WNL Underage Roundup

WNL Underage Roundup

Two home wins marked an excellent weekend for the Cork City FC Women’s U17 and U19 side, with the U19s claiming a 5-2 victory over Athlone Town and the U17s securing a Cup Final place after their 2-0 win over Galway Women’s FC.

The U17s reach their second cup final in two years, having won the U17 League Cup final last season again Shamrock Rovers and will look to match that with a U17 FAI Cup against Peamount United, who beat Donegal Ladies 2-1 in their Semi0Final. While a date hasn’t yet been set for the trophy, Sarah Healy could hide her happiness when speaking to today.

“It’s brilliant and well deserved, I’m so proud of the players. We know we have the players to deliver these performances and they absolutely rose to the challenge this weekend. They were excellent. To be fair, Galway started the stronger over the opening ten minutes but once our nerves settled, we started to play the better football, we stuck to our game plan, we kept possession really well and took control.”

Both goals came from set-pieces but those only reflected the pressure that City were applying. “Heidi Mackin scored another fantastic free-kick from outside the area, almost a carbon copy of her recent goal against Shelbourne. Then Chloe Atkinson swung in a corner that whipped over the keeper into the far corner, it was a fantastic delivery from her.”

“After the two-goal lead, Galway did create two or three chances, but I felt we were still comfortable and in control and we probably created the best chance ourselves when some lovely play by Fiana (Bradley) free, she lobbed the keeper, but the ball bounced up and off the crossbar, she followed it in and scored the rebound but the thought she handled it. It could have been a bigger win in the end”.

Looking forward now, Healy states that her team “are where they deserve to be”.

“We’ve had good and bad luck this year, unlucky in terms of the league and player availability but then we had a home draw for every round of the cup, so it balances out, but we absolutely are where we deserve to be, we have a fantastic group here, I’m really proud of them.”

Asked if everything was coming together with a final looming Healy was honest “we had a bit of a slump in mid-season, which can happen and isn’t unexpected, but we’ve picked up and everyone has come together, and it’s really clicked in recent months. We’ve played fantastic football”.

Cork City FC WU17 have no game this weekend, but a Cup Final to look forward to.

Cork City FC Women’s U19 team took all three points against Athlone Town in an exciting game played in awful conditions last Sunday with manager Jess Lawton delighted in how her team adapted to the “horrendous” weather.

“I’m absolutely delighted” Lawton said “We were warming up in weather I can only describe as a hurricane, but in a way it worked in our favour as we had a good chat as a group before kick-off and we spoke about how we had to take the weather out of the game in a way, so we focused on keeping the ball on the ground, maintaining possession and being patient. That game plan worked perfectly for us so I’m delighted for the players”.

“We followed the game plan really well, but it took us some time to settle, with the wind at our backs in the first half, but crossing the pitch, we tried to walk the ball into the net a bit, the players were unsure of shooting from range, but luckily Aoibhe Noonan found hers and shot into the top corner from about 25 yards, that set the scene and we tool control. We built up with the ball, patient in our passing, not trying 30- and 40-yard passes which were a lottery in the conditions and then goals from Lauren Singleton and Kelly Leahy saw us into a 4-1 lead.”

At half time, Lawton and the team continued to discuss how to manage the conditions now in Athlone’s favour “Our game plan didn’t change, we knew we’d be under more pressure, and we had to be mindful of that, but they couldn’t score if we had the ball so again, we focused on our possession, retaining it and keeping it on the ground”.

Athlone did score in the second half, but Mia O’Connell and Ava Ronan cancelled out the Athlone goals and though Athlone did press, City did look in control, Caoilinn Casey in goals playing up from the U17s pulling off a couple of great second half saves, one very late.

“It was great to have a spread of four different goal scorers in the team and I’m delighted for the girls. It’s been a tough season, starting in the middle of a pandemic, many of them playing up to U19 for the first time, and they’ve been excellent. It’s a credit to them that some weeks we’re losing them to senior, which is where you want to see them progress to. We’re heading into the weekend now with a bit of confidence and momentum”.

Cork City Women’s FC U19 play their final league game away to Peamount United at 2pm on Sunday,

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