recently.
The success of this year’s WCSSL U15 Schoolgirls League allowed West Cork to enter a squad in the SFAI’s most prestigious schoolgirls’ soccer competition. The Gaynor Cup is an annual nationwide tournament involving representative teams from every schoolgirls’ U13 and U15 League in the country.
West Cork’s first-ever U15 Gaynor Cup squad were recruited, trialled and began training only a few short weeks ago. The WCSSL were drawn in a tough Munster regional group alongside Cork, South Tipperary and Kerry.
A chastening defeat to Cork in their opening game was not unexpected but West Cork underlined how much they have improved in a short period of time at home to Kerry last Sunday.
Kerry opened the scoring via an own goal from a corner-kick after ten minutes at Castlelack FC’s new home ground in Brinny. West Cork responded magnificently and were unlucky not to have been awarded a penalty as they fought hard to score an equaliser. The score remained unchanged with eight minutes to go when the home team, still pressing forward, were punished by two late Kerry goals as the visitors completed a 3-0 victory.
‘We really went at them and were unlucky not to be awarded a penalty when the score was 1-0,’ West Cork U15 head coach David Hall told The Southern Star.
‘We competed all the way through against a very good Kerry team. It was a much-improved display from the Cork game, the girls were much more committed. There has been significant progress with these West Cork girls in a short space of time.
‘Our defensive shape was good and that’s one of the fundamentals we are starting to address now that we have begun competing at SFAI Gaynor Cup (U15) level for the very first time.
‘The girls have picked up an awful and, as I said, in such a short period of time. We are getting big numbers at training and big attendances at our games. West Cork will not be defined by our results in these early stages of competing at schoolgirls’ inter-league level.’
Surprisingly, Cork U15 were defeated 2-0 at home by South Tipperary in Mayfield last Sunday. West Cork will travel to South Tipp for their final group match in three weeks’ time hoping to build on two encouraging displays.
Irrespective of the result away to South Tipperary, this young West Cork U15 Schoolgirls squad has shown it belongs and can start competing at SFAI Gaynor Cup level.
West Cork: Monica Craig, Emma Hurley, Meabh O’Brien, Abbie Sheehan, Rebecca Keane, Aisling O’Sullivan, Sophie O’Sullivan, Lucy Hurley, Ruth Connell, Grace McCarthy, Erin McCarthy, Fran Houlihan, Niamh Wiseman, Laura Connell, Lucy Nolan, Aoibheann O’Driscoll.
Kerry: Lucy O’Connor, Emma O’Brien, Amber MacIndoe, Orla Barrett, Faye O’Neill, Eabha Lyne, Eve Culhane, Lucy O’Sullivan, Izzy McGrath, Mollie Duggan, Katie Foster, Aoibhin Kelly, Roisin Fogarty, Hannah Nic Gearailt, Clodagh Moriarty, Lilly Nowak, Ellie Doolan, Suvi O’Connor.
Referee: Martin Coakley.