Cherries hold off tough Kilnamanagh

By Fergus Balfe

CHERRY Orchard FC’s Under 12’s girls team put in a strong performance against a tough Kilnaman-agh side to take home the gold in their Metropolitan League Cup decider at the Oscar Traynor Centre Saturday evening.

Cherry Orchard were aggressive right from Kilnamanagh’s kick off, with captain Marian Bissett quickly taking possession, setting up a chain off passes with Savannagh Kane and Kaci Dardis, who was brought down for a free. Maryjane O’Brien stepped up to take it but hit the ball just wide of the mark.

Cherry Orchard V Killnamanagh 10

Kilnamanagh, back in possession, hit back with defensive standout Lauryn McCabe playing a great ball down the left wing to Aoife Kavanagh, whose shot also went wide.

Kilnamanagh won back possession from the kick out, but a stellar clearance from Katelyn Fleming prevented any damage coming from the threat.

Cherry Orchard began to outpace their opponents midway through the first half with the introduction of Grace Madden, who quickly changed the dynamic of the game, often leaving her marker behind as she hurtled down the right wing.

A good ball in from Savannah Kane gave Madden her first chance but her attempt flew just wide. Cherry Orchard continued to attack with a good cross from Kaci Dardis into Kane, who also struck wide. A long ball from Maryjane O’Brien gave Madden another chance to put Cherry Orchard ahead, but she could not capitalise on it and both teams went into the second half goalless.

The two headed into the second half hungry for victory and it showed right from the Cherry Orchard tip, with Kane attempting to close in on the box only to be intercepted by Aoife Kavanagh. Good offensive football from the Orchard’s Dardis and Kane resulted in shots on target, but neither could beatt Kilnamanagh Number One Sinead Donohue, who stopped both efforts.

A quick counter from Kilnamanagh’s Holly Gobboii set up Nina Kearns for a shot on goal, but Cherry Orchards Madden managed to block it. Another good play by Aoife Kavanagh and Lauryn McCabe was just saved by keeper Annie O’Brien.

Cherry Orchard resumed their attack, but McCabe headed off attacks in quick succession from Dardis and Madden.

Cherry Orchard’s persistence paid off however, when Madden was taken down on the right wing. Maryjane O’Brien stepped up to take the kick and failed to disappoint. The ball found the back of the net after a small redirection from Dardis, putting Cherry Orchard in the lead, which they maintained until the final whistle.

Kilnamanagh defender Kayla Maguire was awarded ‘Player of the Match’, and Lauryn McCabe also deserves credit for her fantastic defensive play.

Cherry Orchard: A. O’Brien, A. Dalton, M. O’Brien, L. Kavanagh, K. Fleming, M. Bisset, S. Kane, K. Dardis, G. Madden, R Meier.

Kilnamanagh AFC: S. Donohue, N. Kearns, K. Maguire, L. McCabe, A. Kavanagh, M. Kearns, H. Gobboii, R. Devereux, C. Muldoon, S. O’Connor.

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