Mountmellick 4 - Birr Town 4 (Mountmellick advance after penalities) - Oct 29th
Birr Town Girls U14 team had their debut outing today at Conor Davis Park to face Mountmellick in the SFAI cup. The girls were captained by Aoibhean Slattery who had a sterling performance in goal today. The opening exchanges were evenly matched with both teams coming to terms with a sticky pitch in wet conditions. Town opened the scoring on 10 minutes with a well-struck goal from Lacey Byrne to the corner of the net. The Birr goals were keen to get a second before half-time but were caught out on the half-hour with Mountmellick scoring from close range. Mountmellick followed up with two minutes to pounce on a mistake in the Birr defence to score their second goal.
Birr Town made some positional changes at half-time, which paid dividends as the game wore on. The opening minutes of the second half saw Town go 1-3 down with a well taken goal from Mountmellick coming in the fourth minute. Birr girls to their credit got stuck in and started to get on top as the conditions deteriorated. Tess Liffey switched up front in the second half assisted Katelyn Canham to put Birr back in the game after 17 minutes. Birr's equaliser followed within five minutes as the momentum clearly swung in their favour. Town's midfield combination of Nadine Ryan, Cara McLaughlin and Maeve Hanniffy worked hard throughout. The equaliser came from a super assist from Ceola Scully breaking from defence to setup Katelyn Canham who was put through and finished cooly into the corner.
Mountmellick looked to have got the vital winner with their further with less than 10 minutes to go. To their immense credit, Birr responded almost immediately with Katelyn Canham having struck the post moments earlier was not to be denied her hatrick to leave the teams 4-4 with less than five minutes to play. The game was to finish 4-4 and go into extra time. Extra time was played in poor conditions with neither side wanting to lose it as the inevitable penalties loomed. The shoot-out was a dramatic affair with some great stops pulled off by Aoibhean Slattery. In the end there was heartbreak for the girls coming out the wrong-end after 6 penalties.
For a new team having never played together, this was a very encouraging performance with lots of positives to be taken from the game.