Shels beat City with four late goals
CORK CITY WFC………………….0
SHELBOURNE produced a ruthless second-half display to defeat Cork City in the Women’s National League on Saturday.
With 55 minutes gone on the clock, Frank Kelleher’s side were level, 0-0. However, Shels’ returning international stars, Isibeal Atkinson and Leanne Kiernan, asserted themselves.
City welcomed back Danielle Burke and Saoirse Noonan, from the Ireland U19 set-up, at the AUL Complex. Early efforts on goal by Hannah O’Donoghue and Katie McCarthy forced Shels’ goalkeeper, Amanda McQuillan, into action, while Eve Badana turned away a Niamh Prior strike at the opposite end.
The hosts then lost Courtney Higgins through injury and Roma McLaughlin was also withdrawn towards the tail end of the opening period.
The Ireland midfielder suffered a gash on her knee and was treated on the pitch for 30 minutes, before being carried away in an ambulance.
Both sides struggled to re-create the tempo, until McLaughlin’s replacement, Atkinson, unlocked the City defence.
Her perfectly-weighted corner, 10 minutes after the break, was headed home by Jessica Gleeson.
Atkinson doubled Shels’ lead through a 25-yard free-kick, just past the hour mark. Later, another fine delivery from the industrious winger was finished off by skipper, Noelle Murray.
Having held their ground for large chunks of the contest, City were now effectively resigned to a second defeat in this season’s league. In contrast, Shels continued to attack in waves.
After the ball broke into her path, Kiernan coolly registered the north Dublin side’s fourth goal. The Cavan teenager was denied a second deep into stoppage-time, by Badana, who was also equal to a close-range Prior shot.
In spite of some initial signs of promise, City struggled to make an impact in the final-third. Danielle Burke and Katie McCarthy offered a strong outlet on the right-wing, at various junctures, but Shelbourne were full value for their comprehensive victory.
SHELBOURNE LFC: Amanda McQuillan; Lynn Craven, Jessica Gleeson, Niamh Prior, Courtney Higgins (Pearl Slattery 12); Alex Kavanagh, Rachel Graham; Leanne Kiernan, Roma McLaughlin (Isibeal Atkinson 41), Kate Mooney (Fiona Donnelly 70); Noelle Murray.
CORK CITY WFC: Eve Badana; Danielle Sheehy, Danielle Burke, Maggie Duncliffe, Ciara McNamara, Natalie O’Brien (Mary Barrett 75); Katie McCarthy, Savannah McCarthy, Saoirse Noonan (Christina Dring 70), Michelle O’Driscoll; Hannah O’Donoghue (Kate O’Donovan 66).
Referee: Emma Cleary (Leitrim).