Cork City Women’s got their season off to a positive start with a share of the spoils in Dublin against reigning Women’s National League champions Shelbourne. City went agonisingly close to taking all three points having taken the lead in the first half through Saoirse Noonan only to be undone by a late equaliser by the hosts. Noonan opened the scoring for City when Stacey Paul picked her out and the striker beat Amanda McQuillan in the Shelbourne goal from 25 yards out to give her side a dream start inside the opening five minutes. City almost doubled their lead shortly after when goalkeeper Amanda Budden found Clare Shine who turned and shot at goal from 20 yards but couldn’t keep her shot on target. Shelbourne grew into the game and forced Budden into a quick double save to deny Leanne Kiernan and Alex Kavanagh. Kiernan continued to cause City problems hitting the post as Shelbourne pushed for an equalizer. City suffered a blow midway through the first half when they were forced into an early substitution as Clare Shine was forced off through injury and was replaced by Megan Kelleher. Shelbourne continued to pressure the City defence but they held firm and went into the break holding the single goal advantage. The second half began much as the first had ended with Shelbourne continuing to pressure the City goal as Amanda Budden was forced to make several good saves to keep Shelbourne at bay. City’s best chance of the second half came after some good build up between goal scorer Saoirse Noonan and Lauren Homan who set up Evelyn Daly but she couldn’t keep her effort on target. Shelbourne continued to press for the equalizer as Leanne Kiernan as she had a shot go wide and shortly after forced Budden into an excellent diving save to deny her. Shelbourne had the ball in the net with 17 minutes remaining but the offside flag was up. Maggie Duncliffe came on to replace Ciara Desmond on the 79th minute Shelbourne got their equalizing goal late in injury time just as it seemed City had done enough to secure all three points when a Niamh Prior Corner found Jamie Finn who sent it into the back of the net to make it 1-1 which the game finished at. A disappointing blow to concede so late but the Cork City Women’s FC team can take a lot of positives from this game. City’s next game in the Continental Tyres Women’s National League is April 15th as we host Peamount United at the Bishopstown Stadium at 5pm.
Shelbourne Ladies FC: Amanda McQuillan; Jamie Finn, Courtney Higgins, Seana Cooke, Lynn Craven (Fiona Donnelly 71’); Niamh Prior, Pearl Slattery, Siobhan Killeen (Kate Mooney 89’), Roma McLaughlin, Alex Kavanagh; Leanne Kiernan
Subs Not Used: Chloe McNamee.
Cork City Women’s FC: Amanda Budden; Ciara Desmond (Maggie Duncliffe 79’), Katie McCarthy, Ciara McNamara, Stacey Paul: Danielle Burke, Evelyn Daly, Lauren Homan, Saoirse Noonan; Danielle Sheehy, Clare Shine (Megan Kelleher 29’).
Subs Not Used: Eva Badana, Kate O’Donovan, Tara O’Gorman, Natalie O’Brien.