Gutsy Piltown Defeat Benfica

Rebecca Kelly of Piltown and Becky Conway of Ben ca only have eyes for the ball in the U18 Ladies Cup semi-final at the RSC.

Rebecca Kelly of Piltown and Becky Conway of Ben ca only have eyes for the ball in the U18 Ladies Cup semi-final at the RSC.

Piltown – 2
Benfica – 0

Piltown booked a place in the WWFL Under 18 Cup final by defeating a dogged Benfica team at the RSC.

This was a closely fought affair but it was the Piltown side who proved ruthless when it came to putting the ball into the back of the net.

Although Benfica did have their chances, they couldn’t find a way past a resolute Piltown side led by their goalkeeper Hollie O’Shea.

She had her teammates on their toes throughout the contest and despite the best efforts of Becky Conroy, there was to be no denying the South Kilkenny side this victory.

Conroy had the first chance of the game on five minutes when she picked up possession of the ball 25-yards from goal but keeper O’Shea saved well. The netminder showed her class on 12 minutes when she brilliantly kept out an effort from Sharon Brown when she looked certain to score.

The opening goal of the contest arrived from the penalty spot on 20 minutes when Laura Hallissey was brought to ground inside the penalty area by Benfi ca’s Zoe Power. Referee Noel Ryan was left with no choice but to point to the spot and Aislinn Carroll sent the keeper the wrong way from 12 yards.

Piltown keeper Hollie O’Shea was called into the thick of the action to make a smart save again less than six minutes later when Brown slipped the ball into the path of Becky Conroy on the left-side of the area but her effort was saved before the same player was just off target with a fine shot on 29 minutes.

The ladies from Kildalton Park nearly doubled their lead with the final chance of the first half on 36 minutes when goalscorer Aislinn Carroll picked up the ball inside the penalty area but her low effort was well held by keeper Hannah Walsh.

Sarah Murphy of Piltown on the counter-attack against Benfica.

Sarah Murphy of Piltown on the counter-attack against Benfica.

The chances during the second period of the match were few and far between with the first opportunity providing the second Piltown goal on 56 minutes.

Aislinn Carroll whipped in a superb corner kick from the left that was touched home inside the area by striker Katlyn Phelan to put her side in the driving seat.

Benfica did put on a period of pressure on the Piltown goal but time after time Bethany Carroll broke up the attacks and when Sharon Brown did get fouled on 69 minutes, Becky Conroy struck the outside of the post with the resulting edge of the area free kick.

The only other chance of note saw Piltown goalkeeper Hollie O’Shea come to her sides rescue six minutes from the end when Zoe Power slipped the ball into the feet of Becky Conroy but her effort was superbly kept out as Benfica just couldn’t find a way back into the game. Carrick or Cappoquin will provide the opposition in final.

PILTOWN: Hollie O’Shea, Rebecca Kelly, Clare Power, April Kelly, Sarah Murphy, Ruth Walsh, Lisa McCarthy, Katlyn Phelan, Aislinn Carroll, Sinead McCarthy, Laura Hallissey, Bethany Carroll, Kate Connors.

BENFICA: Hannah Walsh, Jill Hennessy, Clara Fox, Becca Coleman, Zoe Power, Enida Oladiti, Kate Ryan, Becky Conroy, Sharon Brown, Kim Walsh, Cathy Sheridan.

REFEREE: Noel Ryan.

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