Republic of Ireland 2 Scotland 1

Scotland lost out 1-2 to the Republic of Ireland in the opening game of the Bob Docherty Tournament at Athlone Town AFC on Monday morning.

Ireland kicked off the match with a strong wind at their back. Scotland nearly had a breakthrough in the opening seconds when Ava Crawford intercepted an Irish pass out from the back, played a superb ball thought to Data Ositelu, but the danger was cleared by an Irish defender.

In the opening minutes of the game, Lily Boyce and May Cruft had to battle hard to get space in the middle of the park with Irish players attempting to squeeze the space the girls could play in.

Caitlin Martin and Sky Murtagh looked confident at the back as they moved the ball around this huge pitch.

Sky Murtagh in action

In the second minute May Cruft started a good combination move when she received a throw-in from Abby Hayes, turned and moved the ball to Lily Boyce, who in turn played wide to Phoebe O’Donnell. Phoebe played the ball first time into the edge of the Irish six-yard box for the inrushing Dara Ositelu to head towards goal. Although no goal it was hopefully a sigh of things to come for Scotland.

Dara Ositelu heads for goal

Although Scotland looked the more likely to score in the opening 10 minutes, Ireland looked dangerous on the fast break. Especially down the left wing where their speedy 11 was using the acres of space on this extremely wide pitch to get behind the Scottish defence.

In the seventh minute Dara Ositelu showed real perseverance when she intercepted a loose ball just inside her own half, beat three defenders only to see the ball boucne off her and end up in the advancing Irish keeper before she could get to it.

The Irish team, at this stage looked confident in building play up from the back, with Scotland poised to take advantage of any mis-passes.

In the eighth minute Sky Murtagh reacted swiftly to defuse a potential goal scoring opportunity when she timed a perfect tackle on an Irish forward who had been played through from a ball from the back to clear the danger.

Scotland responded a minute later with a fast break which saw Phoebe O’Donnell break down the right wing and cross a delightful ball into the edge of the Irish six-yard box only for the Irish centre half to clear before Dara Ositelu could reach it.

Orla Burn and May Cruft had a few good runs down the right but couldn’t get past the well organised Irish defence to deliver ball into dangerous positions.

In the 12th minute Lily Boyce had a shot from the edge of the box which was comfortably held by the Irish keeper.

Lily Boyce shoots for goal

The Republic side were making life difficult for the Scots with their high and intense press giving them very little time on the ball.

Scotland were caught out in the 17th minute when Ireland intercepted a ball played out from defence and played in their 18 who took one touch and to fired the ball from the edge of the box into the far corner of the net.

Anna McGough opens the scoring for Ireland

The Scots didn’t let their heads go down and immediately attacked the Irish defence. A good combination between Iona Watt and Orla Burn saw Orla reach the bye line but once again she was closed down before she could get her cross in.

In the 23rd minute Phoebe O’Donnell intercepted a pass out from the Irish defence and cut the ball back into the Irish six-yard box only to see the ball cleared for a corner before Dara Ositelu could reach it.

Phoebe O'Donnell drives forward

Just before half-time Dara Ositelu had the ball in the net only to see the referee blow for a free kick for Ireland for previous contact.

Half-time: Republic of Ireland 1 Scotland 0

Scotland kicked off the second half with Erin O’Brien replacing Dara Ositelu.

Three minutes into the second half Morgan McCroary moved quickly off her line to clear a ball played over the Scottish defensive line.

A minute later the Irish 12 got beyond the Scottish line and cup a ball back into the Scottish penalty area for 18 who had time to control the ball, turn and hit a shot which came back off the post and was cleared for a corner.

Ireland did have the ball in the net as a result of the corner, but the referee signalled a free kick for Scotland for offside.

Ireland did increase their lead in the 45th minute when a mix-up in the Scottish defence allowed an Irish corner to slip in at the near post.

Scotland fought hard to get back in the game and were unfortunate in the 48th minute when May Cruft played a lovely cross field pass for Ava Crawford to run onto, but the Irish keeper was off her line quickly to smother the ball.

The Irish keeper beats Ava Crawford to the ball

Scotland continued their charge with Orla and Amelie and having shots on goal.

In the 50th minute May Cruft was brought down at the edge of the Irish box after she went on a mazy run. May’s shot was parried by the keeper and Iona Watt was first to react to get to the ball. Her shot was also blocked by the Irish defence.

Since coming in, 10 minutes into the second half, Amelie Chomczuk tried hard to turn things around, but she found getting space difficult with continuing Irish press.

Scotland did pull one back two minutes into additional time. Iona Watt took a corner on the left and played a long ball to the Irish back post. May Cruft timed her ren perfectly to connect and knock the ball off the Irish keeper into the net.

May Cruft pulls one back for Scotland

Full-time: Republic of Ireland 2 Scotland 1

Ireland: Sarah Doyle, Karla Moore, Keelin Comiskey, Isabella Talotti, Kaitlyn Delahunty, Lara Dallaghan, Madison McGuane, Sarah Reynolds, Sophie Byrne, Mia Murtagh, Anna McGough.
Subs: Abbie Duffy, Ciara Milton, Eva Loftus, Kassie McLoughlin, Molly Kirwan, Maisie Quinn, Lucy Doyle Farrington.

Scotland: Morgan McCroary, Abby Hayes, Iona Watt, Sky Murtagh, Caitlin Martin, Lily Boyce, Phoebe O’Donnell, Dara Ositelu, May Cruft, Orla Burn, Ava Crawford.
Subs: Alex Reid, Erin Gilver, Lucy Stevenson, Ava Allison, Melissa Regmi, Erin O’Brien, Amelie Chomczuk.

Scotland Squad

Republic of Ireland Squad

Post Match Interview

Scotland Goal - Behind the Goal with GoPro