The Limerick FC / LWSSL Under-18s took on the TSDL Tipperary Women’s Under-18s in the first round of the 2015 MWFAI Under-18 Women’s Inter-League last Sunday.
The spoils were shared after a 3-3 thriller. The game, played in Nenagh AFC’s ground, which was in excellent condition, was an entertaining affair with both sides doing their best to play exciting, attacking football.
The LWSSL took the lead after 16 minutes when Sophie Hudner scored after some neat interplay from Louise Horgan and Niamh O’Mahoney.
The LWSSL were playing some really good football at this stage of the first half, particularly Sabrina McCarthy, Becky Mahon and Shauna Ryan who combined on a number of occasions to be a constant threat to the Tipperary defence.
Ryan was causing the TSDL girls loads of problems with her strong runs and deep crosses from the right but some great goalkeeping by Tipp’s Christine Coffey meant Limerick could not add to their tally.
Tipp fought back and on 36 minutes LWSSL ‘keeper Ciara McCarthy was called into action to make an excellent save from point-blank range from Amber Kenny.
The next five minutes saw three goals scored. The TSDL were always dangerous on the break and got the equalising goal they deserved after 38 minutes when Lorna Shoer lobbed the ball over McCarthy from the edge of the box.
The LWSSL replied immediately with Nicole Bennett showing strength and determination to convert a through-ball from Mahon. Immediately, from the kick-off, the Tipp girls forced a corner after a great defensive tackle from Rebecca Bevan. From the corner taken by Shauna Rooney, Chloe Connolly headed home to make the score 2-2 at half-time.
The game continued in the same vein in the second half with some excellent football played by both sides. On 52 minutes, Hudner was played through by Sarah Fitzgerald and she finished coolly.
The LWSSL had the upper-hand at this stage and it took some great defending by the Tipp girls and particularly ‘keeper Coffey again to keep them in the game. However, on 63 minutes, a lapse in the LWSSL defence allowed Connolly to equalise against the run of play.
Two minutes later, the game looked to have been turned on its head when Tipp were awarded a penalty. However, McCarthy pulled off a spectacular save from Rooney to keep the game level.
The LWSSL pressed for a winner and Rebecca Joyce and Melissa Hayes both went close, before they were awarded a penalty with a quarter-of-an-hour remaining. However, again, a wonder save was produced by Coffey as she denied Hayes.
It was a most entertaining game and credit to both sides for their efforts; there was some great football played and outstanding goalkeeping at both ends, with a draw a fair result in the end.
Best performers for the LWSSL were Ciara McCarthy, Shauna Ryan, Louise Horgan, Sabrina McCarthy, Becky Mahon, Niamh O’Mahoney, Megan O’Rourke and Sophie Hudner.
Best for the TSDL were Christine Coffey, Chloe Kirwan, Aislinn O’Brien, Chloe Connolly, Amber Kenny and Shauna Rooney.
LWSSL: Ciara McCarthy, Sabrina McCarthy, Megan O’Rourke ©, Sarah Fitzgerald, Rebecca Bevan, Niamh O’Mahoney, Becky Mahon, Louise Horgan, Nicole Bennett, Sophie Hudner, Shauna Ryan. Subs: Misha Noonan (GK), Rebecca Joyce, Aisling Regan, Melissa Hayes.
Next up for the LWSSL Under-18s is a trip to the Cork WSSL on the weekend of 8/9 August.
Thanks to the LWSSL and Declan McDermott for the Match Report and photo.
Date: Wednesday 29 July 2015