DLR Waves 1 Cork City 0
THERE was heartbreak for Cork City on Saturday afternoon as an 88th-minute goal from Ciara Maher propelled DLR Waves towards a dramatic victory in a tense Women’s National League clash at the UCD Bowl.
The Leesiders looked set to emerge with a credible point from this contest until a speculative strike by substitute Maher crept past City goalkeeper Abby McCarthy to settle the outcome in the dying embers of the play.
Having finally earned their first win of the campaign at home to Bohemians last Saturday, City were aiming to claim the scalp of a Dublin club for the second weekend running. They were so close to taking the lead in the fifth minute after Sarah McKevitt superbly charged down a clearance from Eve Badana.
The ball subsequently broke into the path of Christina Dring with the ex-City netminder scrambling to get back into position. Unfortunately for the Leesiders, the industrious Dring was off-balance when she unleashed her strike on goal and it ultimately drifted over the crossbar.
This was an early warning sign for DLR, who struggled to create clear-cut chances for the majority of the opening half. City, on the other hand, were keeping Republic of Ireland international Badana on her toes.
The 28-year-old custodian, who joined DLR from Cork in 2019, produced a low save off McKevitt’s long-range drive on 17 minutes and later turned away a header from the same player.
It may have remained scoreless at the break, but Farrell had more than enough reason to be optimistic about his side’s prospects in the second period.
There was a notable increase in tempo from DLR on the resumption, however, and the woodwork came to City’s rescue in a 52nd-minute goalmouth scramble. That said, the home team experienced a similar level of good fortune at the opposite end as McKevitt’s fierce effort from the edge of the box rattled the left-hand post.
Moving into the final quarter, both sides would have felt the game was there for the taking. Whereas DLR had introduced four substitutes by the 75th-minute, Farrell continued to keep faith with his starting line-up until Lauren Singleton entered the fray with four minutes remaining.
Although Ciara McNamara was doing a good job of marshalling the City back-four, DLR ramped up the pressure as the final whistle approached. This was the catalyst for the decisive moment of the contest with Maher’s looping shot drifting beyond the reach of McCarthy.
Cork pushed for an equaliser in stoppage-time, before ultimately falling to their eighth reversal of the league season.