Like father, like daughter as young O’Flaherty joins Galway soccer ranks

Galway WFC’s Ellerose O’Flaherty made history on Sunday, becoming the youngest person to play senior national league soccer for a Galway side.

O’Flaherty, having just turned 16, came on as a substitute in Galway’s 3-0 loss to champions Raheny in the 86th minute in Eamonn Deacy Park.

Her father Ricky continues to be the youngest player to have played for Galway United at 16 years and 9 months.

Galway WFC had led this contest for nearly an hour and had a star performer in keeper Tina Hughes, but they were left with nothing in the end.

 Starting at a great pace, Galway had Raheny shell-shocked after just two minutes when a long-range Marie Curtin free kick struck the crossbar and Keara Cormican centred the rebound for captain Ruth Fahy to tap home into an empty net.  

For the opening quarter the home side continued to press without creating clear cut chances.  On 19 minutes Hughes was called into action, tipping a Katie McCabe shot past her left hand post.  Three minutes later she repeated the feat this time from a Noelle Murray shot. On the half hour mark Curtin struck a free kick just over for the home side.  

Galway’s Lisa Casserly was causing havoc down the right and on 34 minutes drew a yellow card from Clare Conlon.  Six minutes later Casserly superbly skipped past three on the wing, but Galway could not get on the end of her perfectly weighted cross.

Raheny emerged a changed side in the second half.  On 51 minutes Pearl Slattery headed wide for the visitors, while a minute later a McCabe free kick was again wide for Raheny.  On 56 minutes McCabe got on the end of a through ball and looked to have flicked past Hughes, but her reaction save thwarted the Irish international.  From the resultant corner she produced an even better save, diving down to her right.

Eventually on 59 minutes Raheny scored from a Murray free kick.  With GWFC dropping deeper in the hope of holding on for a point, Raheny continued to have chances. And in the 79 minute the lively McCabe rounded keeper Hughes before being pulled down by Curtin who saw red for the challenge.  McCabe got up to make no mistake from the resultant penalty.  Raheny wrapped up all three points in the 83rd minute when Murray headed home a McCabe corner.  

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