REPORT | WU16 8-0 Malta


REPORT | WU16 8-0 Malta

An exquisite performance by the Republic of Ireland Women's Under-16s saw them beat Malta 8-0 and round off the Development Tournament in style.
19th Apr 2022

Shelbourne ace Lia O'Leary ensured that nobody else was going to claim the Golden Boot award for Top Goalscorer as she hit a hat-trick to add to their two goals previously netted in the competition.

The fleet-footed Dubliner likes to play wide on the left side of the pitch, cutting inside to devastating effect - almost like Katie McCabe. But she is more of a winger than the WNT captain and plays higher up the pitch.

Well, Malta didn't know how to contain her and O'Leary got off the mark inside five minutes with a sweet finish. Before the hosts could get a chance to regroup they conceded again with O'Leary getting her second goal just two minutes later.

The hat-trick was complete on 36 minutes and O'Leary could easily have walked away with the match ball at that stage. But there was more football to be played, particularly in the second period, by Tom Elmes's side.

The goals kept coming too with substitute Grace Flanagan and captain Jodie Loughrey getting one each in quick-fire succession.

Ireland were just too strong and they didn't ease up with Fiana Bradley and Aoibhe Fleming adding their names to the scoresheet before Flanagan got her second goal.

The scoreline may be flattering but Ireland's performances in this Development Tournament were of an extremely high standard with 16 goals scored, none conceded and a lot of excellent football played.

Republic of Ireland: Nicole Nix (Katie Keane 46); Amy Madden (Aoife Turner 46), Grace Fitzpatrick (Anna Cantwell 46), Heidi Mackin (Aoibhe Fleming 46), Alice Lillie (Niamh Tyrrell 55); Aoife Kelly (Jodie Griffin 55), Ellen Dolan (Jess Fitzgerald 46); Katie Lawlee, Jodie Loughrey, Lia O'Leary (Grace Flanagan 46); Joy Ralph (Fiana Bradley 55).

Malta: Erica Muscat; Fatma Al Girbi, Martina Spiteri, Kaysia Micallef, Aisha Micallef; Leanne Frendo, Mega La Rosa, Ema Micallef, Thea Isa Scicluna, Lisa Calleja; Francesca Bartolo.

Referee: Kieran Mallia (Malta).

Thursday, April 14 | Republic of Ireland 4-0 Turkey
Saturday, April 16 | Lebanon 4-0 Republic of Ireland
Tuesday, April 19 | Republic of Ireland 8-0 Malta