Thursday 22 August 2019

Women bow out to Raheny in Senior Cup semi-final


WEXFORD YOUTHS Women bowed out of the FAI Senior Cup on Saturday night in a disappointing semi-final where neither side looked impressive and did little to concern Peamount manager Eileen Gleeson who was watching from the stand in Morton Stadium.

Raheny got off to a flying start and punished Wexford after just three minutes when Rebecca Creagh swung in a dangerous corner which was not dealt with, and Shauna Cooke struck the ball to the roof of the net.

The home side controlled the opening 15 minutes, restricting Wexford to scraps, and Raheny were unlucky not to increase their lead when Ciara Grant's shot flashed over the crossbar. When the Wexford girls did eventually put together a constructive attack, they were defied twice by 'keeper Emma Merrigan who first pushed a Jessica Gleeson shot around the post and then saved again when Gleeson headed the resultant corner towards the top corner.

An already injury-depleted Wexford side was dealt a serious blow on the half hour when Under-17 international Ciara Rossiter picked up a nasty knock and was replaced by Sadie Murphy. Despite Raheny enjoying the bulk of possession, they were unable to trouble Aimee Jordan in the Wexford goal and the visitors actually came more into the game and could have scored when Rianna Jarrett, who was enjoying one of her better games up front, headed towards goal for Merrigan once again to save brilliantly.

Raheny would have been disappointed to only lead by one goal at half-time as they had dominated possession but also had their 'keeper to thank for that lead.

The second-half saw Jarrett open the home defence but shoot weakly at the 'keeper, while Noelle Murray went close for Raheny when her shot went into the side-netting. On the hour, Wexford 'keeper Jordan had to push the ball around the post from another Ciara Grant shot.

Despite only a goal seperating the sides, the game never ignited as would be expected and when Caroline Thorpe shot to the net on 72 minutes to double the home side's lead, the game died as a contest. Noelle Murray made it 3-0 five minutes later before Rianna Jarrett had the best chance of the game for Wexford, but once again Merrigan was off her line sharply to save.

Raheny will be pleased to have got past what could have been a tricky semi-final for them but they will be disappointed with their overall performance against a Wexford side which never looked hungry enough to win the match. Both sides had injuries to contend with and the FAI Senior Cup has lost its glamour since it no longer leads to European football, so maybe both managers can be forgiven for not taking any unneccesary risks. Also the fact that both reached the last four of the competition without kicking a ball probably took away from the occasion.

However, Raheny now go through to a final meeting with rivals Peamount United while Wexford go to prepare for two important league matches, away to Cork Women followed by a home tie against Shamrock Rovers

Despite the lack-lustre match, Wexford had a strong performance from Jessica Gleeson while Clare Conlon and 'keeper Aimee Jordan also battled hard.