Raheny United 2 - 1 Cork Women's FCSun, Mar 11 2012
A three minute blitz sent Raheny United top of the Women's National League, on the day when title rivals Peamount slipped up.
Rebecca Creagh broke the deadlock on 70 minutes after Raheny had battered Cork for much of the second half. Two minutes later she scored again- which was just as well for the Dublin side, seeing as Lyndsey McKey scored late on for Cork.
Mary Waldron had the best chance of a first half in which Raheny threatened at times to overrun Cork. On eleven minutes, the Irish cricket international feebly poked it straight at Amanda Budden after being played through wonderfully by Rebecca Creagh.
Creagh was the creative spark again for Raheny five minutes before half time, this time playing in Sandra Mulhall, who again shot straight at Budden. Raheny targeted Budden throughout the half with crosses, after the Cork 'keeper spilled a ball early on. This tactic almost paid off too, with Cork forced into a few hurried clearances.
Both sides were hit by fatigue and absence, with a number of players involved in the colleges plates and finals over the last few days. Katie McCarthy had Cork's best chance, forcing Niamh Reid Burke to palm a shot wide on 27 minutes after some wonderful passing play by the Rebels. It was the Dublin side who had the better half though- despite their profligacy in front of goal.
But try as they might, Raheny found it very tough once they were within shooting distance of the Cork goal. The early stages of the second half saw Sandra Mulhall miss another great chance, this time shooting over. It seemed like the setting might be just right for a Cork goal on the counter-attack, and the visitors almost got that goal just after the hour mark.
It would have been a calamitous goal for Niamh Reid Burke to concede, too. Burke kicked the ball straight to Laura Lynch and had to quickly atone for her mistake by diving at the Cork striker's feet.
For a while it seemed like Raheny might never score, but captain Rebecca Creagh at last put the ball in the Cork net after 72 minutes. It was from the penalty spot, after Emma Farmer handballed as a Siobhan Killeen cross came in.
Killeen and Creagh combined superbly again three minutes later for goal number two. Killeen, who was devastating down the wing after her introduction, crossed superbly for Creagh. The Raheny captain headed the ball and it looped over Budden for 2-0.
A late rally for Cork saw them push Raheny close. Lyndsey McKey headed in powerfully from a Lauren Murphy header with a minute left and not long later Denise O'Sullivan just about missed out on connecting with a free-kick near the Raheny goal. But Raheny held on for a big win, which sends them top.
Raheny United: Niamh Reid Burke; Elaine Murray, Megan Campbell, Shauna Newman, Seana Cooke; Rebecca Creagh, Rachel Graham, Rebecca Walsh [Christina Byrne HT], Sandra Mulhall [Siobhan Killeen '60]; Mary Waldron, Katie McCabe.
SUBS NOT USED: Lynn Bradley, Joan Daly, Nicole Cranny.
Cork: Amanda Budden; Orla Barry, Marie Curtin, Emma Farmer, Mary Barrett, Sylvia Gee, Susan Donvan, Katie McCarthy, Erica O'Sullivan [Lauren Murphy '67] , Denise O'Sullivan, Laura Lynch [Lyndsey McKey '70].
SUBS NOT USED: Amy McCarthy, Claudia Hudner, Rachel Mullins.
Yellow cards: Sylvia Gee ('17), Katie McCarthy ('69)
Referee: Paula Brady
Attendance: 30 (unofficial estimate)
Extratime.ie Player of the Match: Rebecca Creagh.
Niall Farrell is our correspondent at Tolka Park, covering the goings-on at Shelbourne. You can visit Niall's website for further information and contact details- niallf.net.