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'What's there to say? The kid is just unbelievable'

Ellen Molloy starred in today’s FAI Cup final – though her late withdrawal may mean an injury concern for Vera Pauw.

Ellen Molloy on the ball in today's FAI Cup final.
Ellen Molloy on the ball in today's FAI Cup final.
Image: Laszlo Geczo/INPHO

WEXFORD YOUTHS CAPTAIN Kylie Murphy hailed 17-year-old sensation Ellen Molloy after her starring role in today’s Evoke.ie FAI Cup final win, and suggested that the Irish international “will be fine” after her late withdrawal due to injury.

Molloy sparkled in a Player of the Match-winning display as the Slaneysiders turned on the style to lift the silverware for the fourth time, and deny Shelbourne a 2021 double.

Wexford were 3-1 winners in front of a record crowd of 3,053; their goals coming from Lynn Marie Grant, Murphy, and Edel Kennedy — the latter two stunning finishes, with Molloy’s magic instrumental in the build-up to both.

The teenager limped off deep into injury time just after a collision in the box, however, throwing up concern for on-watching Ireland boss Vera Pauw ahead of a crucial double-header of World Cup qualifiers. It may just have been a case of muscle cramp, but there’s always that fear.

After a hiatus with the U19s, Molloy was named in the Girls In Green senior squad last week for Thursday’s clash against Slovakia, and Tuesday’s meeting with Georgia, both to be played in Tallaght. 

While she wasn’t asked about her late removal, the Kilkenny native was upbeat in her Player of the Match interview with RTÉ afterwards.

And Murphy was likewise hopeful that the injury may not be as serious as initially feared.

“I literally just got to give her her medal and say, ‘Well done,’ that was it,” Wexford’s captain fantastic told The42. “But she’ll be fine.

“The girls said that she thought she pulled her hamstring a little but I’m not too sure. Her quad on that same leg was actually pulling in the run up to this, so I’m not too sure. We’ll just see how she is now. Nigel [Fitzharris, Wexford's physio] will probably test her out when we get inside.”

“What’s there to say? The kid is just unbelievable,” Murphy added. “She’s just incredible, and has been for us all year.

“It’s not only Ellen, it’s Aoibheann Clancy, what a year she’s after having. Della [Doherty] coming into the team, and Teegan [Lynch]. There’s so many other young kids that are just… they’re so young, yet so experienced and they know the game.

“Aoibheann and Edel [Kennedy] bossed that midfield in the second half. Aoibheann’s 18 years of age. It’s incredible where they’re at at this stage of their career, the sky is the limit for those kids.

“The foundations are set now, there’s so much work being done that the pathway is there for them to get to wherever they want to be.”

Murphy also held special praise for Orlaith Conlon, who was forced to limp off after a last-ditch, goal-stopping tackle when Wexford were 2-1 up.

“Every single one of them were just incredible. My God, what about that backline? Did you see that tackle from Lolly Conlon? My God. That for me was the winning of the game. That tackle. That’s the difference, and that’s why she’s a Wexford Youths player.

“I can’t believe it. Lads, what a tackle. I thought we were done. She came out of nowhere, and the timing of it, I mean that’s the winning of a game. Unbelievable.”

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wexford-youths-players-celebrate-with-the-trophy Wexford celebrations in full flow. Source: Laszlo Geczo/INPHO

On Kennedy’s simply sensational third goal, Murphy added: “Jesus Christ. I’m going to be asking her to show me how she done that. What a strike.

“Edel had a great game. Going in at half time, she was probably the only player that was on the front foot for us. She was fighting, she was hassling, she was winning balls that she shouldn’t have been winning. All credit to her because she’s an incredible human being, an incredible team-mate and friend, I actually feel so lucky to share the pitch with her.”

A legendary figure in Irish women’s football, Murphy noted that this title “means everything” for Wexford Youths, and “brings momentum” into 2022.

“We were trophy-less last season and it hurt. It wasn’t good enough from a Wexford Youths point of view. It did hurt. It’s in the back of your head and you don’t want to be leaving this year without another trophy. It’s really good.

“First and foremost next year, we’ll be going after the Women’s National League. It’s what gives you Champions League soccer, but I mean, I’m not going to complain about this because I’m pretty happy!”

BTL 5

About the author:

Emma Duffy  / reports from Tallaght Stadium

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