(Credit: Jason O'Callaghan)
Raheny United took a step toward reclaiming the top spot in the Bus Eireann Women’s National League with a confident win over Shamrock Rovers in Tallaght on Sunday afternoon.
Goals from Caroline Thorpe and Noelle Murray gave United the win, but in truth the margin could have been greater on a day when the visitors dominated.
The northsiders now know that if they win their three games in hand, they can overtake Peamount United at the summit of the league. For Rovers, the match was a missed opportunity to go within a match of moving off the foot of the league table.
From the off, Raheny were on the attack. Five minutes in, Caroline Thorpe shot over right in front of goal and Rovers ‘keeper MIchelle Watson denied Noelle Murray with an outstretched foot two minutes later. The Hoops did have a few good spells of possession, but never looked like they could find a way to goal. United always looked like they would score and finally found a breakthrough seven minutes before the break.
Caroline Thorpe atoned for her earlier miss by deftly lobbing Michelle Cusack on the edge of the Rovers box. Raheny brought their hunger for goals through to the second half, putting an end to any hopes of a comeback with a 61st minute goal. After Michelle Cusack twice denied Raheny attackers in the early stages of the half, ex-Rovers striker Noelle Murray beat the ‘keeper with a venomous 25-yard shot.
United were on the hunt for more goals after their second, but a combination of Cusack’s superb saves and a lack of luck denied them any more. Megan Campbell’s marauding runs and Caroline Thorpe’s midfield shimmying meant that the home side never had much chance to counter. The closest they came was two minutes before full-time, when substitute Raheny ‘keeper Grace McAuley Ryan did well to get down in front of Aoife Moloney - who had been put through unmarked on goal. Raheny ran out comfortable winners though, and will now look to their packed schedule of matches with confidence. For Rovers, the wait for a win will go on.
Shamrock Rovers: Michelle Watson; Carol Conlon (c), Louise Corrigan, Zara Dillon, Paula Doran, Margaret Doyle; Joanne Ennis, Aoife Moloney, Niamh Nolan (Emma Murphy 21); Grainne Walsh, Aisling Cusack. Subs not used: Sarah Devlin, Lisa Murphy.
Raheny United: Niamh Reid Burke (Grace McAuley Ryan 76); Niamh Walsh, Pearl Slattery, Sinead O’Farrelly (Laura Ryan 86), Megan Campbell; Ciara Grant, Caroline Thorpe, Rachel Graham, Catherine Cronin (Rebecca Creagh 60), Mary Waldron (c); Noelle Murray.
Subs not used: Siobhan Killeen.
Referee: Rhona Daly.
Attendance: 40 (estimate).
Extratime.ie Player of the Match: Caroline Thorpe (Raheny United).
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.
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