U16s: Kildare Goal Spree Secures Victory
U16s: Kildare Goal Spree Secures Victory
March 05, 2023
Leinster U16 Championship Rd 1
Saturday March 4th
Kildare got their U16 Championship off to the perfect start yesterday when they accounted for Wexford at St Anne’s. Kildare hit Wexford for six goals overall, five coming in an opening half that could have seen more for the young Lilywhites were it not for Wexford keeper Ava Skye Byrne making some crucial saves just before the break in the hope of giving the home side a boost of confidence and a platform to build on for the second period.
In what was a nervy opening few minutes with mistakes coming from both sides, it was Kildare that settled first when Tara Rafferty's shot somehow managed to slip through the hands of the Wexford keeper giving the visitors the lead. Kildare would kick 3 wides in a row before the game was levelled from the penalty spot after referee Ray McBride spotted an infringement from a Kildare player. Leah Roban stepped up making no mistake as she struck low to the left leaving Lily Mullarkey rooted to the spot.
The goal had the desired effect for the home side as they came forward with attack after attack. However, they came up against a strong Kildare backline where at corner back, Aisling Irhue was relishing the challenges Wexford posed and was monstrous in her defending.
Kildare would tag on four more goals through Anna Coburn, Megan Alcock, Tara Rafferty and Ruth Dillon, the pick of which was Dillon’s as she connected sweetly with a breaking ball to volley home and nearly taking the net off the stanchens such was the force behind it.
Kildare were on top and went in search of more goals only to be denied not once but twice in succession from net minder Byrne. The first was a fingertip save sending the ball out for a ’45, and from the resulting ‘45 she managed to get her body behind the shot from Tara Rafferty at point blank range.
Megan Alcock got the final score of the half pointing from a narrow angle to see Kildare lead 5.01 to Wexford’s solitary goal.
The second period had a more balanced look to it after both managers made sweeping changes, introducing a plethora of substitutions and the home side certainly battled hard to get back into contention. A pointed free from Tara Rafferty was equalled and raised through the boots of Emma Deegan and Hannah Lawless respectively, reducing the deficit and with Wexford looking the stronger moving forward, they just couldn't find the target kicking numerous wides.
Kildare’s final goal came via an intercepted pass from Anna Coburn, and she broke forward to the right drawing three defenders with her. She spotted the unmarked Alcock as she gave a deft little foot pass. Alcock duly received and made no mistake from close range.
The sides would trade points before the final whistle with Wexford’s Makayla Cosgrove popping over the last score to leave the full time result with Kildare taking home the spoils; 6-03 to 1-03.
Next up for Kildare is an away trip to Dublin on March 18th.
SCORES: Kildare: T Rafferty 2-2 (1f), M Alcock 2-1, A Coburn 1-0, R Dillon 1-0.
Wexford: L Roban 1-0 (Pen), E Deegan 0-1, H Lawless 0-1, M Tobin 0-1.
Kildare: Lilly Mullarkey, Cassie Mallon, Casey Noone Captain, Aisling Irhue, Amy Tyrell, Tula Keary, Lucy Cullinan, Hannah Merrick, Sophie Kirwan, Ava Kelly, Tara Rafferty, Megan Alcock, Anna Coburn, Kate Kealy, Ruth Dillon.
Subs: Tiarna Kinahan, Leah Tyrell, Jess McNulty, Hannah Corrigan, Bryanna Abbey, Aine McNally, Alannah Morley, Eimear Behan, Clodagh Berrigan, Aoibheann Birchall, Ailbhe Hennessy, Emma Earls, Vivienne Harris, Ròisin Kinch, Hannah Enright.
Wexford: Ave Skye Byrne, Abbie Furlong, Edie Byrne, Roisin Dwyer, Lucy Buggy, Niamh Ryan, Rebecca Keating, Kaylee Doyle Captain, Eabha Guinan, Katie Whelan, Emma Deegan, Leah Roban, Hannah Lawless, Aoife Brennan, Millie Bates.
Subs: Rachel Nacey, Makayla Tobin, Caoimhe Bolger, Grace Tully, Emily Roban, Kate Ni Lusaigh, Keeva Moloney, Eabha Martin, Megan Hayes, Grace Walsh, Chloe Ann Darby, Casey Cullen, Heather Bolton Lee, Izzy Walsh, Keelin Barron.
Referee: Ray McBride (Dublin)
Report and photo with thanks to Dónal Fitzpatrick