Scorer: Leah Moran
On a crisp clear day, the Newport U17 girls lined out to take on our neighbors Birdhill in the league. These derby fixtures are always much anticipated events with both teams knowing that it will inevitably be a very competitive affair. This Saturday would prove to be no different.
The first half was very evenly matched but our defences held strong. Emma Moloney was regularly tested in goals and bravely kept a clean sheet. Our backs Roisin Power, Eimear Carey, Sarah Finn and Amber Deegan managed their defensive effort well by thwarting any attacking breaks from the opposition. Equally our mids and forwards Rachel Carey, Anzelika Lepika, Leah Moran, Skye Sheehy, Carragh Flynn and Kaitlyn Bradshaw played some lovely football and were unlucky not to convert their efforts into goals. HT 0-0.
The second half saw Birdhill start strong, scoring very early in the half. Newport subs Jenny Keppel added some fresh legs and worked hard up front and in a welcome return from injury, Chelsea King was unlucky not to score with her first touch of the ball. The intensity went up a notch with our girls chasing the equalizer. Our mids and forwards made numerous breaks only to be met by the seasoned Birdhill defence. On one of these breaks, Skye was brought down outside the box and awarded a free. Rachel stepped up and put in a long looping ball across the face of the goal to find Leah who showed great composure to control the ball and bury it in the back of the net for that elusive equalizer. About halfway through the half, after making a great save, Emma picked up an injury to her hand that meant she could not continue. Roisin bravely stepped up to replace Emma and although she is not a regular keeper, did not look out of place at all keeping a clean sheet for the rest of the match.
This was a hard fought match and the girls really earned the away point. Well done to them all.
Squad: Emma Moloney. Roisin Power, Eimear Carey, Sarah Finn (C), Amber Deegan, Rachel Carey, Anzelika Lepika, Leah Moran, Skye Sheehy, Carragh Flynn, Kaitlyn Bradshaw, Jenny Keppel, Chelsea King.
Wishing Emma Moloney, Leona Burke and Abbie Lenihan a speedy recovery from injury.