Sligo/Leitrim girls' heroic effort
The Sligo/Leitrim under 14 girls team put up an heroic performance in the Gaynor Cup tournament at UL, Limerick.
The girls faced a gruelling schedule with seven matches in three days.
However, the 20 player squad produced a number of excellent displays to finish 11th in the 18 team tournament.
The girls got off to a great start with an impressive 3-0 win over the South Tipperary League.
Shauna Golden (Gurteen Celtic) netted twice while the other goal was scored by Robyn Kennedy (Strand Celtic).
The only disappointing feature of the game was a knee injury sustained by Strand Celtic midfielder, Eabha Reddy, which ended her participation in the tournament.
They faced a very strong Donegal team in their next game.
The sides were level at 0-0 at half-time but Donegal secured the victory with two second half goals.
Heroic defending by captain Laura McGuinn (Strand), Lauren Waters (Yeats United), Aisling Leahy (Gurteen) and Chloe McManus (Strand) kept the scoreline down.
In their their third game on the opening day, the Sligo girls played out a thrilling 3-3 draw with the North East League.
Goals by Shauna Golden (2) and Eimear Osborn (Strand) helped Sligo/Leitrim establish a 3-2 lead but the North East League hit back to earn a share of the spoils.
The first game on the second day saw Sligo/Leitrim up against Limerick Desmond.
Shanua Golden scored a wonder goal just before half-time to give the Sligo girls the lead but Limerick drew level early in the second half and then clinched the winner from a disputed free kick.
The loss through injury of midfielder and vice captain, Eimear Colreavy, was a big blow to the Sligo/Leitrim team but they battled hard in the closing stages with Sinead Regan (Yeats) and Aisling Egan (Strand) particularly impressive.
An injury to Yasmin Connolly (Yeats) further depleted the Sligo/Leitrim squad for the final Group game against Cork.
Chloe McManus, Kate Keyes, Sarah Oates, Susie Kelly-Fallon, Roisin Molloy, Sinead Regan and Asling Regan were all in great form for Sligo/Leitrim but Cork sealed the win with two second half goals.
A fourth place finish in the group of six, behind semi-finalists, Cork and Donegal, and a strong Limerick Desmond team, was a great outcome for the Sligo/Leitrim squad and saw them into the 9th-12th place play-off group.
In their first play-off game, the girls were desperately unlucky to lose 2-1 to Longford. Shauna Golden scored for Sligo before Longford struck for a late winner.
That put Sligo/Leitrim into an 11th/12th place play off against Roscommon/East Galway.
A great game ended in scoreless stalemate with Molly Brady (Yeats) turning in a great performance up front. The two Sligo 'keepers, Megan Brady (Yeats) and Laura Denvir (Strand), who played a half each, were also in great form, producing a string of excellent saves.
It was all down to a penalty shoot-out.
Robyn Kennedy, Aisling Leahy and Shauna Golden were all on target for Sligo/Leitrim.
Laura Denvir saved two penalties, meaning that Sligo/Leitrim emerged as 3-1 winners to clinch 11th place overall in the 18 team tournament.
The Sligo/Leitrim player of the tournament award went to Shauna Golden while other awards went to Laura McGinn, Lauren Waters, Chloe McManus, Aisling Egan and Sinead Regan.
SLIGO/LEITRIM: Megan Brady, Molly Brady, Sinead Regan, Lauren Waters, Eimear Colreavy, Yasmin Connolly, Kate Keyes (all Yeats United), Laura Denvir, Laura McGuinn, Eabha Reddy, Chloe McManus, Susie Kelly-Fallon, Aisling Egan, Eimear Osborn, Megan Masterson, Robyn Kennedy (all Strand Celtic), Shauna Golden, Roisin Molloy, Aisling Egan (all Gurteen Celtic), Sarah Oates (Calry).
Valley Rovers player, Kristy Cullen, was unfortunate to miss the tournament through injury.