THE Mayo Under 13s girls have booked their place in the plate final at the Gaynor Cup tournament in Limerick tomorrow.
Day two of the competition opened this morning with Mayo up against a strong, tall, physical Wexford side. The game ended 2-2, placing them third in their group, and contesting the plate semi-final this afternoon, versus Waterford.
Facing into the semi-final, the girls were urged by management to be solid defensively and keep attacking, as they have done all weekend.
The game started with a stiff, cool cross breeze, slightly aiding Mayo in the first half, and it was all Mayo for the first 10 minutes, fashioning chances for Joanne Gallagher and Beth Roache whose shot just evaded the top right corner.
Mayo pressed on and gained the early advantage when Gallagher was played in by Saoirse Byrne and she finished coolly. More chances followed, with Roache going close again and Byrne having an effort after a nice one-two with Wiki Kaminska who had come on for Roache.
Mayo doubled their lead in the 22nd minute with Gallagher again on the mark after she was played in by the excellent Amy Cummins. Mayo kept the foot on the gas and after the Waterford 'keeper couldn't handle a bullet of a free kick by Aoife Gannon, Saoirse Byrne tapped in the rebound.
Three-nil at half-time, with Mayo handling the breeze much better than their opponents.
The second half was a different affair with the early exchanges dominated by Waterford. But 'keeper Amber Hardy was in excellent form, sweeping behind her defence and bravely saving at the feet of the oncoming striker three times. In the 34th minute Waterford had their best chance when a corner was cleared and worked back into the box but it was headed just wide of Hardy's goal.
Mayo were making use of their bench in the second half with Katie Heaney, Sarah King, Emily Vahey, Emma Walsh, Maura Hughes, Sarah Gough and Erin Nash all getting game time. The last 20 minutes were a tough battle with the game being played mostly in the middle third and Mayo looking to play out the game professionally.
A 3-nil win saw them into the plate final tomorrow against Limerick Desmond in what will be a tough game but these Mayo girls are sure to give everything to bring some silverware home.