‘Goal scoring machine’ Kehoe stars as Cayman hammers Dominica

Cayman starters: (L-R) Back Row: Shayana Windsor, Molly Kehoe, Alexia Bromfield, Satiah Miller, Hannah Scott, Keya Berry. Front Row: Kayla Bradley, Chloe Bentick-Lalli, Lilly Powery, Artemis Deslandes-Hydes, Ethana Villalobos.

Molly Kehoe put on a show of marksmanship with a four-goal performance, as the Cayman Islands hammered Dominica 8-1 on the opening night of Group B play in the Concacaf Women’s U17 Championship on 21 August.

Kehoe’s first goal came in the 21st minute, after having another chance moments earlier, as Cayman took the 1-0 lead into the half.

Showing better play and creating the lion’s share of the chances in the first half, the Cayman young ladies would have hoped to have enjoyed a larger lead at that stage, especially with Kehoe just missing the mark on a couple of scoring opportunities. The break provided an opportunity to shore up their defence and it showed when play resumed.

Spurred on by an energetic home crowd, the Cayman team upped the intensity on the field. Kehoe appeared hungry for goals and it was as though the supporters who turned out to Truman Bodden Sports Complex could sense that and we on the edges of their seats every time the home side pressed forward.

A scramble in front the Dominica goal ended with an Alexia Bromfield header into the back of the net to double the lead in the 56th minute. Dominica rallied and pulled within a goal two minutes later thanks to Britney Dennis.

Captains Alanna Finn and Artemis Deslandes-Hydes at the toss.

Kehoe, whose appetite for goal scoring seemed thoroughly whetted, then scored a trio of goals in consecutive minutes (61’, 62’, 63’) to put Cayman clearly in command. Shayana Windsor, who had been working hard all game, got a chance in the 76th minute and made it count. Then substitute Shywayne Fyne joined in the scoring in the 81st minute. Windsor got her second in the 90th minute, as Cayman celebrated a convincing win to begin their campaign.

“We played as a team, which helped us to get the ball around and make sure we kept possession. I think another thing that we did really well was finishing and rebounding each other’s shots,” said captain Artemis Deslandes-Hydes. “We came out confident; we really wanted to do well and eight goals encouraged us to do better in our next game and push ourselves.”

Of Kehoe’s four-goal eruption, Deslandes-Hydes said of her long-time club and country teammate: “She’s a goal scoring machine!”

Kehoe was full of praise for the effort the entire Cayman team put in. “We played well as a team. We passed the ball well, we played possession and we also got goals.”

And of her proficiency in front of goal: “I just had the adrenaline in me and I just kept on going.”

Deslandes-Hydes said playing before an appreciative and supportive home crowd was a plus for the side. “The crowd was extremely helpful. The encouragement really helped us to push when we were tired,” she said. “Hearing them call your name and support everyone was really encouraging.”

Assistant coach Noel Kane said the staff were pretty pleased with the performance, especially seeing how the girls tightened the defence after a halftime talk on the matter.

“We’re not getting carried away. We still have two games to play [and] it’s going to be a tough group,” he said of the result. “It’s great for the confidence. We just [need to] keep doing what we’re doing. This team has trained for the last eight months together…what you’re seeing now is the fruits of their labour.”

And on Kehoe’s performance, the assistant coach said: “She’s unbelievable. She’s a special talent…an excellent performance from her.”

Cayman Islands starters: Satiah Miller (GK), Lilly Powery, Chloe Bentick-Lalli, Artemis Deslandes-Hydes, Ethana Villalobos, Alexia Bromfield, Kayla Bradley, Molly Kehoe, Hannah Scott, Keya Berry, Shayana Windsor. Substitutes: Kiara Lemay, Katriona Williams, Riley Doyle, Shywayne Fyne, Kalie Ebanks, Ashlyn Evans

Cayman returns to the pitch Friday (23 August) at 7:00pm vs Martinique, who beat Antigua and Barbuda 4-2 in the opening group game. Dominica and Antigua and Barbuda meat in a match-up of Eastern Caribbean teams seeking their first wins.

The winner of the group, which culminates on Sunday, advances to the 2020 Concacaf Women’s Under-17 Championships.

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