WILTON UNITED Girls U15 team finished their season in great style last weekend having picked up another trophy as they won the Regional FC trophy with a 5-1 win over Aisling Annacotty of Limerick.
This talented side have been hugely successful for the past six years, winning the league every year as well as many local cups.
They recently won the CWSSL U15 and U17 premier leagues with the same team.
A remarkable achievement for such a young squad.
Their closest rivals were Midleton at U15 level while Douglas Hall gave them the best test at U17 level.
With their success over the years and reaching the National cup final two years ago, as well as having nine of their players on this year’s winning Cork Gaynor cup squad, it was no surprise that Wilton would get the invite to take part in the Regional cup competition.
This event featured the top six teams from across the country which included Peamount (Dublin), Westport (Mayo), Regional and Aisling Annacotty (Limerick) and Cashel (Tipperary).
The tournament was spread out across the weekend which was held in Regional grounds in Limerick which had fantastic facilities.
Wilton’s first game was against rivals Peamount of Dublin and this game went all the way to a penalty shoot out after finishing one 1-1 at full time, Wilton’s goal coming from Kelsey Cooper.
An exciting shoot out to say the least where 22 penalties in total were taken.
Alix Mendez, Zoe Finnerty, Joanna Foskin, Mia O’Connell, Kelsey Cooper, Ava Ronan all converted their penalties while goalkeeper Ailbhe Moloney kicked the final one to win it for Wilton after she produced some excellent saves throughout.
Their second game was against Westport of Mayo.
This was Wilton’s second game in such a short space of time and tiredness definitely showed, with the Cork side losing 2-1. Ava Ronan scored Wilton’s goal.
Wilton still reached the trophy final on Sunday against Limerick side Aisling Annacotty.
Although they went one down, they went on to have a comfortable 5-1 win. Mendez scoring twice while Mia O’Connell, Ellie O’Brien, and Ava Ronan also got on the scoresheet.
Mendez picked up Player of the Match for her outstanding performance on the right wing. Her pace and skill to run past players was a joy to watch.
Throughout the tournament there were some excellent performances from Mendez, Chloe Atkinson, Ailbhe Moloney, Ronan, and O’Connell but a special mention to some of the U13s who were brought up for the tournament.
Pat Bowdren’s U13s including Zoe Finnerty, Jaydine Seaward, and Joanna Foskin are huge prospects in the club and all three were excellent over the weekend.
Finnerty played in many positions throughout the tournament and impressed manager Barbara O’Connell. Her work-rate and skill were a joy and she is one to watch in the future.
Foskin was another whose work-rate was immense. Her confidence grew over the weekend which was great to see and she’s another who will star for her club.
Seaward played a key role up front and her ability to hold the ball up was another huge positive. All three girls would have gained a lot of experience from the weekend and this is great for the future.
With regards to that, the price Wilton will pay for this success is huge with the majority of the squad set to depart to ply their trade in the League of Ireland with Cork City.
Undoubtedly it will make Cork City a stronger club, but it also could mean there could be no U17 team for Wilton. It will be sad to see girls leave the club but we all wish those who decide to go, the best of luck as they challenge themselves to playing strong opposition on a more regular basis.
It will be difficult for Wilton, and any club, to see so many girls leave as it stops them working their way through to the senior team. However for the moment these girls will enjoy celebrations tonight at the Schoolgirls awards where Wilton will pick up their league winning medals for U15 and U17s.