Gaynor Cup

  • Both Mayo squads of U12s and u15s are in action at University of Limerick this coming weekend Friday 28th – Sunday 30th June in the Gaynor Cup.

    The 15s begin their group campaign at midday on the Friday facing Kilkenny with a 2nd match later that day at 5 against North Tipperary. They round off their group campaign the following day Saturday 29th with a clash against neighbours Galway at 11. With their group placing then dictating what competition they play in, they will have further games on Saturday afternoon and Sunday. The management team of this group is Roger Clarke, Des O Connor and Emma Gibbons. This talented bunch of girls reached the last 4 of the competition under the same management when they were u12s.

    The 12s play all their round robin matches on the Saturday. First up they face a Western derby with Galway at 1230 followed by a clash with NECSL at 3. They conclude with a game versus South Tipperary at 530 when their final position will be determined. This young side has been together only since February and had excellent workouts in away friendlies with Sligo/Leitrim, Clare and Galway before they took part in the North West Gaynor Qualifier in Longford at the end of April. This 6 team tournament had Midwest, Inishowen, Sligo-Leitrim, Donegal and Longford. Mayo defeated the hosts 2-0 in the Final and actually didn’t concede a goal all day and thus sealed a place in the last 4 of the competition.

    Training has been good since and the girls hosted Sligo-Leitrim in another useful workout and made the long 7 hour plus return journey to Inishowen on Saturday June 22nd to play in the Inishowen Cup. The Squad entered 2 teams on the day in this 10 team competition with both Mayo sides topping their groups but unfortunately both lost out in the Cup Semi Finals on penalties. Fantastic achievement to have had TWO teams in the top 4. This squad is led by Kevin Sheeran with coaches being Micheal Collins and Jessica Lambe. Kevin and Micheal have guided previous girls’ teams at both u14 and u16 levels to 3rd and 4th places respectively and with the 12s now in the last 4 in Ireland it reflects a real consistency in the calibre of players that Mayo clubs are helping to nurture.

  • Game 2 Mayo 3-2 South Tipperary

    Mayo made a couple of changes from the first game bringing Amber Hardy in to play in goal with Emma  Walsh and Wiki Kaminska bringing fresh legs to the attack.

    The game started slowly with the effects of this mornings effort very evident and it was South Tipp that had the better of the early exchanges with two chances in quick succession in the 9th and 10th min but both were just wide. In the 14th minute Tipp's dominance paid off when they bundled the ball home from a corner. Tipp were they more physical side and Mayo were finding it tough in the midfield battles and they doubled there lead in the 19th minute when strength won out in a challenge and the striker finished well.

    This brought a bit more fight out of Mayo and after a nice bit of okay from Kayla Doherty she found Beth Roache on the right wing but her cross was gathered by the Tipp Goalkeeper.

    On 28 Mins Mayo got a lifeline when another long Aoife Gannon freekick from the halfway line found its way to Emma Walsh who controlled with her left and she smashed the ball away with her right foot. 2-1 to Tipp and game on. The rest of the half was an even affair with both teams keeping it tight.

    At half time Mayo made 3 changes with Emma Duffy,Joanne Gallagher and Emily Vahey replacing Wiki, Sarah Gough and Emma Walsh.

    South Tipp had the first chance of the 2nd half with Jardy making another good stop. The Mayo management then made a further change when Sarah King came onto the right wing for Beth Roache. This seemed to energise Mayo and after a period of sustained Mayo pressure King won a corner down the right wing. She took the corner and Aoife Gannon up from the back was upended in the box penalty Mayo. Kayla Doherty stepped up for the 2nd time today but the keeper guessed right to save but luckily for Mayo Joanne Gallagher was following in and tap home the rebound.

    Mayo could have sat back and taken the point but they went for the win and got a third again with King involved on 46 mins she surged down the wing and her cross evaded the keeper and Kayla Doherty was on hand to nod home what turned out to be the winner.

    But it wasn't that simple a minute later and Tipp had rattled the Mayo woodwork. Mayo introduced Katie Heaney for Emily Vahey for the last 10 mins.

    Mayo managed to keep South Tipp at bay for the last few minutes helped by a brilliant double save from Keeper Amber Hardy and some brilliant last ditch defending by Gannon and Tuohy. A tough battle which Mayo just edged quality wise with the 2nd half subs making a huge difference.

  • Mayo started day two of U13 Gaynor cup 2019 with a game against a strong tall and physical Wexford side as with all this weekend Mayo have been up against it in the physical stakes but equal with anyone in football ability.

    The first few mins were dominated by Wexford with a shot from kickoff just going wide, the Mayo  crossbar being hit and a gial ruled out for offside all inside the first 3 mins. Mayo started to get there passing game going and were especially effective down the left wing with Saoirse Byrne and Katie Heaney linking up well.

    It was after 11 mins when Kayla  Doherty fired Mayos first shot at goal just dragging wide. It was a more even game now with Mayo maybe shading possesion and Wexfotd looking dangerous with long balls over the top. On 15 mins and Erin Nash chip just went over the bar after goid work from Doherty, and on 17 minutes the impressive Heaney tested the Wexford stopper with a left footed effort. But on 21 mins Wexford took the lead when one of the long balls worked, a slight mistake in central defence allowed the Speedy Wexford striker in on goal and she slotted the ball home. It was fairly even for the rest of the half with Charlie Benson in goal making a save in injury time low to her right. Some good performances from Mayo in the first half with Maura Hughes dangerous on the right and full backs Beth Roache and Sarah Gough working hard up and down the flanks.

    Half time 1 0 Wexford.

    Mayo Made 5 Subs at halftime with Joanna Gallagher, Emma Walsh, Kaitlyn Dunleavy, Emma Duffy and Amber Hardy entering the fray.

    It was a 2nd half mostly dominated by Mayo with Wexford seeming to play on the break and hit long balls over the Mayo central defenders Aoife Gannon and Suzanne Tuohy. Mayos fresh legs started to get a grip on the game and after 38 mins Mayo levelled the game when Katie Heaney surhed up the left wing and she found Joanne Gallaghers feet she held the ball up brilliantly and knocked a lay off pass to Kayla Doherty on the edged of the boxed and Kayla hit a superbly controlled right foot shot into the far right corner of the net.

    This stung Wexford back into action and soon they were ahead again on 41 mins a goal similar to thier first and Mayo had an uphill battle again. On 47 mins Sarah King came on for Beth Roache. 

    Mayo were pushing hard for the equaliser and totally dominated the last 10 minutes with chances for Doherty, Gallagher and Walsh just off target.

    There was a lengthy stoppage when the Wexford GK clashed with Gallagher in making a brave save. Which led to a long oeriod of stoppage time and Mayo continued to push for a leveller with Amy Cummins coming back on and the pacy Wiki Kaminska replacing Gallagher up front.

    Mayo pushed Suzanne Tuohy up front for the last few minutes and this paid off with the Snugboro girl latching onto a long ball from Aoife Gannon and Mayo had there deserved equaliser. Emily Vahey came on for the last few minutes and Mayo were unlucky not to get a winner as they were unable to fashion one more clear chance.

    2 all.

    A great squad effort.

    This leaves Mayo 3rd in the group and will be playing Waterford at 430 in the plate semi final.

  • Mayo went down 3 -0 to South Tipperary in their first of 2 games on Friday in the Gaynor Cup. Trailing to a 4th minute opener the Mayo girls failed to match the work rate and tenacity of the Tipp girls although the scoreline probably flattered the winners. 

    Still very much all to play for though in this Group D as all 4 teams each have 3 points with the final round of games taking place at 6 this evening. 

  • Mayo kicked off the U13 Gaynor campaign for 2019 in a 1. 4. 4. 1. 1. Formation in perfect playing conditions, from the start Mayo knew this would be a tough test against a physically strong MGL side who started brightly bringing a smart stop from Mayo keeper Charlie Benson after 3 minutes. Mayo started to get thier passing game going with Emma Duffy to the fore and afyer 7 mins she just failed to find Joanne Gallagher eith a through ball. After 9 minutes the excellent Amy Cummins had a long range shot which was easily saved by the Mgl stopper.

    After 10 mins MGL took the lead after a long through ball was controlled by there striker  but her first attempt was blocked by Suzanne Tuohy but unfortunately for Mayo it fell back yo her feey and she finished well. 1 nil MGL.

    MGL were on top now and forced another save from Charlie after 15mins.

    Mayo were then awarded a free kick around half way and Centre back Aoife Gannon stepped up and she hit a long ball which bounced over the keeper to put the scores level. This woke up MGL again and they hit back straight away when thier big No. 6 danced through and finished well, on the 27th Min Mgl made it 3 1 when a lucky bounce fell to there No7 and she slotted home with nothing Charlie could do about it.

    Just before half time Aoife got another free kick around half way and this timr her long ball fell to striker Aoife Gallagher who tucked her left foot shot away with great aplomb. Half time 3 2 down but mayo very much in the game. Half time subs were Katie Heaney for Aoibheen Bilbow and Wiki Kaminska on for Joanne Gallagher.

    The second half started with Mayo very much in the ascendancy playing some great football Wiki Kaminska added some pace to Mayos attack and this was evident straight away when she raced down the right wing only gor her cross to be gatheres by the keeper.

    On the 35th Min Mayo deservedly drew level after a moved started at centre back involved both centre mids Sarah Gough and Kayla Doherty went out wide to Katie Heaney and she slipped a lovely pass to Emma Duffy whose cross shot was handballed in the penalty area and Kayle stepped up to slot home low to the keepers left. 3 3 game on. The game was end to end for the next ten minutes with neither team able to break through. MGL had the better of the last 10 mins when Mayo seemed to tire which was understandable after all the efforts of the first 50 mins and MGL capitalised scoring 3 goals in this period with thier excellent nimber 7 securing a hat trick. Late suns for Mayo were Erin Nash and Sarah King For Wicky and Sarah Gough. A tough start for Mayo against one of the tournament's favorites but they showed they can compete with the best and hopefully will get a better result later against Tipperary.

  • 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.

  • The U13 Gaynor Cup takes place in University Limerick June 1st - 3rd. This is the first year of this age group with the U15 tournament being staged at the same venue during the last weekend of June. Prior to this year it was U14 and U16 age groups for this prestigious competition but the establishment of the National Women's U17 League deemed this change a necessity. 

    The Mayo U13s are managed by Brendan McHugh with his coaches being Jono Heffernan and Leah McHugh.  Mayo open their group with a clash with MGL (Dublin) early morning on Saturday June 1st. They have a second match later that day against South Tipperary. Next day they face Wexford in their final group game. After that there will be Cup/Shield /Trophy/Bowl matches ( depending on final group placings ) and an overall final position in the tournament. 

    Mayo teams have an excellent record at this annual event and hopes are high that this young panel will continue that trend.

  • The Mayo U13s wrapped up their 2019 Gaynor Cup at University of Limerick on Bank Holiday Monday by facing Limerick Desmond in the Plate Final.


    A recurring theme over the past 3 days has been how much bigger and physically stronger their opponents have been girl for girl compared to Mayo.


    It was even more pronounced yesterday with the added factor of tiredness catching up in the green and red girls.


    Limerick Desmond flew out of the traps and were 2 up in a matter of minutes and led 3 -0 at the interval.


    Things didn't improve from a Mayo point in the 2nd half with the Treaty City side adding 2 further goals and the young Mayo side being unable to get on the scoresheet.


    Full time and a 5 -0 defeat which was really tough on a bunch of girls who had given their absolute all over the 5 matches they played. Tournament football can quite often throw up games like this as all of us who have been involved with Gaynor Cup sides over the years can attest to.


    Runners up in the Plate Final with an overall finish of 10th (out of 20 teams) in the competition in this first year of this age format is most certainly in the "glass half full" category. They may not believe it today but in facing bigger, stronger more physical opposition so frequently, the Mayo girls are having to hone their technical skill-set.


    This will really stand to them when they close the gap physically with the other teams.

    Speaking afterwards Mayo Girls Emerging Talent Head Coach John Flanagan was fulsome in his praise for the girls first and foremost and how they conducted themselves on and off the pitch and a pleasure to be around.


    John also lauded the girls' management team led by Brendan Mc Hugh, everyone else who had helped including the house mothers, kit girl, p.r.o and the Mayo Schoolboys/Girls League.


    Mayo will have both U12 and U15 Girls teams participating in the 2nd part of the Gaynor Cup during the last weekend in June when the Mayo girls will once again take their places among the country's top female footballers. We have absolutely no doubt that they will hold their own.

  • Mayo U14s were out first on Saturday morning facing MGL in the Shield Semi Final of the Gaynor Cup. As they have done all tournament the young Mayo girls started very positively and Bria McLoughlin and Deirbhle McHale went close. The Dublin side came into the game more in the 2nd half and Mayo keeper Amy Mahon and centre backs Amy Dunleavy and Sorcha McCarney were under the cosh. On 32 minutes MGL scored the only goal of the game -the first that Mayo have conceded in 4 games.

    Mayo now play Galway on this morning for 7th /8th overall finishing position. 

    In the afternoon the Mayo U16s played Galway in the Cup Semi Final. This was a high intensity encounter between two very evenly matched teams.

    Mayo shaded the 1st half but both defences and the two keepers were in top form. Galway edged the 2nd half and scored the only goal of the game in the 28th minute. After that they always kept Mayo at arms length and the final whistle was really tough on this fantastic group of girls.

    Galway now play Midlands in the Cup Final today. Mayo also play today facing off against MGL in the match for 3rd /4th.

  • Mayo U16 girls won their final group match against Cork in the FAI Gaynor Cup on a 3-0 scoreline yesterday. 

    Two first half Alva Munnelly strikes were followed by a Louise Dowling header in the second half. Kate O'Dowd assisted all 3 goals.

    This result saw Mayo top Group D and they now play Galway in the Cup Semi Final at 3pm today. 

    The Mayo U14s play in the Bowl Semi Final at 10am today with MGL being their opponents. 

  • There was success for the two Mayo teams on the opening day of the FAI Gaynor Cup in Limerick. 

    In the U14 Group C Mayo defeated Longford 2-0 in their opening game and drew 0-0 with Carlow in their second game. 

    In the U16 Group D Mayo defeated Longford 4-1 in their opening game. 

    The action continues today.


    Two Mayo squads are heading for University of Limerick today to take part in the Fota Island Resort FAI Gaynor Cup. 

    Mayo U14s are in Group 3 along with Inishowen, Longford and Carlow. They have two games on Thursday.

    Mayo U16s are in group 4 along with Cork, Longford and South Tipperary. They have one match on Thursday.