Lakewood Rangers 3
LAKEWOOD RANGERS came from two goals down to claim a place in the GE Healthcare CWSSL Senior Women's Cup Final with a last minute winning goal from Niamh O’Leary, whose 30 yard effort hit the back of the Passage net in the CWSSL Senior Women's Cup semi final match at Rockenham Park.
The home side were looking particularly comfortable in the first, half and created numerous chances for themselves their first chance coming in the third minute when Jan Cleary’s effort at the near post was covered by the Lakewood keeper Laura O’Donovan at the expense of a corner.
Two minutes later Lakewood had their first chance on goal only for Abby Murphy’s effort to go wide of the mark, while Niamh O’Leary’s 25 yard free kick was well covered by the Passage keeper Louise Murphy.
A period of dominance followed for the home side with Laura Finlay’s long range free kick being covered by O’Donovan, followed by Sinead Flynn’s effort flashing across the goal line and eventually covered by the Lakewood keeper.
Emma Byrne of Passage forced O’Donovan into conceding a corner, and from the resulting corner kick Passage took the lead when Laura Finlay headed he ball in off the crossbar and into the net for the opening score, right before the water break.
Less than a minute after the short break Passage had doubled their lead when another Faye Ahern corner kick found Emma Byrne whose header found the far corner as the home side were well in control and looking particularly comfortable.
Passage looked for a third goal and were pressing forward but were more than happy with their two goal advantage at the half time break.
However, it was Lakewood who applied he pressure from the start of the second half as they looked to get back into the game.
A Lakewood corner gave Passage a few anxious moments as they couldn’t clear the ball out of the area with the ball even being cleared away from the six yard box.
Passage keeper Murphy did well to stop Carolin Sugrue’s effort from 20 yards in the 61st minute while her opposite number did well to gather the ball ahead of an incoming Ahern from Passage as play was going from end to end.
By the 64th minute Lakewood had pulled one back when Michelle McNally’s 30 yard free kick went over the fingertips of Murphy, and moments later was called on again saving from Sinead Kelly as the visitors were becoming more and more confident.
Lakewood drew level in the 71s minute when Sugrue’s shot from the corner of the area found the back of the Passage net as It made for an exciting and tense final 20 minutes.
Chances fell to both teams, Passage keeper saving well from Niamh O’Leary and Ciara O’Leary, while Lakewood keeper did well to save from Jane Finlay and Hollie Tett as both teams looked for a last minute winner before the inevitable extra time.
Out of nowhere Niamh O’Leary’s 30 yard lob went over Murphy and into the net with less than a minute remaining which broke Passage’s hearts and sent Rangers into the Final.
Passage: Louise Murphy, Cliondha Fahy, Aine Higgins, Racheal Irwin, Aisling Corkery, Laura Finlay, Faye Ahern, Sinead Flynn, Gilly Foley, Jen Cleary, Jane Finlay, Emma Byrne, Chloe McCarthy, Hollie Tett.
Lakewood Rangers: Laura O’Donovan, Ciara Lee, Aisling Harrington, Ciara O’Leary, Niamh O’Leary, Amy O’Carroll, Sinead Kelly, Caroline Sugrue, Caroline Sexton, Abby Murphy, Amanda Lago, Ava Buckley, Alessandra Rammensell, Michelle McNally, Julia Hegarty, Christine O’Donovan.
Referee: Paul Higgins.