Galway 6 Cork City 1
CORK CITY'S hopes of finishing in the top five in the Women’s National League suffered a huge blow as they were comprehensively beaten 6-1 by Galway at Eamonn Deacy Park on Saturday afternoon.
Eva Mangan had given City the lead with a remarkable strike from distance early on but Galway, inspired by Emma Starr who scored twice, battled back to secure the win that sees them remain fifth but now eight points clear of the Rebel Army.
City’s last outing was two and a half weeks ago when they defeated Treaty United 2-1 in the Munster Derby and the extended break seemed to have benefitted the players as they started the game on the front foot and looked composed in possession.
They also had the first sight at goal but Sarah McKevitt’s ambitious half volley from distance failed to trouble goalkeeper Hannah Walsh, who collected the ball comfortably.
Galway almost snatched the lead against the run of play in the 10th minute but goalkeeper Abby McCarthy, who will now be battling new signing Kristen Sample for the number one jersey, brilliantly turned the lively Chloe Singleton’s powerful strike onto her crossbar and clear.
But City responded well to that let-off and they took the lead just a couple of minutes later thanks to a stunning strike from Eva Mangan.
The Republic of Ireland under 19 international decided to try her luck from about 30 yards from goal and it proved to be the correct decision as she curled a sensational effort over the keeper and into the far bottom left corner of the net.
McKevitt looked to follow her fellow attacker’s lead just shy of the quarter of an hour mark but her free-kick from a similar range was easily stopped by Hannah Walsh.
Galway soon grew into the contest and they grabbed a leveller midway through the first half. Danielle Burke initially thought she had done well to head away a dangerous cross but Chloe Singleton readjusted quickly and fired her volley past McCarthy from a tight angle at the back post.
Becky Walsh denied Laura Shine with an incredible last-ditch block before the City striker expertly controlled a McKevitt cross but could only stab the ball inches wide of the far post.
Emma Starr was running the show for the home side and she thought he had helped edge her side in front on 28 but Lynsey McKey’s finish was ruled out for offside.
They wouldn’t have to wait much longer to celebrate another goal as they completed the turnaround when Kate Slevin expertly headed Singleton’s superb cross into the bottom left corner.
And Starr got the goal her display deserved shortly before the half-time break. Her first attempt was well blocked by Nathalie O’Brien but there was nothing City could do about her second attempt as she quickly got the ball out of her feet before rifling it into the roof of the net from a few yards out to make it 3-1.
She was desperately unfortunate not to make it 4-1 at the beginning of the second period as her thunderous strike from the edge of the box crashed against the inside of the far upright.
The second 45 was a much tamer affair than the first although Nathalie O’Brien did almost get her second goal in successive games with a stunner on the hour but her fierce drive drifted just wide.
But City collapsed in the closing stages and Galway ran riot with Aoife Thompson coolly drilling the ball into the far corner for their fourth before Starr blasted home her second and her side’s fifth while Elle O’Flaherty found the far top left corner for number six with the last kick of the game.
Hannah Walsh, Becky Walsh, Savannah McCarthy, Meabh De Burca, Shauna Brennan, Chloe Singleton, Lynsey McKey, Therese Kinnevey, Kate Slevin, Emma Starr, Nicole McNamara.
Leah Hayes Coen for Hannah Walsh (70), Aoife Thompson for Nicole McNamara (70), Elle O’Flaherty for Chloe Singleton (77).
Abby McCarthy, Nathalie O’Brien, Danielle Burke, Ciara McNamara, Kate O’Donovan, Christina Dring, Rachel O’Regan, Shaunagh McCarthy, Laura Shine, Eva Mangan, Sarah McKevitt.
Leah Murphy for Nathalie O’Brien (62), Kelly Leahy for Kate O’Donovan (62), Niamh O’Donoghue for Rachel O’Regan (73), Lauren Singleton for Shaunagh McCarthy (80).