The Mayo U12 Girls have qualified for the Gaynor Cup Semi-Finals in June after a superb day Abbeycarton, Longford over the weekend.
First up was a group match against Mid Western in which the Mayo girls were totally dominant and ran out easy winners with goals from Maura Hughes, Kayla Doherty, Rebecca Moran, Emma Duffy and Katie Heaney.
The second group match Mayo faced Donegal and this was a titanic battle between two evenly matched sides.
Donegal shaded the first half when the defensive trio of Aoife Collins, Emily Vahey and Isobel Philips were really tested by their number 9. Some resolute defending kept her at arms length while Aoife Meaney in the Mayo goal was alive to anything that escaped the defence. In the second half, Mayo played some exceptional football but were denied time and again by the Donegal keeper.
Final score 0-0.
Mayo faced the hosts Longford in the final group game. The girls were tiring a bit at this stage and didn't do themselves justice. Having said that we were unlucky not to win it in the second half when both Ashleagh Salmon and Sarah Ruddy were unlucky.
Final score another 0 -0.
This result meant Mayo topped their group while Longford topped the other group so both teams net in the final to see who would be going to Limerick in June.
From the opening whistle Mayo took the game to the hosts with a superb blend of work ethic, hunger/desire and controlled aggression aided by good decision making. Mayo took the lead on 4 mins when Kayla Doherty's fiercely struck shot proved too hot for the keeper to hold and Mallaidh Lavelle was incredibly brave to get in the rebound and score. On and on Mayo attacked but the deserved second goal was slow in arriving. Come it did however in the 25th minute when Emma Duffy's astute cross was cleverly headed home by Roisin Horkan. Desperate last ditch defending from Longford prevented further goals and Mayo ran out 2-0 winners.
This management team of Kevin Sheeran and Micheal Collins have now reached Gaynor Cup Semi Finals with U14s, U16s and now U12s - real consistency and reflective of the calibre of player in Mayo and testimony to the excellent work being done for girls' football at the Clubs. Thanks to our female coach on the day Darine Moran.
Blaithin Brennan, Aoife Collins, Kayla Doherty (capt) Emma Duffy, Hazel Harrington, Katie Heaney, Roisin Horkan, Maura Hughes, Emily Jennings, Mallaidh Lavelle, Aoife Meaney, Rebecca Moran, Isobel Philips, Sarah Ruddy, Ashleagh Salmon, Emily Vahey.