Eamonn Deacy Park played host to an incredible eight-goal thriller as Galway WFC sealed a 5-3 win to overcome Cork City WFC in the Continental Shield quarter-final.
The opening exchanges were even between both sides as they got into the rhythm of the game, but the opening goal came from a wonderfully directed free-kick near the far touchline, around 40 yards from goal as Stacey Paul‘s effort floated past everyone inside the crowded box and into the back of the net.
Just past the quarter-hour mark, Lisa Casserly produced the first effort on target for the ‘Galway Girls’ when she latched onto a through ball down the left flank, but her final effort was too weak and gathered comfortably by Eve Badana.
The 21st minute, however, saw the visitors double their lead through Megan Kelleher, deftly nodding home a well-struck corner kick from close range heading in at the break.
The third strike of the match came within two minutes of the restart after Clare Shine avoided the offside trap to round the ‘keeper, and although she ran too far wide, her cut-back was well placed into the path of Maggie Duncliffe who blasted into the bottom left corner.
From there, the result looked safe, but the home team had other ideas after a tactical switch saw the home side revert to three at the back as Meabh De Burca shifted into midfield.
Billy Clery’s charges pulled one back through Lynsey McKey in the 50th minute before Aislinn Meaney put them within one shortly thereafter. Then, Republic of Ireland U17 international Sadhbh Doyle added another for the Tribeswomen to make it 3-3 heading into the final 25 minutes, side-footing past the outstretched ‘keeper.
The comeback was improved on a few moments later when Meaney again made a nuisance of herself to rise above everyone, producing a glancing header past Badana to send the home fans wild. But there was to be yet more in the 75th minute when Tessa Mullins completed the comeback to add Galway’s fifth, leaving Cork utterly disappointed at the final whistle, securing their place in the last four of the cup competition.
Galway WFC: Christina Hughes, Aoife Walsh, Shauna Fox, Meabh de Burca, Lisa Casserly, Sadhbh Doyle, Aislinn Meaney (Jenny Chambers 77), Lynsey McKey, Tessa Mullins, Grainne Barrett (Rachel Baynes 46), Megan Carroll.
Cork City WFC: Eve Badana, Ciara Desmond (Kate O' Donovan 60), Stacey Paul, Ciara McNamara, Danielle Burke, Nathalie O’ Brien, Megan Kelleher (Angie Carry 75), Katie McCarthy, Danielle Sheey (Amanda Budden 78), Maggie Duncliffe, Clare Shine.
Referee: Richie O’ Connor.