CORK City manager Rónán Collins hailed the ‘game intelligence’ of his side after they advanced to the FAI Women’s Cup semi-final with a 3-1 victory against Bohemians at the Oscar Traynor Centre on Saturday.
Having come under initial pressure from the hosts, the Leesiders broke the deadlock through Lauren Egbuloniu’s close-range finish. Defenders Ciara McNamara and Nathalie O’Brien subsequently lashed home with secondary efforts off set-piece moves, and this was a feature of Cork’s game that particularly pleased Collins.
“We kind of knew they were going to press high on us. The girls figured that out quite early on and I think they made some really good decisions. I thought they dealt with that really well and it actually allowed us to counter-attack on them a good few times,” Collins said.
“I think we were sharp on the second phase of our set-piece and we got two goals. We’re happy with how we were as regards game intelligence. I thought we did control the game in ways, without playing our best football.”
Having built up a 3-0 interval cushion, City were kept on alert by a resilient Bohs. Vast improvements in their play led to Abbie Brophy clawing back the Gypsies deficit, but the Cork boss was once again delighted with the way his charges were able to problem-solve.
“When we showed that threat in behind it made it difficult for them, but they’ve reacted really well. Especially second half, I think they got on the ball a bit and moved it quite well. They set out in high areas and got the ball into wide areas then. We’ve then had to deal with that and it’s good for us to go and deal with that threat as well.”
Having taken a journey into the unknown for their league encounter with the freshly-assembled north Dubliners at the same venue four weeks earlier, the City squad had a better idea of what to expect on this occasion. In addition to analysing their previous meeting, there was also an opportunity to study how the Gypsies had been faring in between their two clashes.
“We had a lot of video to go off on how we played against them and other games they’ve had. They play quite similarly every week. We kind of prepared like they’d play in that way, but we knew as well it was a cup and they’d two weeks to prepare for us.
“We were getting ready to see what rabbit they’d pull out of the hat. I thought the girls reacted well to that,” Collins added.