Women’s Premier Division: Shelbourne V Cork City – The Evening Echo – May 27 2024

Shels have far too much for Cork City at Tolka Park

Danny Murphy’s side have shown decent form in recent weeks but were outclassed by the hosts on Saturday afternoon in the SSE Airtricity Women’s Premier Division

Shelbourne 5 Cork City 1

Despite Colleen Kennedy O’Connell bagging her fifth goal of the season in all competitions, Cork City fell to a comprehensive defeat at the hands of Shelbourne in the SSE Airtricity Women’s Premier Division at Tolka Park on Saturday.

There was a familiar face to Leeside supporters amongst Shels’ first 11 for this game as former City star Eabha O’Mahony was selected on the left-wing for the hosts. Her former side were much changed from their visit to Drumcondra for an All-Island Cup clash last month, when Cork boss Danny Murphy opted to give opportunities to a number of fringe players within his squad.

A Jemma Quinn hat-trick propelled Shels to a 3-0 victory over City in that particular showdown and Rebecca Devereux was within sight of a similar haul in the early stages of their latest meeting.

Having capitalised on hesitancy from City netminder Clodagh Fitzgerald to claim a breakthrough goal inside the opening 60 seconds, Devereux subsequently doubled her tally with a close-range finish in the 15th minute.

It was already looking extremely ominous for City, but their challenge came to life on 19 minutes when striker Kennedy O’Connell found herself through on goal and calmly slotted a low shot beyond the reach of Amanda McQuillan.

This brought the Leesiders right back into contention, only for Noelle Murray to reinforce Shels’ authority nine minutes before the interval by superbly curling home off her right foot.

As a consequence, City were 3-1 adrift heading into the second half and faced an uphill battle in their quest for a positive result. To their credit, Cork were bright and energetic on the resumption with Eva Mangan (a recent call-up to the Republic of Ireland women’s national team) beginning to exert a greater influence on the game.

Yet Shels maintained a potent attacking threat and effectively ensured City were to suffer their fourth reversal of the current Premier Division campaign just shy of the hour mark. O’Mahony had been an industrious presence for the home team up to that point and she showcased her impressive finishing ability with a clinical left-footed effort that found its way into the bottom right-hand corner of the net.

While Cork continued to battle as the action progressed, the north Dubliners had the final say when midfielder Alex Kavanagh clinically dispatched a 73rd-minute penalty beyond the reach of Fitzgerald.

SHELBOURNE: Amanda McQuillan; Jessica Gargan, Pearl Slattery, Keeva Keenan; Lucy O’Rourke (Mia Dodd 60), Alex Kavanagh, Maggie Pierce, Eabha O’Mahony (Kerri Letmon 68); Rebecca Devereux (Jemma Quinn 68), Hannah Healy (Christie Gray 60); Noelle Murray (Nadine Clare 68).

CORK CITY: Clodagh Fitzgerald; Alix Mendez, Niamh Cotter, Heidi Mackin, Kiera Sena; Dorothea Greulich (Barrett Eidson 86), Orlaith O’Mahony; Laura Shine (Shaunagh McCarthy 66), Eva Mangan, Chloe Atkinson (Lauren Walsh 66); Colleen Kennedy O’Connell (Christina Dring 86).

Referee: Michael Connolly.

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