Dundalk WU19 4-1 Shelbourne
EA SPORTS WU19 LOI Academy Group C

Madeleine McKinlay hit a stunning hat trick as Dundalk’s WU19 team produced their best display of the season to beat Shelbourne 4-1 at Oriel Park on Sunday.

Jason McConville’s side went into the game on the back of a three-game unbeaten run and they got off to the perfect start when Molly Williams slipped captain Ciara White in on goal and she made no mistake with just seven minutes on the clock.

McKinlay hit her first of the afternoon with a fierce drive that left Shels goalkeeper Eden Tyler Laughton with no chance after 31 minutes but the visitors dragged themselves back into the game just two minutes later through Nia Hannon.

Dundalk regrouped at the interval and they dominated the second half with McKinlay restoring the two-goal advantage when she scored direct from a corner 10 minutes after the restart.

A brave bit of play by Sarah Byrne led to Dundalk being awarded a penalty with eight minutes left to play and McKinlay completed her hat-trick to complete a magnificent win.

Dundalk players celebrate Madeleine McKinlay’s second goal in the 4-1 win over Shelbourne at Oriel Park. Photos by Gerry Scully

“I’ve been saying all along that it’s about development, and that is the ultimate goal, but these players just answer every call,” said McConville.

“They were outstanding. In terms of women’s football, we all know what Shelbourne are about and what they have done in the past number of years so for us, a team in our infancy, to match them at U19 level with a lot of girls who are in their mid-teens is unbelievable.

“Maggie Holland is 15 and was exceptional at centre-back while the likes of Madeleine, Molly Williams, Ciara White, Sarah Byrne, everyone on the pitch, including our subs, were just brilliant.

“We’re all so, so proud of them and they are a credit to themselves and to Dundalk Football Club.”

The victory lifts the Lilywhites up to second place in the EA SPORTS WU19 LOI Academy Group C, six points behind section leaders Peamount United, with their final game in phase one this Saturday, away to Finn Harps.

DUNDALK FC WU19: Caoimhe Magee, Laura Woods, Zara Farrell (Charlotte Fogerty 65), Ciara White (Abigail Martin 90), Sarah Byrne (Demi Tang 82), Molly Williams (Shauna Bell 84), Madeleine McKinlay, Stephanie Cunningham, Robyn Chidgey (Kerry Ann Gavin 65), Shannon Guildea, Maggie Holland. Subs not used: Kelly Pease, Hannah Cooney, Rebecca Crowley.