Barrett hat-trick leaves City reeling
CORK CITY WFC………………………………0
REPUBLIC OF IRELAND international Amber Barrett helped herself to a hat-trick at Greenogue on Saturday evening as Cork City WFC suffered a resounding defeat at the hands of Peamount United in the Women’s National League.
A first-half double by the Donegal native set the hosts on their way to victory against a depleted City outfit, before she clinically dispatched a penalty beyond the reach of Eve Badana in the closing stages of the action.
With long-term absentees Savannah McCarthy and Clare Shine making welcome appearances off the bench, Ronan Collins’ charges produced a much-improved performance in the second half. Yet, although they kept themselves in contention for large stretches, City ultimately fell to their seventh league defeat of the season.
When the two sides met at Bishopstown Stadium back on May 13, an impressive Peamount came away with a comprehensive 5-0 triumph. Indeed, whereas City were aiming to bounce back from their recent reversal at home to Wexford Youths (1-3), the Dubliners entered the contest on the back of a 9-1 demolition of Limerick WFC.
Thanks to the industrious work of midfielders Zara Foley and Danielle Burke, the Leesiders managed to contain the Peamount attack in the early moments. However, once Aine O’Gorman and Eleanor Ryan Doyle found pockets of space inside the opposition half, it created a succession of openings for the outstanding Barrett.
After beating the offside trap on 10 minutes, the lone striker found the City net with a composed finish. Within 60 seconds of the restart, she smashed a gilt-edged shot against the underside of the crossbar – much to the relief of the Cork rearguard.
Having initially struggled to make an impact inside the final-third (first-choice attacker Saoirse Noonan missed out because of her commitments with the Cork ladies footballers), City slowly worked their way into the proceedings. They began to execute a high-press on the Peamount defence, which forced netminder Niamh Reid-Burke into a couple of rushed clearances.
Full-back Eabha O’Mahony hit the side-netting with a left-footed volley – following a neat Hannah O’Donoghue pass – but it was Peamount who subsequently doubled their advantage with four minutes remaining in the half.
Despite the best efforts of Badana, Barrett’s chipped effort had enough purchase on it to offer additional breathing space to the 2011/12 league winners. Already facing an uphill task, Cork had to replace Natalie O’Brien and Danielle Burke at half-time through injury.
This presented McCarthy and Christina Dring with opportunities and they added fresh impetus to the City challenge. 11 minutes into the second period, Danielle Sheehy had a fierce long-distance drive turned away by Reid-Burke.
Though not as effective in attack as they were prior to the interval, Peamount continued to pose a threat from set-pieces. When a 64th-minute corner fell into her path, Barrett smashed the frame of the goal for a second time.
A final Cork substitution saw Shine entering the fray in a direct swap with O’Donoghue, who had picked up a knock moments earlier. The former Glasgow City star quickly worked herself in a shooting position, only to drag her shot past the target.
While Peamount largely remained in command, they finally put the tie to bed on 86 minutes. After referee Paul Larkin spotted some holding in the penalty area, Barrett claimed the match ball with a powerfully-struck spot-kick.
In spite of this result, Cork stay in fourth place ahead of Galway – their next opponents on the August Bank Holiday weekend in Eamonn Deacy Park.
PEAMOUNT UNITED: Niamh Reid-Burke; Lauryn O’Callaghan, Claire Walsh, Chloe Moloney, Lucy McCartan (Heather Payne 67); Karen Duggan, Niamh Farrelly; Aine O’Gorman, Eleanor Ryan Doyle, Megan Smyth-Lynch (Louise Corrigan 74); Amber Barrett (Sarah McKevitt 87).
CORK CITY WFC: Eve Badana; Amy McCormack, Natalie O’Brien (Savannah McCarthy 46), Maggie Duncliffe, Eabha O’Mahony; Zara Foley, Danielle Burke (Christina Dring 46); Eadaoin Lyons, Katie McCarthy, Danielle Sheehy; Hannah O’Donoghue (Clare Shine 65).
Referee: Paul Larkin (Dublin).