Portlaoise girls lose out to Killeigh after incredible 11 goal thriller

Portlaoise AFC 5, Killeigh 6

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Portlaoise girls lose out to Killeigh after incredible 11 goal thriller

On a beautiful day at The Pond in Killeigh, the Portlaoise girls U-14 team took on Killeigh in an intriguing league encounter.

Both teams wrestled for possession in the opening ten minutes but it was Killeigh who slowly forced Portlaoise onto the back foot, going one up after 14 minutes.

The Portlaoise defence of Ava Prendergast, Leah Malone, Leah Nolan and Bronagh Carroll were certainly tested by some fantastic individual performances, and whilst the first Killeigh goal just rolled over the line, the second goal was a fantastic piece of individual power pace and finishing.

Right winger Holly Dunne almost grabbed one back when smashing her shot off the underside of the crossbar, yet Killeigh instantly hit back two minutes later.

Killeigh were organised focused and physically stronger, not allowing forwards Ciara Marston or Amy Donovan any time on the ball. Killeigh went 3-0 up and deserved their lead going into the break.

In the second half, the Portlaoise midfield of Ailbhe Quinn, Amy O'Brien and Rachel Horan stepped up the pressure with some fine, crisp passing and they were rewarded with a goal from the tireless Ailbhe Quinn.

Tails up, Portlaoise pressed for a second and it was a memorable one for young Leah Byrne who scored her first Portlaoise goal, poking in from close range. Not long after, it was another goal for Portlaoise through Quinn with a first time volley that smashed into the net making the score 3-3.

Kate Corcoran injected some extra energy as Portlaoise pushed for a fourth and they were rewarded when Quinn grabbed her hat-trick, finishing calmly from six yards.

Killeigh weren't finished however, and they attacked from the back and caught Portlaoise with a swift counter attack to make it 4-4. The game opened up even more as Portlaoise took a tactical gamble which looked like it had payed off when Ailbhe Quinn grabbed yet another goal, but Killeigh knew they weren't out of the game and once again countered Portlaoise to make it 5-5.

The last laugh went to the home team however, with a goal that was certainly worthy of winning a game. The Killeigh forward side stepping one defender before smashing into the top right-hand corner from 18 yards.

It was a brave performance by both teams and a thoroughly enjoyable game right to the end. Killeigh 6-5 Portlaoise. POM: Ailbhe Quinn and Amy O'Brien.