Peamount United 8 Cork City 1
A tough night for Cork City at PRL Park in Greenogue on Saturday as they suffered a chastening defeat at the hands of Peamount United in the Women’s National League.
Already 5-0 adrift by the first-quarter mark in the Dublin venue, Paul Farrell’s Leesiders simply had no answer to the clinical precision of the defending champions.
Needing just two more wins to secure an historic third consecutive league title, the hosts started this game with ferocious intent. After Stephanie Roche broke the deadlock with a sixth-minute finish from close range, centre-half Tiegan Ruddy converted a penalty - despite Kristen Sample’s best efforts between the City sticks.
The visitors fell further behind when a speculative strike by Republic of Ireland international Aine O’Gorman found its way to the net and the gap widened when Sample failed to control a pass back on the stroke of 20 minutes.
Peamount were in no mood to drop off their performance levels and midfielder Dora Gorman added her name to the scoresheet with a smooth header from a Ruddy corner just two minutes later.
City did occasionally threaten in the final third of the pitch with Laura Shine, Christina Dring and Eva Mangan all trying their luck from distance. However, after a Ruddy shot from the left-hand side rattled the net via a wild deflection off Tiff Taylor, Cork were staring into an unassailable six-goal interval deficit.
As part of a damage limitation exercise, Lauren Walsh, Niamh O’Donoghue and Lauren Singleton were all introduced off the bench for the start of the second period. While each player dug in defensively, they couldn’t prevent Sadhbh Doyle from adding to the Peamount cushion eight minutes after the restart.
City were becoming more threatening in attack, however, and managed to unlock the opposition defence on 66 minutes. Following an excellent run in behind the Peamount rearguard, Shine fired to the net off the foot of the left-hand post.
Shine had been one of City’s best performers in the game and this goal was just reward for her admirable endeavours in the face of extreme adversity.
The introduction of Zara Foley - after a lengthy injury lay-off - was a welcome sign inside the final quarter, but it was inevitable that Peamount would have the final say in their penultimate home encounter of 2021.
After Roche and substitute Megan Smyth-Lynch had both gone close to claiming an eighth, substitute Rebecca Watkins fired into the bottom left-hand corner 13 minutes from time.