Gaynor Cup glory for MGL

by Karl Graham

THREE Peamount United players were included in the Metropolitan Girls League Under-16 squad who lifted the Gaynor Cup after a 1-0 win over Galway and District League at the University of Limerick last weekend.
Aoife Brophy, Doireann Fahey and Leah Doyle all started the final as Alannah McEvoy secured the win from the penalty spot during the first half. Lucan United also had five players in the squad in Ann Marie Byrne, Nicole Smyth, Jessica Hennessey, Zara Lawless and Aoife Hanley.
The opening period of the game was a scrappy affair with both sides giving away cheap possession a number of times. Isabel Atkinson had a half chance after six minutes when MGL broke quickly up the pitch and found the forward wide on the left. Atkinson knocked it past her marker and made her way into the box but an excellent tackle from a covering defender prevented her from getting a shot away.
Sinead Donovan then hit a shot from the edge of the box that initially looked like it may go over the head of Rachael Kelly and into the back of the MGL net, but it actually drifted harmlessly over the bar.
Fahey then had a great chance to give MGL the lead from a corner. Atkinson swung the ball in and when the Galway defender missed it, it fell to Fahey two yards from goal. The ball hit the midfielder in the chest and rolled towards the keeper. However, the net-minder then somehow managed to spill the ball back into the path of Fahey, whose follow up was blocked by a couple of players and eventually cleared.
MGL did take the lead just minutes later, however, when the referee seemed to indicate a Galway player had handled the ball from a free kick into the box, and pointed to the spot. McEvoy stepped up and coolly slotted the ball past the keeper’s dive and into her bottom left-hand corner.
Galway had a great chance to equalise at the start of the second half when a free kick into the box fell at the feet of one of their players. Her first touch let her down, however, and the ball was cleared.
Galway were better in the second half but they couldn’t find a way past a stubborn defence and MGL were crowned champions.
Peamount and Lucan also both had a player in the Under-12 MGL squad who won their Gaynor Cup. Pea Emily McCann and Lucan’s Amy Green both played, with the latter scoring the equaliser in a 1-1 draw before MGL went on to win on penalties.
As for the MGL Under-14 side, Aoife O’Leary, Holly Rutherford and Maria Cassidy represented Lucan as the side finished third after a 1-0 win over Inishowen League.

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