The Dundalk FC U14 Girls team that beat Maynooth at Oriel Park on Sunday

FOOTBALL | Dundalk FC U14 girls put six without reply past Maynooth

Metropolitan O’Toole Cup 2nd Round
Dundalk FC U14 Girls 6–0 Maynooth

Dundalk’s U14 Girls team progressed to the quarter-finals of the Mollie O’Toole Cup Cup with a comprehensive win over Maynooth at Oriel Park on Sunday.

Dayna Ferguson had her first start of the season at centre-half but otherwise it was a familiar looking defence of Sarah Gonnelly, Shauná Wardrice and Ellie Gorham, with Jessica Finnegan between the sticks.

While it will take time to gel with her teammates, Dayna’s calmness in bringing the ball out of defence allowed Katie Brophy and Sarah McHugh to push further on in support of the strikers.

With Hannah Sheerin and Abi Keenan on the wings, the side was set up to provide attacking support to the youthful Nessa McCabe and Sarah Fitzpatrick up front and it didn’t long for the Lilywhites to hit the front.

Five minutes had elapsed when Abi Keenan cut in from the right wing and shrugged off the attentions of two defenders to drill the ball home from 15 yards.

Dundalk went 2–0 up five minutes later courtesy of a team move beyond their years. Wardrice broke up a Maynooth attack and calmly played the ball out to Keenan on the touch line just inside her own half.

She set off on a run that took her past two defenders and just when it looked as if the ball was going out she whipped a low ball across the box.

Fitzpatrick timed her run to perfection and volleyed the ball high into the net without breaking stride. It was the kind of goal that wouldn’t be out of place at Oriel on a Friday night!

A powerful run from midfield by McHugh ended with a strong finish to the net to leave Dundalk three goals up and in complete control at half time.

Lizzie Daly and Sarah Dorgan replaced Gonnelly and Wardrice after the break but such is the strength in depth within this Dundalk squad that the visitors were still unable to trouble Finnegan in goals.

With a strong wind at their backs, the hosts continued to dominate and forced a succession of corners, one of which led to goal number four. Katie Brophy’s inswinging corner caused panic on the goal line and Ferguson forced the ball home.

Goal number five arrived soon after, following another surging run from McHugh. Her fierce shot was beaten away by the keeper but, with a predator’s instinct, Gonnelly was on hand to tap home.

The scoring was rounded off with a well-deserved goal from the hard working Brophy. Following a number of near missed chances, some neat interplay ended with a lovely through ball from McHugh.

The Maynooth goalkeeper managed to get a hand to her Brophy’s fierce shot, but could only deflect it onto the post and the ball spun into the net.

The quarter-finals will undoubtedly provide tougher challenges but this result will provide much needed confidence to Dundalk as a recent regrading means they face Premier Division football for the remainder of the season.

DUNDALK FC U14 GIRLS: Jessica Finnegan, Dayna Ferguson, Sarah Gonnelly (Lizzie Daly), Shauná Wardrice (Sarah Dorgan), Ellie Gorham, Katie Brophy, Sarah McHugh, Hannah Sheerin, Abi Keenan, Nessa McCabe, Sarah Fitzpatrick.

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