Riverstown 2 Douglas Hall 0
RIVERSTOWN retained the Cork Women's & Schoolgirls Soccer League Challenge Cup in fine conditions at St Colman’s Park.
They previously etched their name on the trophy for the first time four week's earlier when they defeated Wilton in the delayed 2019 final.
As a result of the short senior season, the senior cup and league matches were run off over the past month, and it was a great period for Riverstown, who also landed the league ahead of the Hall.
Chances came to both teams early, with Riverstown’s Lauren Murphy’s cross finding Sophie Hudner whose header was well saved by Douglas Hall keeper Allie Mullins O’Keeffe, while moments later at the other end Douglas Hall’s Alison O’Connell’s 25m attempt was covered by the Riverstown keeper Claire O’Donoghue, as both keepers were tested.
Riverstown continued to press forward and for some time held Douglas Hall back in their own area, Caoimhe Mulcahy’s effort being parried away by Mullins O’Keeffe, while other chances came to Mulcahy and Hudner as the Douglas Hall keeper was seeing quite a bit of football.
Douglas Hall had chances themselves, Rebecca Walsh’s 22m effort gathered by O’Donoghue who also did well to catch an incoming high ball from Aoibhe Noonan as Douglas were looking to try and get behind the Riverstown defence.
The breakthrough came in the 35th minute when Lauren Murphy’s cross was met by Shannon Carson who neatly sent the ball over the head of Mullins O’Keeffe from 10m and into the Douglas Hall net for the opening score.
Riverstown, buoyed by their goal, came forward again, with Mulcahy’s probing drive being dealt with by the Douglas Hall defenders and keeper again denying Hudner in the penalty area who had another chance from Murphy’s free being deflected away for a corner as the half drew to a close.
Three minutes into the second half and a mistake by Allie Mullins O’Keeffe let in Lauren Murphy’s 30m effort as the ball slipped through her fingers and into the net. Douglas did not let that disappointment of the goal get to them as they pressed forward in an effort to get back into the game.
Amy McCarthy’s long-range free was well saved by O’Donoghue, while Alison O’Connell had two good opportunities in as many minutes which were either wide of the posts or covered by O’Donoghue in the Riverstown goal as Douglas were forcing Riverstown to defend in numbers.
Both keepers were called in to make vital saves, with O’Donoghue denying Stacey Paul with a 25m effort and another from Paul moments later, but Douglas Hall could not break Riverstown down and get the vital touch goalward as Riverstown won the Challenge Cup for the second time in a month.
Player of the Match Award was presented to Riverstown’s Shannon Carson, while the Challenge Cup trophy was presented by Jason Browne, chairman CWSSL, to joint captains Shannon Carson and Emma Coughlan.
DOUGLAS HALL: Allie Mullins O’Keeffe, Amy McCarthy, Carissa Murphy, Miriam Reardon, Rachel Compagno, Stacey Paul, Aoibhe Noonan, Rebecca Walsh, Alison O’Connell, Katie Long, Ciara Desmond, Sharon Ring, Casey Grace, Ava Lehane, Claire Looney, Stephanie Murphy, Chloe Murphy, Lydia McCarthy, Megan O’Keeffe.
RIVERSTOWN: Claire O’Donoghue, Aoife Mitchell, Michaela O’Rourke, Chloe Aherne, Caoimhe Mulcahy, Rachel O’Donovan, Sophie Hudner, Faye Lonergan, Shannon Carson, Charley Moore, Lauren Murphy, Emma Coughlan, Amy Cuthbert, Jess Geasley, Jessica O’Leary, Saoirse McLatchie, Mareike Weihrauch, Ellen Whelan.
Referee: Timmy Kelleher