Cork City 1 Galway 2
CORK City’s winning run in all competitions has ended at six as they were narrowly beaten 2-1 by Galway in Bishopstown on Saturday afternoon in their final Phase One game in Women’s National League.
A brace from Lynsey McKey was enough to earn Galway the three points at the expense of a spirited City side, who grabbed what proved to be a late consolation through Becky Cassin.
Rónán Collins’ side, who had won their last five league matches, started brightly and they ought to have taken the lead inside the opening minutes.
After Sophie Liston pressed and blocked former City goalkeeper Amanda Budden’s clearance, the ball fell kindly to Lauren Egbuloniu but the striker’s tame effort was cleared off the line.
Saoirse Noonan, who was recently named the league’s player of the month for September, was the next to threaten but she couldn’t rise high enough to head home Éabha O’Mahony’s dangerous corner.
Galway grew into the game and another former City player almost came back to haunt her old club but Savannah McCarthy’s powerfully struck half volley whistled just over the bar.
The visitors thought they broke the deadlock moments later. McCarthy’s purposeful run saw her skip past three of her opponents before unleashing a thunderous strike that City goalkeeper and captain Maria O’Sullivan did well to stop.
The ball fell perfectly for Aoife Thompson but after the striker finished from a couple of yards out, her celebrations were cut short as she was adjudged to have been standing in an offside position.
The FAI Cup semi-finalists were fortunate to go into the half-time break on level terms as Galway squandered a glorious opportunity moments before the interval.
Danielle Burke’s loose pass across the face of her own goal went straight Shauna Brennan but after the left-back controlled the ball out of her feet, she blasted her effort over the bar from close range.
The hosts were given another warning at the beginning of the second half as Ciara McNamara was forced into relinquishing possession close to her goal but they were fortunate to see Aoife Thompson’s shot clip the top of the bar.
But they were finally punished from the resulting goal kick as Meabh De Burca cut out Burke’s pass to Becky Cassin, sending Lynsey McKey through on goal in the process and the number nine, who was onside, coolly slotted the ball past the keeper to give Galway the lead before the hour.
Galway continued to push forward and McKey deservedly doubled their advantage on 83 when she rifled the ball into the roof of the net from a tight angle.
But City, to their credit, refused to give up and they immediately reduced the deficit when Cassin’s header deflected in from O’Mahony’s corner but it was too late as Galway hung on to the win.
CORK CITY: Maria O’Sullivan, Zara Foley, Ciara McNamara, Danielle Burke, Nathalie O’Brien, Becky Cassin, Éabha O’Mahony, Saoirse Noonan, Sophie Liston, Lauren Egbuloniu, Christina Dring.
Subs: Laura Shine for Lauren Egbuloniu (51), Nadine Seward for Sophie Liston (73).
GALWAY: Amanda Budden, Aoife Walsh, Shauna Brennan, Shauna Fox, Keara Cormican, Meabh De Burca, Aoife Thompson, Lynsey McKey, Jaime Turrentine, Savannah McCarthy, Therese Kinnevey.
Subs: Lucia Lobato for Aoife Walsh (60), Aoife Lynagh for Meabh De Burca (60), Tessa Mullins for Jaime Turrentine (60), Chloe Singleton for Meabh De Burca (76), Elle O’Flaherty for Shauna Brennan (76).
Referee: Claire Purcell.