Saoirse Noonan’s second hat-trick of the season proved enough for Cork City Woman’s FC to see past Galway Woman’s FC at Bishopstown on Sunday afternoon, as the Rebel Army recorded an emphatic 3-1 win over the Maroon Army. Following last week’s 5-0 loss to Peamount United, City responded well in what was a massive three points in their current battle for fourth spot.
With only three minutes on the clock, Cork City got off to the perfect start. Nathalie O’Brien’s free-kick was inch perfect for Saoirse Noonan to pounce and give the home side an early lead.
Galway had an opportunity to restore parity soon after the goal as Aislinn Meaney set up Chloe Singleton who fired low but her shot was narrowly wide of the target. Meaney was involved soon after as her ball into the box was punched onto the crossbar by Cork City keeper Amanda Budden. The rebound fell to Singleton but her attempt on goal was denied by the post.
The visitors’ pressure paid off with 25 minutes gone. A well worked Lynsey McKey corner found Lucia Labato who had time to gather herself before shooting into the back of the net from a tight angle.
Cork City where handed a golden opportunity to take the lead when Noonan combined with Michelle O’Driscoll to set the forward one-on-one with keeper Tina Hughes. Her effort bobbed millimeters short of the target.
Galway had their own chance to take the lead as the half-time whistle loomed. A short corner from McKey teed up Singleton but captain Ciara McNamara darted in front of goal to clear the danger.
Galway had a couple of chances early in the second half. Emma Starr teed up Aislinn Meaney but the ball was swallowed by Amanda Budden. Soon after a set piece from Lynsey McKey found Starr in a yard of space and facing goal but her header looped over the crossbar.
City responded and within ten minutes had doubled their advantage. A free from Maggie Duncliffe saw Tessa Mullins bring down Saoirse Noonan in the box leaving referee J.P. Carey with no choice but to point to the spot.
Noonan dusted herself off and blasted her spot-kick into the right-hand side of the goal to restore Cork City’s lead as the clock ticked onto the seventieth minute.
Seven minutes later, Tara Hughes was deemed to have obstructed a charging Christina Dring which saw Carey once again point to the spot. Noonan stepped up once more and hit it low into the right corner to stake her claim on the match ball and put Cork City 3-1 up.
Galway attempted to hit back but Duncliffe and McNamara ensured the visitors would not break through the Rebel’s rearguard.
City saw out the final ten in comfort as the captured the three points and ended their three match losing streak and further secured fourth spot ahead of next weekend’s derby date with Limerick.
Cork City Woman’s FC: Amanda Budden; Nathalie O’Brien (Hannah O’Brien 45’), Danielle Burke, Christina Dring, Eadoin Lyons, Saoirse Noonan, Amy McCormack (Courtney O’Keeffe 79’), Michelle O’Driscoll, Maggie Duncliffe, Katie McCarthy (Danielle Sheehy 45’), Ciara McNamara
Subs not used: Kate O’Donovan, Eve Bandana
Yellow Cards: Danielle Sheehy
Galway Woman’s FC: Tina Hughes; Carlie Schecht, Shauna Fox, Meabh De Burca (Sinead Donovan 64’), Aislinn Meaney, Lynsey McKey, Emma Cotter, Lucia Lobato, Chloe Singleton, Aoife Thompson, Tessa Mullins (Rachel Baynes 88’)
Subs not used: Louise Creavan, Aoife Walsh, Sarah Baynes, Caroline Carter
Referee: J.P Grey