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Cork City Women’s progressed to the quarter finals of the Continental Tyres Women’s FAI Senior Cup as they narrowly defeated a spirited Lakewood Athletic side at Bishopstown on Wednesday night.

An early Christina Dring strike was enough to see City return to winning ways at the expense of their near neighbours Lakewood, who currently reside in Cork’s local Premier Division.

Cork were beaten by eventual winners Shelbourne Ladies in the opening round of last season’s competition but they made a dream start here as they took the lead after just three minutes.

A hopeful ball in behind the Lakewood defence by Ciara McNamara allowed Christina Dring to nod the ball past the on rushing goalkeeper before calmly tucking the ball home at the near post for her second strike in as many games.

The home side almost doubled their lead moments later but Saoirse Noonan could only head Stacey Paul’s excellent corner over at the back post.

Lakewood’s Melissa Finn had her side’s first attempt on goal after eleven minutes as she pressed Ciara McNamara to reclaim possession but her shot from a difficult angle was saved by Amanda Budden.

City continued to dominate as the half progressed but they struggled to break through a stubborn Athletic defence.

Noonan again headed wide of the target from a good position midway through the first period before Dring’s close range strike was well saved by Lakewood shot stopper Lauryn Murphy.

The visiting number one had to be at her best as the half drew to a conclusion as she denied both Danielle Sheehy and Saoirse Noonan’s long range shots which looked destined for the net.

It just wasn’t the normally clinical Noonan’s night in front of goal as she missed another great opportunity to grab the game’s all important second goal shortly after the half time interval.

The City number nine raced onto Stacey Paul’s exquisite through ball to send her one on one with the keeper.

After apparently being clipped by the recovering defence, Noonan opted to stay on her feet before seeing her low effort saved by the foot of Lauryn Murphy.

City remained dominant in possession but a third match in seven days soon took its toll on the players as they struggled to find the energy to create more chances.

Lakewood, who recently reached the final of the FAI Umbro Women’s Intermediate Cup, had a similarly busy schedule and their best opportunity to send the game into extra time came on the hour mark following a sweeping counter attack.

Laura Coughlan’s quick foot work in the middle of the park allowed her to release Ciara Nevin down the right flank.

Nevin turned the ball towards Melissa Finn but after the forward cut inside her marker her weak shot was easily saved by substitute keeper Eve Badana.

Saoirse Noonan twice went close to adding her name to the score sheet late on but, on both occasions, she drove her ambitious attempts off target.

But it was of little consequence as City deservedly hung on to seal their place in the draw for the next round.

Cork City WFC: Amanda Budden (Eve Badana 45), Mary Barrett (Ciara Desmond 45), Danielle Burke, Ciara McNamara, Maggie Duncliffe, Stacey Paul, Tara O’Gorman, Katie McCarthy, Saoirse Noonan (Angie Carry 73), Christina Dring, Danielle Sheehy.

Lakewood Athletic: Lauryn Murphy, Amy Lynch, Aoife Kelleher, Niamh Foley, Ciara O’Leary, Aisling Harrington (Ali Roche 26), Ciara Nevin (Megan Sheehan 71), Christine Coffey, Melissa Finn, Claire Nevin, Laura Coughlan (Heather Desmond 80).

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