Double Success for U16 Girls   01/06/2016

Carrigaline United U16 Girls finished off their season last Monday night in epic fashion.

Going into their last game of a fantastic season the girls needed to secure a draw to be crowned Champions of Cork. They dipped into their vast well of resilience and came up with a 1-1 draw against a very competent Passage side who will possibly finish second or at worst third in a very competitive league.

This probably all sounds very run of the mill to the casual reader or even to someone who knows anything about this panel of players, after all they’ve completed the full set of underage league medals now after winning the U16 Premier, BUT, the previous day (Sunday) they came from a 2 goal deficit to beat a very good Lakewood side in the U16 Munster Final. So despite being forced to play 2 season defining games within 24 hours the group showed immense desire and a will to succeed seldom seen in any team.

The Munster Final was against our greatest rivals for the last few years Lakewood. Both teams respect each other and despite having beaten them and drawn in the 2 league games it’s a rare event to play Lakewood in a season and come out of all encounters unbeaten.

The signs were ominous for us when Lakewood streaked into a 2 goal lead after 30 minutes of the contest but a Kelly Sexton goal 2 mins before half time helped us to become reinvigorated for the 2nd half which our gals dominated.

An own goal after sustained pressure drew the game level and when Rachel O’Regan struck for a typically calm finish 13 minutes from the end the yellow and blue supporters shouted them home.

We celebrated, but not too much, because, we had our eye on the League Championship slightly over 24 hours later.

It was going to be a big ask but the girls rolled up their sleeves and committed to squeezing the last ounce of energy from some very tired limbs.

The task ahead of the girls on Monday night got even harder when Passage took the lead from a free-kick. Taking the set-back in their stride, the Carrig girls set about their business with purpose and totally dominated the game until the end.

Rachel Oriade found the net after great work from Rebekah Grant 5 minutes from half time.

The second half found the Carrig defense and midfield totally on top and Passage rarely crossed into our half. Chances came and chances went and we wondered could the Passage girls have a sting in their tails but our young ladies saw the game out.

The final whistle saw scenes of great celebration and joy. The culmination of some serious effort and no little skill.

Round-up of the year:

1/4 finalists National Cup

Semi-Finalists of Local cup

Winners of U16 Premier League

Winners of Munster U16 Cup

An incredible year for an incredible crew. And the best news is that all bar 2 players are under age again next year.

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