United Kick Off League With Impressive Win in MGL 15A

Team: Alex McLoughney, Andrea Roche, Rebecca Ecock, Ellen Daly, Issy McCarville, Naomi Flynn, Abbie Hegarty, Ellie Forrester, Ali O’Keefe, Aly McGrath (Capt.), Sophie Rickard, Emma Clinton, Eimear Crean.

Malahide United’s Under 15 girls’ team kicked off the new season with a visit to Enniskerry on Sunday afternoon. Missing 4 girls for the game, Malahide starting 11 were Sophie Rickard in goal with Alex McLoughney and Emma Clinton left and right full backs respectively. Aly McGrath who was captain partnered Rebecca Ecock, who was making her debut, in central defense.
United’s midfield was made up of Naomi Flynn on the left, Ali O’Keefe on the right with Andrea Roche and Eimear Crean in the center. Up front Ellen Daly and Ellie Forrester led the attack. Abbie Hegarty and Issy McCarville were the subs.

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Promising Start

The game was in doubt with heavy rain all morning but went ahead. Malahide started very well and were passing the ball around from defense to midfield from the kick-off. The home team’s main threat was their right winger whom was well marshalled by Alex and Naomi when she did break forward. United had the first couple of chances when Ellie Forrester broke through on goal. Her first attempt was well saved by the home keeper. Minutes later Ellie let fly from 18 yards only to see her effort cannon off the crossbar. Emma Clinton and Ali O’Keefe combined very well on the right side and continually fed Eimear and Andrea in the middle who worked tirelessly. Alex McLoughney had to come off after 20 minutes as she was feeling unwell so Naomi dropped back to left full and Abbie Hegarty came on in the middle to make her United debut.

Secure Back Line

In the central defense Aly and Rebecca controlled their back line and dealt with anything Enniskerry threw at them. Sophie’s handling in goals, in spite of the conditions, was excellent and she looked assured throughout. Ellen Daly put in some fierce tackles and also laid off some terrific passes to the supporting midfielders. United took the lead on 25 minutes when a great through ball from Aly Mc set Ellie off and she fired home for a well-deserved lead. Andrea Roche added a second before half time, prodding home from close range after her outstanding first half performance. Rebecca came off with an injury so the versatile Emma Clinton moved into central defense while Issy McCarville moved to right full. United were down to the bare 11 for the second half but continued to play good football as the home side tired. Andrea scored United’s third which was the pick of the game. A short corner, which the girls had practiced at training during the week, was whipped across from Aly Mc and Andrea got her head to it to leave the keeper rooted to the spot. 3-0.

Creativity

Ali O’Keefe was starting to enjoy her midfield position and made many runs down the right side and whipped in some excellent crosses and shots. Once such run led to Malahide’s 4th goal when Ali, after collecting the ball near the half way line set off on a run and left two opponents in her wake before arrowing a show across the keeper and into the far corner for a great goal. United’s 5th was arguably an own goal but Aly Mc was heard to be claiming it after her shot was deflected in! Abbie Hegarty rounded off an excellent debut and performance with a goal herself. 2 more goals each for Andrea and Ellie rounded off an emphatic away win for the United U15 girls.

All in all, all 13 girls played terrifically well yesterday and given it was our first competitive match, it was a great start to the season.
We hope to have Zoe back next week, as well as Mia and Shannon. We are also hopeful that Rebecca’s injury is not too serious and will allow her to be back very soon.

Full Time – United 10 – Enniskerry 0 (H-T 2-0)
Scorers – Ellie Forrester (4), Andrea Roche (3), Ali O’Keefe (1), Aly McGrath (1), Abbie Hegarty