WNL: Raheny Edge Closer To Retaining Title


Raheny United edged closer to retaining their Bus Éireann Women’s National League title with a 2-1 win over Galway WFC yesterday afternoon in Morton Stadium.

The reigning champions moved five points clear of nearest rivals Peamount United, who dropped two points in a 1-1 draw away to Wexford Youths.That combination of results gives Casey McQuillan’s Raheny side a bit of breathing space in pole position with just three games left in the league.

Raheny went behind to a Sinéad Taylor goal in the 25th minute of their game, but as all good teams do, they bounced back immediately.

Only a minute after conceding the opening goal, the Pandas were level when Shauna Newman assisted Rebecca Creagh in the penalty area.

The hosts completed the turnaround in the fourth minute of added time at the end of the first half with a well-taken goal courtesy of Niamh Walsh.

Raheny defended their lead in the second half, and despite both sides having a fair amount of chances, the score-line remained unchanged and it finished 2-1 in favour of the home side.

Meanwhile, Peamount were dealt a late blow at the hands of Wexford Youths in Ferrycarrig Park. After a goalless first forty-five minutes, Stephanie Roche broke the deadlock from the penalty spot five minutes after the restart.

Something had to give late on as the hosts pushed for an equaliser and the visitors defended desperately, and eventually Youths won that battle by hitting the net through Rianna Jarrett.

Jarrett came off the bench on her return to the Wexford side, and she showed no signs of rust after her lengthy absence when she fired the ball home.

Elsewhere, it was a battle between third and fifth places in Celtic Park as Castlebar and DLR Waves shared the spoils in a 0-0 draw.

Only three points and a positive goal difference of eight goals holds Castlebar above DLR on the league table, and the similarities between the teams showed here as neither side could manage to find a way past the other.

Maz Sweeney was shown a red card for the hosts in the 79th minute, but it was too late in the game for DLR to make the extra player count.

Sarah Rowe and Geraldine McLoughlin both tried to find their feet in front of goal in the opening half, but Waves goalkeeper Avril Kilkelly was in fine form between the sticks.

Aileen Gilroy had a long distance shot for Castlebar shortly after the interval, but again the hosts couldn’t get the ball past Kilkelly.

The visitors’ biggest chance of the game fell to Orlagh Nolan with ten minutes remaining, and her execution of the strike was almost too perfect as the ball struck the wood-work and it finished 0-0.

In the day’s other game Shamrock Rovers defeated Cork Women’s FC 5-0. Cork arrived in Dublin with a depleted squad and they played most of the game with ten players after losing their goalkeeper through injury.

Rovers took a three goal lead into the half-time break after Rosie Maguire bagged a hat-trick, two of which came from the penalty spot.

Laura Chambers and Aisling Cusack both added a goal each to inflict further suffering on Cork, and also to move Rovers thirteen points above the Leesiders in bottom place on the table.

Image courtesy of FAI

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