A late goal from Cork sub Valerie Mulcahy was all that separated the sides today at Tallaght stadium, in a match where both had their fair share of chances.
Mulcahy's 86th minute goal, coupled with an outstanding goalkeeping display by Rachel Mullins, mean that Cork leapfrog Rovers in the table.
Both sides had their chances in a first half in which neither side truly looked in control. Three minutes in Hannah Tyrell shot just wide right in front of goal at the far post, but many of the best chances thereafter went to the visitors.
Substitute Jenny Critchley had the best chance of the half on 34 minutes, after she was put through on goal thanks to a fantastic Claire Shine through ball. Rovers 'keeper Sarah Devlin was brave in diving to clear the ball though, killing the chance for Cork.
Minutes later Orlagh Nolan of Rovers was clean through on goal herself, taking down a lobbed ball over the Cork defence. But Nolan could only shoot wide, meaning the deadlock remained unbroken.
Right from the start of the second half, Rovers looked determined to snatch a win from a Cork side who at times looked like they could cut them to pieces. But Cork's attacks mainly broke down too soon, allowing Rovers to counter with several quick attacks.
Nicola Sinnott headed just wide about five minutes in after the superb Caroline Thorpe delivered a free-kick in to the Cork box. The forward pair of Orlagh Nolan and Noelle Murray broke away soon afterwards, but Murray dragged her shot abysmally straight into the hands of Mullins.
Just after the hour mark an unmarked Hannah Tyrell missed a header right in front of goal after a pinpoint Nicola Sinnott delivery. Two minutes later Rachel Mullins pulled off the save of the match, punching Orlagh Nolan's powerful shot over the bar when the Rovers striker and Cork 'keeper were one-on-one.
Again and again Shamrock Rovers attacked, and again and again Cork countered. It always looked like the visitors could pounce and they did just that with four minutes left. After a Rovers attack, Lyndsey McKey held the ball up on the edge of the Hoops box. She squared the ball for substitute Valerie Mulcahy, whose first shot was blocked. It somehow found a way through though, and was bundled over the line by Mulcahy.
Two excellent saves from player of the match Rachel Mullins in the dying minutes made sure that Cork came away with the three points, keeping Rovers bottom of the league.
Shamrock Rovers: Sarah Devlin; Nicola Sinnott, Michelle Dunne, Zara Dillon, Niamh Connolly, Caroline Thorpe, Orlagh Nolan [ Grainne Walsh '87], Noelle Murray, Hannah Tyrell, Rachel Jenkins [Niamh Kinsella '73].
Subs Not Used: Grace McCauley,Joanne Ennis, Nicola Dorey, Aoife Maloney.
Cork WFC: Rachel Mullins, Orla Barry, Marie Curtin, Sylvia Gee, Lauren Murphy; Claudia Hudner, Laura Lynch, Susan Donovan, Lynsey McKey, Claire Shine, Katie McCarthy (Jenny Critchley '25).
Referee: Marie Ward
Attendance: 100 (unofficial estimate)
Extratime.ie Player Of The Match: Rachel Mullins