It was a mixed weekend for our women’s academy sides as our WU19 team maintained their place at the top of the league while our WU17s bowed out of the LOI Cup.

Athlone Town 0-1 Dundalk FC WU19
EA SPORTS WU19 LOI Academy Tier Two North R5

A Madeleine McKinley goal secured our WU19 side three more crucial points in Athlone on Sunday afternoon to keep them on top of the EA SPORTS WU19 LOI Academy Tier Two North table.

The Lilywhites, who have now lost just one of their last 14 games, had to battle for the win in the Midlands, and but for the home side’s goalkeeper, it might have been a more straightforward afternoon.

In the end, McKinley’s goal was enough to seal the win. It arrived in the 23rd minute when an Ella McKenna delivery from the right was only half-cleared to the edge of the penalty area and the Dundalk number 11’s deflected effort beat the Athlone goalkeeper.

Dundalk controlled the game for large periods with McKinley’s forceful running from midfield, and Zara Farrell’s link-up play causing the hosts plenty of problems.

Athlone netminder Katherine Hess made a number of brilliant saves to keep her side in it but with Maggie Holland dominating the backline, Caoimhe Magee never looked like conceding.

“It’s another great win and another big step going forward,” said WU19 coach Jason McConville. “We have six games left and we’re sitting top with a game in hand so hopefully we can just keep chalking the games off and stay there when it’s finished.”

Next up for Dundalk is a big away fixture against second-placed DLR Waves at Marley Park in Dublin next Sunday.

DUNDALK FC WU19: Caoimhe Magee, Laura Woods, Zara Farrell (Ellie Smyth 60), Hannah Cooney (Kerry Ann Gavin 52), Sarah Byrne (Charlotte Byrne 75), Molly Williams, Madeleine McKinley, Ella McKenna (Kelly Pease 75), Stephanie Cunningham (Abigail Martin 52), Shannon Guildea, Maggie Holland. Subs not used: Emma Goodman (GK), Ciara Whyte.

Molly Gordon in action for our WU17 team against Wexford Youths. Photo: Gerry Scully

WU17s bow out against Wexford Youths

Dundalk FC WU17 2-4 Wexford Youths
EA SPORTS WU17 LOI Academy Cup Quarter Final

Despite a battling display against a very experienced and physical Wexford Youths side, our WU17 team bowed out of the EA SPORTS WU17 LOI Academy Cup at the quarter-final stage on Saturday.

Ava McGeer put Dundalk in front after just seven minutes but Wexford responded with three goals before the interval to leave the Lilywhites up against it.

Bernard Freeman’s side never gave in, however, and an own goal pulled them back into it just after the restart before the visitors added a fourth to book their place in the last four.

DUNDALK FC WU17: Rebecca Crowley, Rebecca Rogan, Robyn Shanley, Niamh Norton, Leona Hanney, Ava McGeer, Sarah McCaffrey, Erin Shannon, Wendy Benedo, Ernesta Marut, Saun Kirby. Subs: Emalie McDonald (GK), Jennifer Freeman, Meena McConnell, Aoife Fanning, Jessica Cox, Hannah Crowley, Caragh Fitzharris, Molly Gordon.