ERICA Burke and Lisa Murphy struck second-half goals in the Oscar Traynor Centre on Saturday to succumb Cork City to a 2-0 defeat at the hands of Bohemians in the Women’s National League.
Despite their undoubted endeavours, the Leesiders never truly caught fire in this contest and remain second-from-bottom in the table having lost 13 of their 19 games to date.
For his side’s second visit to the Coolock venue in 2021 - they drew 3-3 with Bohs back in April - City manager Paul Farrell named an unchanged team from the one that narrowly lost out to Shelbourne in the FAI Cup quarter-final last weekend. Teenage goalkeeper Abby McCarthy produced a star performance in that encounter and came to Cork's rescue in the 14th-minute.
The ball broke into Sophie Watters’ path from a Chloe Darby pass, but McCarthy denied the Gypsies winger with a point-blank save. While Courtney Maguire rose high to tip over a Christina Dring header off a Nathalie O’Brien free-kick at the opposite end, clear-cut opportunities were at a premium in an ultimately scoreless opening period.
However, this game subsequently came to life in a chaotic start to the second half. Five minutes after the resumption, Bohs were presented with an ideal opportunity to break the deadlock from the penalty spot. Kildare ladies footballer Burke coolly fired past McCarthy to open the scoring, but City looked set for a perfect response when they were awarded a penalty of their own just two minutes later.
Unfortunately for the visitors, Maguire was more than equal to Becky Cassin’s 12-yard effort. Laura Shine had smashed the crossbar from distance in between these two spot-kicks and, with Lauren Walsh, Rachel O’Regan and Lauren Singleton all making appearances off the bench, a big push was expected from City in the final quarter.
Instead, it was the hosts who pushed on to claim the maximum points on offer. With space opening up in front of her, Murphy unleashed a thunderous long-range drive that McCarthy was powerless to stop.