Paul Corcoran reports from Dangan
Shamrock Rovers went top of Group A in Women’s National League U17 action with a 2-1 win over Galway at Dangan on Saturday afternoon.
The first half had all the goals with Wiktoria Gorczyca opening the scoring for the visitors before Isabelle Fitzpatrick brought the home side level.
Alannah Prizeman netted the winning goal just before half-time to secure the three points for Rovers in what was an incredibly even fixture.
Both side exchanged chances in the opening ten minutes with Toni Ceno drawing two saves from Galway shot stopper Amy Mahon, the goalkeeper was able to gather the ball safely on the second time of asking after making a good block to deny the midfielder initially.
The home side responded shortly after with Lisa Coen almost turning the ball into the net from a dangerous Rola Olusola cross. Fitzpatrick was able to follow up with a shot but Rovers’ Robin Murray was able to deny the forward.
Referee Joe Hession awarded Rovers a dangerous free-kick just outside the box in the 13th minute and Rebecca McMahon shot the ball just inches above the crossbar and behind for a goal kick.
Galway had another good chance from a set-piece a few minutes later with Kate Thompson firing off a free-kick and drawing a great save from Murray who just managed to bat the ball behind to prevent the goal.
Rovers took the lead in the 28th minute when Gorczyca managed to control a long ball into the box from Orlaigh O’Mahony. The forward managed to trap the ball, turn and blast the ball into the bottom corner, leaving Mahon with no chance to make the save.
Galway were back on level terms when they were awarded a penalty on the half hour mark, Fitzpatrick made no mistake as she smashed the ball into the bottom right corner to get her side back into the game again.
The visitors manged to take the lead once again just before half-time however, with Prizeman striking a free-kick from the right side of the box which nestled in the goal to give Rovers a narrow lead once more.
Thompson went close again for Galway midway through the second period with a free-kick just to the right of the post.
Mahon was called into action late on to keep Rovers from adding to their goals after a dangerous high ball into the box from O’Mahoney. The goalkeeper commanded her area well to claim the ball with a number of green and white jerseys in close proximity.
The sides cancelled each other out in the second half with few chances for either team and Rovers were able to hold on to their slender lead and give Galway their first loss of the season.
Galway WFC U17: Amy Mahon; Hannah Glynn, Eve Dobben, Sara Cogley, Eabha O’Riordan; Skye Corcoran (Ciara Coen, 88), Kate Thompson; Tara O’Sullivan (Nessa Markham, HT), Rola Olusola (Chloe Carroll, 83), Isabelle Fitzpatrick; Lisa Coen (Caoilfhionn Madden, HT).
Subs not used: Anna Costello, Lucy Dalgarno, Kassie Rather, Eleanor Hernon.
Shamrock Rovers WU17: Robin Murray; Orlaigh O’Mahoney, Maria Reynolds, Abby Tuthill, Heather Kelly (Charlie Murray, 60); Ava Cullen (Anna Dignam 60), Alannah Prizeman, Rebecca McMahon, Elena Quinn (Ruby Gallagher, 70), Toni Ceno; Wiktoria Gorczyca (Anna Casey, 70).
Subs not used: None.
Referee: Joe Hession.
extratime.com Player of the Match: Alannah Prizeman (Shamrock Rovers).