Bus Éireann FAI Women’s National League series four review
Peamount United 5 DLR Waves 1
DEFENDING champions Peamount United knocked Raheny United from top spot in the WNL on Sunday by cruising to victory against DLR Waves in Greenogue.
Sara Lawlor and Stephanie Roche (who else?) each scored twice as Eileen Gleeson’s ravenous unit won their third league game in a row.
Lawlor passed to Roche for a 15th minute opener and then curled a shot around goalkeeper Sarah Devlin to extend Peas’ lead on 33 minutes.
Lawlor’s cross was volleyed to the net by captain Louise Quinn on 63 and just nine minutes passed before Lawlor notched her second.
Jenny Ferrari was later upended in the area and after referee Tommy Traynor awarded the spot-kick Roche took on the responsibility of placing the ball wide of Devlin’s out-stretched arm on 83. Michelle Dunne pulled a goal back for Waves after Linda Meehan uncharacteristically spilled a testing late free-kick.
What we learned…
Sara Lawlor is virtually unplayable at the moment and will surely feature prominently in future Ireland squads if she maintains her form. Named last season’s WNL Player of the Year Lawlor has picked up where she left off last term.
She scored twice and made two assists out of Peas’ five goals at the weekend. The defences of Wexford Youths Women’s AFC, a rearguard that has conceded just one goal in three games since, Castlebar Celtic and DLR Waves have failed to contain her and it will be interesting to see if Raheny’s fares differently.
Castlebar Celtic 4 Cork Women’s FC 3
Leading markswoman Emma Mullin scored twice for Castlebar Celtic as Cork Women’s FC slumped to their third defeat in a row at Celtic Park.
Castlebar central midfielder Emma Hansberry gave Johnny Morris-Burke’s westerners the lead four minutes into the contest driving beyond Katie Hannon.
However, Lauren Murphy’s converted penalty afforded Cork the opportunity to build on a record that saw the Leesiders earn seven points from a possible nine against the same opposition last term.
Yet Mullin’s penalty restored Castlebar’s advantage before the striker gave her unit a two-goal cushion by the interval.
Seven minutes into the second period striker Nicole Fowley put the game beyond Cork adding Castlebar’s fourth from close range.
Lynsey McKey and Denise O’Sullivan subsequently scored for Cork and they bombarded Castlebar for the remaining minutes but the arrears were too great in the first instance and so Morris-Burke’s side clung on.
What we learned…
Cork’s defence, in a nutshell, is porous. After four league encounters Maurice Farrell’s Leesiders are yet to keep a clean sheet and in their last three matches Cork conceded 11 goals. Captain and central defender Emma Farmer was unavailable last Sunday as she was on duty with the Cork Ladies’ footballers in Croker but Farrell needs to use this mini-break as a time to bring more structure and organisation to his defence.
Cork’s next league outing isn’t until 11 November so Farrell’s excellent coaching skills will have to be utilised to their fullest effect in the meantime.
Wexford Youths Women’s AFC 1 Shamrock Rovers 1
SHAMROCK ROVERS earned their first point of the new WNL campaign by forcing a draw at Ferrycarrig Park against high-flying Wexford Youths Women’s AFC. A largely uneventful opening 60 minutes was followed by a much improved final third to the game with both sides cranking up their efforts considerably in an attempt to snatch a valuable triumph.
And when Sadie Murphy’s breakthrough goal on 70 minutes gave hosts Wexford an advantage it seemed John Flood’s charges were on the verge of claiming their third win on the spin. However, unfortunate to lose their first two matches, Rovers’ resilience came to the fore and they engineered an equaliser through Rachel Jenkins, the player’s second goal of term, which ensured Rovers got off the points mark at the third attempt on Slaneyside.
Rovers’ performances are on an upward curve and a victory isn’t far away.
What we learned…
In contrast to Cork, Wexford are proving to be excellent defensively. Peamount scored four times against them on the opening afternoon in Greenogue but since then Jenkins’ is the only goal they coughed up in three matches.
Clean sheets were kept against DLR Waves and Cork therefore, with Rovers’ goal occurring in the second half Flood’s team had gone five halves without conceding and with Lucy Sherwin and Jessica Gleeson in assured form Wexford are currently odds-on to better their fourth place finish previously.