Hallihane and Kelly goals earn West Cork win against North Tipperary in National U12 Schoolgirls Trophy quarter-final

March 26th, 2023 10:00 AM

By Ger McCarthy

The West Cork Academy U12 schoolgirls' team that overcame North Tipperary to qualify for the SFAI National U12 Schoolgirls Inter-League Trophy semi-finals.

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THE West Cork Academy will face the North Eastern Counties in the semi-finals of this season’s SFAI National U12 Schoolgirls Trophy competition. 

Craig Scott’s young schoolgirls’ squad took on North Tipperary in an SFAI Trophy quarter-final at Brinny on Sunday. 

A close game throughout, played amid difficult weather conditions, saw West Cork dominate the opening half and repeatedly test North Tipperary’s goalkeeper. 

The home side’s pressure finally told, delivering two goals in as many minutes just before the interval. Maggie Hallihane got her name on the scoresheet to edge West Cork 1-0 in front from close range. That strike was quickly followed by an Alice Kelly effort as the hosts changed ends 2-0 to the good.

A back four comprising Grace Holland, Rosie Scott, Siobhan Hickey and Isabella Galvin played superbly and thwarted numerous North Tipperary attacks. That was until North Tipp’s redoubled efforts were rewarded with a goal to halve the deficit and set up and a nervy closing period.


The visitor's best chance of drawing level occurred with the award of a penalty five minutes from full-time. Fortunately for West Cork, that penalty-kick failed to find the net. The home side held out for a 2-1 victory and a place in the last four of this competition.

‘It was a really exciting game with both teams contributing,’ manager Craig Scott commented. ‘Each one of our girls did the job asked of them out on the pitch today. That includes all the substitutes who came on and contributed to our 2-1 victory. I couldn’t be prouder of the girls. Our entire U12 schoolgirls squad deserves this win and I am so happy for them.’

The West Cork Academy’s reward is a trip to the North Eastern Counties (NECSL) in the semi-finals of the SFAI Trophy. On the other side of the competition, the winners of Midland Blues or Inishowen will host whoever emerges from Kilkenny and Limerick County’s quarter-final. 

West Cork Academy Schoolboys and Schoolgirls Inter-League squad trials, for children born in 2012, have been taking place in Scartagh, Clonakilty, over the past fortnight. A brand new 2023 WCSSL club season is pencilled in for the beginning of April. Details of new league and cup structures will be announced once all interested clubs have confirmed their entries.

2023 West Cork Academy U12 schoolgirls squad: Isabella Galvin, Lily Hoare, Aisling Kelleher, Aoife Bradfield, Molly Scott, Claire Healy, Siobhan Hickey, Grace Holland, Laoise Young, Aoibhínn Rice, Niamh McNamara, Jane Walsh, Tilly Reilly, Nadine Alsaadi, Gráinne Ní Loinsigh, Alice Kelly, Sarah Buttimer, Nell Kinsella, Maggie Hallihane, Emma Kennefick, Rosie Scott.

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