Dave Donnelly reports from Jackson Park
Kilkenny United ended their 13-game wait for a Women’s National League point as they held DLR Waves to a 1-1 draw at Jackson Park.
Emma Campbell, playing her final game before moving to the States on a scholarship, opened the scoring in the first half and the visitors looked set to hold on for just their second-ever league win.
Substitute Jetta Berrill popped up to smash home the leveller two minutes from time, however, and Waves had what looked a legitimate winner from Catherine Cronin ruled out in injury time.
Kilkenny won the toss and ceded kick-off to Waves in order to play with the ferocious Dublin Mountains wind at their backs, and the conditions were to prove influential in both goals.
Waves had the majority of the play in spite of the wind but struggled to create, while Kilkenny’s more direct approach caused problems for the home side.
Sophie Lenehan, on debut following her move from Wexford Youths last month, had a relatively quiet evening bar a manic three-minute period late in the first half.
First, a looping long-range effort from Nicola Plunkett caught a gust of wind and left the keeper with no chance, and she was fortunate to see the shot rebound back off the post.
Lenehan had no such luck shortly afterwards as she misjudged a cross and collided with defender Róisín McGovern, allowing Campbell the easiest of tap-ins to nudge the visitors in front.
The concession seemed to spark the hitherto passive Waves into action and Kerri Letmon’s cross just evaded Orla Casey before Cronin shot wide from the edge of the box.
Captain Cronin looked the most likely to get Waves back into the game but she was frustrated when her goalbound shot was palmed away athletically by Amy Cahill.
Former Ireland international Berrill, who returned to the club last month following a two-year hiatus, was introduced on the right wing midway through the second half.
The first goal of her second spell couldn’t have been better timed as she raced onto Lenehan’s hopefully ball forward and finished emphatically on the half-volley.
Berrill almost provided a winner when she laid a cross on a plate for Cronin but, while the striker appeared at least in line with the last defender, the offside flag was raised as the ball hit the not.
DLR Waves: Sophie Lenehan; Nicole Keogh, Ally O’Keeffe, Róisín McGovern, Jenny O’Keeffe; Fiona Donnelly, Nadine Clare, Rachel Doyle (Ciara Maher 68); Orla Casey, Catherine Cronin, Kerri Letmon (Jetta Berill 64).
Subs not used: Eve Badana (gk), Bobbi Downer, Chelsee Snell, Sinead Gaynor, Sophie O’Donoghue.
Kilkenny United: Amy Cahill; Jennifer Cosgrove, Zara Lawless, Oleta Griffin, Aoife Brophy; Aisling Spillane, Tara Long, Emma Campbell; Ann Marie Byrne, Bronagh Kane (Abbie Brophy 76), Nicole Plunkett (Aoife Hanley 69).
Subs not used: Alana Roddy, Kayla Cooling, Kerri Duffy, Leah C Doyle.
Attendance: 70 (estimate).
Extratime.ie Player of the Match: Catherine Cronin (DLR Waves).