Galway girls come up just short in U-17 League final

The Galway WFC and Shelbourne teams take to the pitch before the start of the WNL U-17 League Final in Drom. Photo: Joe O'Shaughnessy.
The Galway WFC and Shelbourne teams take to the pitch before the start of the WNL U-17 League Final in Drom. Photo: Joe O'Shaughnessy.

Galway WFC 0

Shelbourne WFC 2

The achievement in getting to the Continental Tyres Womens National League U-17 Final was notable, but unfortunately for Galway WFC they came up short in Sunday’s decider in Drom as the Dublin side emerged as merited winners.

In two previous league meetings, it was the Galway side who came out on top, but on this occasion they can have few complaints about the outcome, as the visitors scored twice on the resumption, after failing to take advantage of the elements in a wind assisted opening half.

Indeed it took an outstanding display of shot-stopping by home goalkeeper Ria McPhilbin to keep the contest scoreless at the break, but she could do little as two close range efforts got the better of her in a seven minute spell midway through the second half.

Saves to deny Emily Whelan – who last week won her first senior international cap – on numerous occasions, Mia Dodd and Taylor Messey kept her on her toes, while at the other end, just an Anna Fahey strike extended Courtney McQuire.

Both sides were keeping play moving with some neat passing, but on this occasion it was Shelbourne who offered the greater threat.

Scoreless at the break, the resumption offered the home side some renewed optimism, but for whatever reasons they just never rose to the challenge.

The elegent skills of Kayla Brady were seldom seen in a more forward role; while the impressive Jane Trehy was surprisingly withdrawn midway through the half. Anna Fahey who contributed hugely in the goal stakes throughout the season, ploughed a lone furrow up front and seldom got the type of support offered to Whelan at the other end.

The likes of Shauna Brennan and Saoirse Healey also offered a  threat going forward, while the back four defended solidly for the duration.

The opening goal arrived on 59 minutes when a Dodd corner was hammered back into the danger area by Oletta Griffin at the back post and her fellow central defender Ellie Ferguson knew little of the deflection that send the ball into the back of the net for a 1-0 lead.

For more, read this week’s Galway City Tribune.

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