Lagan Harps U-14 girls reach FAI National Cup final

Lagan Harps reached the final of the National Cup after a penalty shoot-out win over Freebooters from Kilkenny.

Lagan Harps reached the final of the National Cup after a penalty shoot-out win over Freebooters from Kilkenny.

Lagan Harps 1 -1 Freebooters

Lagan won 5-4 on penalties

Lagan almost opened the scoring in the first minute when Orla Friel broke down the left and got in a great cross, Zoe McGlynn met the cross at the back post but her shot hit the crossbar. The Manorcunningham side suffered a blow when centre half Lauren McElwaine had to withdraw due to injury.

Lagan continued to dominate the half but failed to capitalise on their possession. They paid for this on 30 minutes when the defence failed to clear a long ball by Allie O’Keefe and Lauren Valentine scrambled her shot to the back of the net.

Emma Toye in goal so had to be sharp on a couple of occasions to thwart the danger as the second half took shape. But to Lagan’s credit they never threw in the towel are were rewarded with an equaliser midway through the second half when a ball from Lianne Boyce sent Orla Friel down the right and she cut in to shoot high over keeper Niamh Butler in to the roof of the net. Freebooters threatened more in extra time but Lagan almost grabbed a winner with five minutes left. A good ball from Zoe McGlynn found Ciana Brogan on the right. Her well struck shot was superbly saved by the outstanding Niamh Butler.

Both teams pushed for a winner but to no avail and after extra time also couldn’t separate the teams it was down to a penalty shoot out were the home side managed by Brid McGinty advanced to play either Shelbourne FC from Dublin or Gurteen Celtic from Sligo in the final.

Lagan Harps: Emma Toye, Aine Deasley, Zoe Green, Lauren McElwaine, Simona Gibbons, Zoe McGlynn, Ava Duncan, Lianne Boyce, Ciana Brogan, Orla Friel, Erin Coll. Subs Shania McElhinney, Ciara Duffy, and Chelsea Gillespie

Freebooters: Niamh Butler, Nessa Galway, Hannah Scott, Allie O’Keefe, Shauna Valentine, Beth Behan, Ciare Delaney, Ciara Phelan, Aobha O’Gorman, Lauren Valentine, Shauna Holohan Subs: Leah Tracy, Orla Hogan