THE Metropolitan Girls League retained the WFAI/FAI U-14 Gaynor Cup following a dramatic penalty shoot-out win over Cork at the University of Limerick on Monday.
Metropolitan (Dublin)........ 0
(Mets win 4-2 on penalties)
Naima Chemaou, Isobel Finnegan, Niamh Sheehan and Alex Kavanagh were on target for the defending champions, who missed their first penalty, to bring the cup back to Dublin. Sofie Hurley and Tara O'Gorman netted for Cork.
Cork almost opened the scoring inside the opening three minutes when Erin McEveney headed a Michael O'Rourke free-kick from the left inches over – and they nearly snatched it with five minutes remaining.
Eadoin Downey split the Metropolitan defence with an excellent through ball, but Caitlyn O'Sullivan's low drive was brilliantly saved by Naoisha McAloon.
The Mets' best chance arrived immediately after the break when Finnegan fired over a cross from the right, but Chemaou's side-footed volley flew just outside the far post.
Cork 'keeper Jessica O'Mahony then denied Lauryn O'Callaghan and also saved from Niamh Farrelly, as the Dubs, who had claims for a penalty waved aside, pressed for an opener.
O'Callaghan, who along with Farrelly had a fine game, was also denied by O'Mahony in the first half after she burst straight through the middle of the Cork defence.
Cork qualified out of the Group which contained the Limerick Desmond League, Sligo and Midlands and beat Co Limerick on penalties in the last four.
The Mets topped a Group containing Kerry, Galway and Clare and beat Inishowen in the last four. Speaking after Monday's finals, Mets coaches Nichola Sheridan, Vinny Patterson and Grace Maher praised the talented young side for their performances in Limerick.
Peamount FC's Niamh Farrelly captained the Mets on Shannonside.
Cork: J O'Mahony, M O'Rourke, S Hurley, T O'Gorman (S Noonan (50) S O'Leary, M O'Driscoll (C O'Sullivan 40) S Touhy cpt, E McEveny, L Homan, D Burke, E Downey.
Metropolitan: N McAloon, R Cullen, S O'Donoghue, C Maher, B O'Connell, N Farrelly cpy, A Kavanagh, L O'Callaghan, I Finnegan, K Bedford, N Chemaou (K McEntee 55).
Referee: A Keogh (Limerick).
Metropolitan Squad: N McAloon, K Bedford, K Burdis, N Chemaou, R Cullen, T Cully, N Farrelly, I Finnegan, O Hacket, A Kavanagh, L Kelly, C Maher, K McEntee, L O'Callaghan, B O'Connell, S O'Donohoe, N Plunkett, K Robinson, N Sheehan, E Turner.