Galway WFC 0-2 Peamount FC
By Oisín Bradley(Twitter @oisinbradley)
Goals from Aine O’Gorman and Lucy McCartan mean Galway WFC will head into matchday two of the Second Phase without a win to their name after Saturday’s defeat to Peamount.
In truth it was a game in which Peamount’s quality told, and whilst the hosts battled hard, the International quality in Peamount’s ranks was clear on the pitch. O’Gorman’s header in the opening half edged the team from Peamount ahead, before McCartan’s shot on goal in the dying moments doubled the deficit and sealed the result.
Galway made one change to last weekend’s XI in their sweeping win over Cork, with Chloe Singleton replacing Aoife Walsh, while the Peas had three different players from their starting side against DLR Waves.
Opportunites to break the deadlock were light on the ground early on, and Peamount probably had the clearer of the chances, when Alannah McEvoy fed Niamh Farrelly in the centre. Farrelly shot early, but the host’s defence acted quickly to smother the attempt.
The girls in maroon had the game’s first real moment ten minutes in, when a sumptuous chipped delivery from Savannah McCarthy unlocked the defence and set Aoife Thompson bearing down on Niamh Reid-Burke’s goal. Thompson’s shot was ultimately tame, and Reid-Burke held it with little fuss.
Ten minutes later, it was Reid-Burke’s Galway counterpart Amanda Budden who was called into action. An attempted Galway clearance was smartly blocked and the ball fell to O’Gorman outside the box. The Peamount skipper produced a finely-struck shot curling for the far post, but Budden’s fine diving save pushed the ball behind the post.
There was little the net-minder could do about the resulting corner however, and O’Gorman displayed strong aerial prowess to leap highest and head home to edge her charges ahead.
Billy Clery’s women were spurred on by conceding, and for the remainder of the half they were the ones pushing the visitors from Greenogue. 39 minutes in, Lynsey McKey tested Reid-Burke’s reflexes with a low-driven shot to the near corner. The ‘keeper reacted well to get a hand to the effort.
Two minutes later, Chloe Singleton’s cross looked like it would be dipping below the crossbar, however it just grazed the bar and went out. Just after, Jaime Turrentine tried her luck with a shot from deep which just went past the left post.
Galway manager Billy Clery rang the changes as the clock ticked into the hour mark, with three substitutions to try and turn the tides about 15 minutes in, and in all honesty the girls from the banks of the Corrib struggled to offer any penetration to a rearguard which was watertight.
Peamount mustered the first proper attempt of Act Two when Karen Duggan found the ball at her feet in the 67th minute. Her shot contained a good deal of power, however the accuracy was marginally off as the shot inched over the bar.
There were lengthy delays due to clashes of heads midway through the half, and Galway somewhat found their groove after that. Substitute Elle O’Flaherty caused headaches for the Peas centre-back pairing as she raced into the box, and her daisy-cutter of a shot was agonisingly close as it rolled wide at the far post.
A Lynsey McKey cross in the 75th minute was near-perfect, but no Galway attacker could manage to get purchase on the ball and it sailed across the goal.
The crucial goal which sunk the host’s hopes of an opening-day win came ten minutes from time. A fine cross found the feet of Lucy McCartan, who placed the ball expertly to leave the hosts at the base of a mountain.
The league leaders pushed hard to make it three as the clock ticked towards the red, and peppered Budden’s goal with chances, however every attempt was frantically scrambled clear. By the time Bartley Folan’s final whistle shrilled, there was a clear winner, and James O’Callaghan will be satisfied with an assured performance as he heads back along the M6.
Galway WFC: Amanda Budden, Therese Kinnevey(Tessa Mullins 60′), Shauna Fox, Keara Cormican(C), Shauna Brennan(Rachel Barnes 60′), Savannah McCarthy, Meabh De Burca, Chloe Singleton, Jaime Turrentine(Elle O’Flaherty 60′), Lynsey McKey, Aoife Thompson.
Peamount Utd: Niamh Reid-Burke, Lauryn O’Callaghan, Niamh Farrrelly, Claire Walsh, Dearbhile Beirne(Niamh Barnes 86′), Karen Duggan, Lucy McCartan(Tiegan Ruddy 94′), Eleanor Ryan-Doyle(Louise Masterson 94′), Stephanie Roche(Mogan Smyth-Lynch 77′), Alannah McEvoy(Becky Watkins 86′), Aine O’Gorman(C).
Referee: Bartley Folan.