WNL Report: UCD Waves 1 - 1 Limerick

Sun, Jul 01 2018

UCD Waves captain Chloe Mustaki. Credit: Al Robinson

Shannon Parbat had a debut to remember as her second-half goal earned battling Limerick away point to UCD Waves at the Belfield Bowl on Sunday afternoon.

Leanne Payne had given Waves the lead before the break with a well-taken header but, just as they did against Cork City seven days ago, the home side surrendered the lead late on.

In fact, Noel Kealy's side were somewhat fortunate to take anything from a game they'd dominated for 65 minutes as Rebecca Horgan put a late chance just wide.

The Students haven't won a game in two months now – since they last hosted Limerick in the WNL Cup at Jackson Park – and came into this game with a string of missing players.

Central defender Chelsee Snell – one of three changes from last week – was absent from a side already missing several key players.

One of the three fresh faces came millimetres from making the breakthrough after just ten minutes, however, Carla Moran's header from Chloe Mustaki's corner crashing back off the post.

Another Mustaki corner shortly after ran through to Dearbhaile Beirne – who scored both goals in that win over the Blues – and her shot from the edge of the box caused a ripple in the side-netting.

The unfamiliarity in defence was already beginning to show, however, and UCD got a let-off when Parbat was left one-on-one with Erica Turner only for the keeper to save well with her foot.

The home side upped the tempo around the half-hour, and both Moran and Beirne had half-chances before Amber Kenny denied Moran a one-on-one with a well-timed tackle.

Limerick's resolve wouldn't be long in breaking, however, and UCD took advantage of Blues captain Therese Hartley leaving the pitch for treatment to break the deadlock.

The excellent Mustaki picked out Beirne with a pass over the top and she hit the endline before crossing to the back post, where Payne had the easiest of headed finishes.

The Students' defensive problems showed again right on half time as Horgan pulled the ball back for Parbat and it took a last-ditch challenge from Aisling Dunbar to keep UCD's goal intact.

Payne and Moran both had the ball in the net early in the second half – Moran's looked a particularly tight call – before UCD were awarded a chance to seal the win from the spot.

A fluid passing movement saw Beirne in on goal and, after skipping inside Trish Fennelly, the Blues keeper tripped her as she prepared to slot into an empty net.

Referee Orla Devaney curiously opted only to give a yellow card – judging it to have been a legitimate attempt to win the ball and not a deliberate trip.

It was to prove a pivotal moment in the game as Sinead Gaynor saw her effort from 12 yards rebound off the post, the keeper having dived the correct way.

Limerick grew in confidence from their let-off and had a succession of chances in the immediate aftermath.

First Sophie Liston – introduced at half time for her first appearance – looked to have levelled with a deft lob only for the retreating Erica Turner to brilliantly claw the ball over the bar.

Liston was involved again moments later, however, as she took Marie Curtin's ball down the channel and drove infield before picking out Parbat at the far post, who made no mistake.

The home side's heads dropped and, though they finished the game the stronger, the last chance went Limerick's way but, with just Turner to beat, Horgan pulled her shot wide.

UCD Waves: Erica Turner; Aisling Dunbar, Róisín McGovern, Orla Haran, Keelin McEntee; Sinead Gaynor, Chloe Mustaki, Aisling Spillane (Amy Guilfoyle 88); Dearbhaile Beirne, Leanne Payne, Carla Moran (Jennifer Chambers 79).

Subs not used: Caolán Carroll.

Booked: Sinead Gaynor (71).

Limerick: Trish Fennelly; Lauren Keane, Therese Hartley, Megan Kelleher, Amber Kenny (Alanna Morris 90); Claire Kelly (Sophie Liston 46), Sylvia Gee, Marie Curtin; Aisling O'Connor, Shannon Parbat (Rebecca Mahon 79), Rebecca Horgan.

Subs not used: Karen Connolly (gk), Sabrina McCarthy.

Booked: Trish Fennelly (60).

Referee: Orla Devaney.

Attendance: 100 (estimate).

Extratime.ie Player of the Match: Chloe Mustaki (UCD Waves).