The second round of the new 2020 Women’s National League season saw 12 goals scored across four games, with Athlone Town making their League debut.
Peamount United, Shelbourne and Wexford Youths made it two wins from two games as they continued their winning start to the season. Galway earned their first three points with victory against newcomers Bohemians.
Athlone Town 0-1 Wexford Youths
Athlone Town’s campaign kicked-off at home against the Youths. The league’s newcomers will take an enormous amount of confidence from their performance as they held their own against an experienced Wexford side, who are the current holders of the FAI Women’s Cup.
Last weekend Wexford defeated Bohemians 4-1 and coming into the game, manager Tom Elmes spoke about how his team would need to show more creativity without the clinical Rianna Jarrett upfront.
Wexford found it difficult to break down the Athlone’s low-block in defence with Ellen Molloy, Kylie Murphy and Ciara Rossiter all going close with chances on goal.
The visitors eventually found the breakthrough in the 72nd minute when Vanessa Ogbonna recorded her second assist of the season, with an inviting for Aisling Frawley to head home and make it back-to-back wins for the Wexford outfit.
Athlone have built a young squad that will rely on youth and the local trio of Kayleigh Shine, Kayla Brady and Katelyn Keogh. Shine and Keogh have progressed from the Athlone academy set-up from the beginning and all three players recently training with the Republic of Ireland Women’s Under-19s last week.
Bohemians 1-4 Galway WFC
League debutants Bohemians played at home at the Oscar Traynor Centre, for the first time this season. Boh’s were up against it early on, after goalkeeper Courtney Maguire was sent off on her debut just two-minutes into the game.
Despite being down to 10 players, the Gypsies managed to make to the half-time interval unscathed and level at the break.
As the game wore on, Galway managed to make the extra player advantage count as the visitors broke the deadlock on the 52nd minute as striker Aoife Thompson fired in from close range.
Just a minute later, Bohemians seemed to react well to conceding as they hit back straight away with Bronagh Kane netting her first goal for the club.
The Bohemians goal sparked movement on the Galway bench as they responded by making a triple substitution and began to press higher up the pitch.
Defender Shauna Fox gave Galway back the lead before substitute Ellie Rose O’Flaherty nodded in a cross from Shauna Brennan to make it 3-1. Striker Aoife Thompson bagged her second of the game and Galway’s fourth in the 89th minute to wrap up proceedings.
A frustrating home debut for Bohs who will be wondering what could have been.
Cork City 0-3 Peamount United
League champions Peamount continued their barnstorming start to the new season with a second win, which brings their tally to eight goals scored, none conceded, and six points collected.
Peamount United eased past hosts Cork City 3-0 which quickfire goals to send them top of the Women’s National League on goal difference.
Stephanie Roche opened the scoring after just three minutes as she cut out a back-pass before slotting home past City goalkeeper Maria O’Sullivan.
Three minutes later, Roche, who is making her return to the Women’s National League after a six-year, turned provider as she slipped in team-mate Aine O’Gorman to extend their lead. Cork City were caught trying to play out from the back and were punished by a superb reverse ball by Roche who played in O’Gorman to notch her third goal in two games.
Peamount put the game to bed when on the 12th minute, O’Gorman beat Nathalie O’Brien, and then crossed it into a crowded penalty area before Eleanor Ryan Doyle calmly slotted the ball into the bottom left corner.
Cork played some nice football in patches but found it difficult to keep up with the pace & power of their opponents. The introduction of debutant Laura Shine, who scored two goals on Saturday for City’s U17s and Leah Murphy indicates that they are building for the long-term.
The home team piled the pressure on in the last 15 minutes, in a period that saw Louise Masterson sent off for Peamount, but they could not find the goal that their effort deserved.
DLR Waves 1-2 Shelbourne
Pearl Slattery’s expertly guided header deep into injury time broke the hearts of DLR Waves to earn Shelbourne their second win of the season. It was the fourth minute of added time when a cross from Alex Kavanagh picked out Slattery who glanced her header into the back to score her second goal in as many games and secure all three points.
Ciara Grant’s second goal of the season put the Reds in front as she showed great composure to deftly lift the ball over the on rushing DLR Waves Keeper, Eve Badana.
Soon after, DLR Waves manager Graham Kelly responded by introducing Kerri Letmon, Aimee Maher and Orla Casey to the game. The trio helped turn the tide back in their favour.
Niamh Prior scored direct from a free kick 25 yards out against her former side to level proceedings. Waves were sure they had secured their unbeaten start to the season, after securing a draw against Galway last week, but it was to be heartbreak as Slattery guided her header home in the dying seconds of the game.