WEST Cork schoolgirls club Sullane has made history by reaching the last 16 of this season’s SFAI U12 Schoolgirls National Cup.
‘This is a fantastic result for everyone in Sullane football club,’ Sullane’s Austin Twomey told The Southern Star.
‘This is the first-ever schoolgirls team the club has fielded and only in existence for over a year. For Sullane to get this far, the final 16 in the SFAI Schoolgirls National Cup, has been an incredible journey for everyone in the squad.
‘We are very proud of the girls who have worked so hard, attending training sessions since last February. They had some big wins against Fermoy and Riverstown before going up to play Holycross. To make it this far, everyone in the club is over the moon for the girls.”
Holycross proved Sullane’s most difficult opponent of the season and contributed much to a cracking SFAI U12 Schoolgirls National Cup round of 32 encounter last Sunday.
A cagey scoreless opening half preceded a more open second period. Libby Scannell released Aisling Kelleher who broke the deadlock by expertly finding the top corner. Holycross equalised via a long-range free-kick and an even cup tie concluded 1-1.
Extra-time’s opening period failed to deliver a goal as defences dominated. Holycross edged 2-1 ahead five minutes into the second period and Sullane looked set to exit the national competition.
A moment of Libby Scannell magic, chipping the Holycross goalkeeper with two minutes left on the clock, kicked off wild celebrations on the visitors side line. A superb SFAI cup tie finished 2-2 and required penalties to decide the result.
Level 3-3 at the end of a tense penalty shootout, Sullane goalkeeper Libby Scannell made a fantastic save. Up stepped Sullane’s Rionach White who found the net and put pressure on Holycross to score their next spot-kick to remain in the competition.
Unfortunately for the Tipperary side, their final penalty missed the target and Sullane emerged 4-3 winners on penalties. Through to the last 16 (in the country) of the SFAI U12 Schoolgirls National Cup, it took a complete Sullane team effort to register the biggest result in the Ballyvourney club’s schoolboys or schoolgirls’ history.
The draw for the round of 16 is yet to be made but Sullane have every reason to be confident following such a marvellous run.
The Sullane U12 schoolgirls team includes Abbie Scanlon, Aisling Kelleher, Caroline Creedon, Caoimhe Mulhern, Danielle O’Donoghue, Eimear Carey, Emer Cronin, Eibhlin Ni Bhriain, Fiona Creedon, Grainne Lynch, Isobel O’Driscoll, Lily Hoare, Lily Scannell, Muireann McSweeney, Rionach White and Shannon Ni Scannaill.