Galway too strong in U-14 Ladies shoot-out

When it comes down to a shoot-out, it is usually strength in depth that wins the day and it was no different last Saturday in Leitrim Gaels Community Field when Galway’s superior all round fire-power proved too much for Leitrim in the Connacht Ladies U-14 Championship.

When it comes down to a shoot-out, it is usually strength in depth that wins the day and it was no different last Saturday in Leitrim Gaels Community Field when Galway’s superior all round fire-power proved too much for Leitrim in the Connacht Ladies U-14 Championship.

When it comes down to a shoot-out, it is usually strength in depth that wins the day and it was no different last Saturday in Leitrim Gaels Community Field when Galway’s superior all round fire-power proved too much for Leitrim in the Connacht Ladies U-14 Championship.

In the first game of the round robin stages, Leitrim went toe to toe with Galway in the first half, matching goal for goal and point for point as the teams ended an enthralling first half level, the goals of Dearbhaile Beirne and Carla Le Guen keeping Leitrim in contention.

But crucially, Galway were playing against the wind in that first half and once the Tribeswomen got that wind at their back, they parked themselves in the Leitrim half for the first 20 minutes of the second half and put the game beyond reach.

Leitrim had actually taken the lead in the second half, Dearbhaile Beirne again starring in a fine individual display as she landed 3-7 on the day, but with Galway free-taker Sorcha Ni Bhrian actually out-scoring her by a point, the greater support the Galway player had proving the crucial difference.

All six of the Galway forwards got on the score-sheet in contrast to just two more for Leitrim and it was that spread of attacking threat that caused so many problems for an over-worked defence that struggled so much on the day.

Carla Le Guen started remarkably well in the middle of the field, scoring two goals but as the game progressed, Galway took over in the middle of the field and never looked like losing once they put their foot on the gas.

Leitrim were without one or two missing players but given the scoring ability of Beirne and Le Guen, there won’t be too many teams who will be able to match their ability to rack up big scores.

Galway’s Orla Canney did a reasonable job in tracking the Mohill player but such is her pace and willingness to run into space, she can’t be held back.

Unfortunately, a side-effect of Beirne’s excellence is that her team-mates seemed over-awed by their team-mate, giving her the ball at every opportunity rather than trying to create other chances. It made it easier for Galway to bottle up Beirne and will lead to the Mohill player being double marked in the future.

Carla Le Guen had a strong first half, Elise Bruen did well in an over-worked defence while keeper Kiera Masterson did well. But again, everything revolved around Beirne but Leitrim will need to get more out of her team-mates if they are to repeat last year’s A Final appearance.