Midfield trio took control for Cork side
WILTON United manager, Pat Bowdren, believes a much-improved second-half performance was the key to their FAI Women’s Intermediate Cup success against Whitehall Rangers yesterday afternoon.
While the Leesiders were well in contention at the end of a scoreless opening period, at Home Farm FC, the midfield trio of Laura Lynch, Barbara O’Sullivan, and Erica O’Sullivan ensured that they got a firm grip on the play.
This culminated in a 84th-minute winner from Wilton winger, Shaunagh McCarthy, making Bowdren a very proud coach, in the aftermath of a tense encounter.
“We only really got one chance. It was very tight. They were very tense in the first-half. In the second-half, I thought we played good football. I think that our bit of class showed through,” Bowdren explained.
“It was a great goal out of Shaunagh, but our midfield were the lynchpins in the second-half. Laura Lynch, Barbara O’Connell, and Erica O’Sullivan, they kind of changed the game in the second-half for us.”
In an attempt to place the shackles on Whitehall, Bowdren introduced Roisin O’Connell and Michelle Browne to the Wilton line-up on the restart. Despite acknowledging it was a tough decision to withdraw Amy Bowdren (his niece) and midfielder Lauren Murphy, he ultimately saw it as a necessary step on the road to glory.
“Young Amy was on the right-hand side. It was her first final and she was a bit nervous.
“The other girl in the middle, Lauren Murphy, is a good player. It just wasn’t happening for her today. She was playing okay, but I just had to juggle it up a small bit.
“Sometimes, when people think you’re taking them off, it’s because they’re playing bad.
“There are times when you have to say ‘look, can I make this better’. You’ve got to make that decision, as well.”
2018 marks the 50th anniversary of Wilton United’s formation.
The side were wearing six stars of their shirt to signify the number of FAI Cups they had secured at all levels, which they will have to alter from next season onwards.
“This is 50 years now in the club. We have six stars on our shirt. That’s for winning FAI Cups. We’ll have to get a new set of jerseys.
“We’ll have to put another star on it! As you can see, the girls are overjoyed.
“The only final we lost was the FAI Cup senior. We’ve won this three times, which is grand. It’s great,” a jubilant Bowdren added.