Paul Corcoran reports from Éamonn Deacy Park
Galway WFC ran out 4-1 winners over Cork City on Saturday in the Women’s National League.
A first half goal from Chloe Singleton was added to by Méabh De Búrca as a brace from McKenna Doyle sealed the victory.
Cork City battled hard and equalised through Rachel O’Regan, but the visitors were powerless to resist as the home side stormed to victory.
Galway dominated the early stages of the game and in the 5th minute Maria O’Sullivan had to be at her best to deflect a shot from Aoife Thompson behind.
Thompson was played in by a perfect long through ball from Sadhbh Doyle, the forward did a great job escaping her marker, but O’Sullivan did excellently to prevent her from putting the home side in front.
Sinead O’ Donovan orchestrated another great move five minutes later when she played a great ball down the left flank. Méabh De Búrca raced to the ball and got a great cross off to Thompson but her effort was straight at O’Sullivan in the Cork goal.
The Galway Girls did get their early breakthrough in the 12th minute courtesy of Chloe Singleton. A Lynsey McKey free-kick scrambled high in the air before Singleton finally laid claim to it with her head nudging the ball just over the line despite O’Sullivan’s best efforts to keep it out.
The Rebels were very patient with their build up and managed to slow down the Galway defence as the first half progressed.
Solid chances were few and far between, however, with their main chance of the half coming from an Éabha O’Mahony free-kick that was struck too close to goalkeeper Ria McPhilbin to cause too much trouble for the shot stopper.
With an hour gone Cork got a great chance to equalise after Christina Dring was brought down by Ria McPhilbin in the box. Substitute Saoirse Noonan stepped up to take the spot kick, but her effort went inches wide of the post.
She was able to make up for it three minutes later when she played the final key pass across the box to Rachel O’Regan allowing her to finish off a great attacking move by smashing the ball into the net from close range.
The home side restored their lead from the boot of De Búrca, after she spotted O’Sullivan just off her line. The shot was perfect and just snuck under the bar and into the net to nudge Galway back in front.
Cork’s hopes of a comeback were dashed by American debutant McKenna Doyle who nabbed two goals in her first Women’s National League appearance.
In the 74th minute her long range effort was luck to cross the line after O’Sullivan made an excellent save initially. The ball didn’t go dead, however, and it somehow managed to creep over the line.
Six minutes later, the American broke away with a pacey run. With Cork defenders gaining ground with every step the striker stayed strong and managed to strike a great shot into the net just as she got into the box, to seal the victory for Galway.
Galway WFC: Ria McPhilbin; Shauna Fox, Keara Cormican, Méadbh De Búrca, Chloe Singleton (Aislinn Meaney, 74), Sadhbh Doyle, Lynsey McKey, Sinead Donovan, Aoife Thompson (Rachel Baynes, 74), Tessa Mullins (Carlie Schecht 84), McKenna Doyle.
Subs not used: Aoife Walsh, Ailbhe Clancy, Leah Brady, Aoife Brennan.
Booked: Méabh De Búrca (33), Shauna Fox (39), Rachel Baynes (76), Ria McPhilbin (82).
Cork City WFC: Maria O’ Sullivan; Nathalie O’Brien, Danielle Burke, Maggie Duncliffe (Kate O’Donovan, 73), Christina, Dring, Katie McCarthy, Éabha O’Mahony, Rachel O’Regan (Sophie Liston, 66), Zara Foley, Riona Crowley (Saoirse Noonan, 45), Sarah Jones.
Subs not used: Abby McCarthy, Eadaoin Lyons, Liz O’Connor.
Booked: Maggie Duncliffe (25).
Referee: Thomas Murphy.
Extratime.ie player of the match: McKenna Doyle (Galway).