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Match Previews & Reports

Opening defeat for Scotland schoolgirls against holders

It was Republic of Ireland who were victorious in the opening game of the Bob Docherty Tournament, defeating Scotland 2-1 on Monday morning. Goals from Anna McGough and a mix-up in the Scots defence gave Ireland a vital victory at Athlone Town Stadium.

Scotland almost got off to the perfect start in the match, with Ava Crawford latching on to a slack back pass, playing a great ball of her own into the path of Data Ositelu, but it was cut out by the Irish defence.

Throughout the opening stages, it seemed that it was the Scots who were the most likely to make a breakthrough, whilst still being aware of Ireland’s threats. That threat was clear as Ireland took the lead after 17 minutes through Anna McGough. A brilliant high cross from the right was brought down brilliantly by McGough, and she powerfully finished into the bottom corner from the edge of the box.

Scotland needed a reaction from going a goal down, creating multiple chances inside the box, but failing to get a shot away to test Anna Doyle in the Irish goal.

Just before the interval, Scotland almost had their equaliser, but striker, Ositelu, had her goal ruled out for a foul inside the box. Encouraging signs going into the break for the Scots, however.

Early in the second half, Ireland were inches away from doubling their advantage. McGough once again, who was a threat all afternoon, managed to compose herself after gathering a cross from the by-line, turning and hitting a shot which came back off the post and out for a corner.

From the resulting corner, Ireland did think they had a second goal, but the linesman flagged for offside. Ireland did win another corner minutes later, with good work and skill down the right-hand side.

A dangerous in-swinging corner was just missed by the defender and the goalkeeper at the front post and went over the goal line to double Ireland’s advantage. An unfortunate goal for Scotland to concede giving them a mountain to climb.

As Scotland attempted to fight back into the match, their best chance so far came through both May Cruft and Iona Watt. Cruft’s attempt from a free kick was palmed out by Doyle, straight to Watt, whose shot was quickly blocked by the Irish defence.

Scotland did pull a goal back in additional time through Cruft. That second-half dangerous combination of Watt and Cruft combined again, with the latter connecting with Watt’s whipped corner to the back post, where the attacker was there to give Scotland what would turn out to be a consolation goal.

In the end, it was the Irish girls who got their first victory of the tournament as they will be looking to continue gaining momentum for the rest of the week. As for the young Scots, they were very unlucky not to pick something up from the match, and will hopefully take confidence going into the remaining games.

Ireland U15s

Sarah Doyle

Karla Moore

Keelin Comiskey

Isabella Talotti

Kaitlyn Delahunty

Lara Dallaghan

Madison McGuane

Sarah Reynolds

Sophie Byrne

Mia Murtagh

Anna McGough.

Substitutions:

Abbie Duffy

Ciara Milton

Eva Loftus

Kassie McLoughlin

Molly Kirwan

Maisie Quinn

Lucy Doyle Farrington

Scotland U15s

Morgan McCroary

Abby Hayes

Iona Watt

Sky Murtagh

Caitlin Martin

Lily Boyce

Phoebe O’Donnell

Dara Ositelu

May Cruft

Orla Burn

Ava Crawford.

Substitutions:

Alex Reid

Erin Gilver

Lucy Stevenson

Ava Allison

Melissa Regmi

Erin O’Brien

Amelie Chomczuk.

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