Cork City suffered their first defeat of the new Continental Tyres Women’s National League season as they were beaten 2-0 by U.C.D Waves at the Cork Institute of Technology on Sunday afternoon.

Second half finishes from Naima Chemaou was enough to see the Students earn the three points to start their own campaign on a positive note.

This fixture was the first time the sides have met since the F.A.I Cup final last November where Clare Shine’s strike sealed a first major piece of silverware for the Leesiders.

Following a tame opening period, City created the game’s first genuine goalscoring opportunity but the usually prolific Saoirse Noonan could only scuff Danielle Burke’s excellent cross straight at the visiting keeper from a good position.

Noonan had another decent chance after 17 minutes as she was picked out inside the area by Hannah O’Donoghue by Waves' keeper Erica Turner was again equal to her effort.

The F.A.I Cup holders almost broke the deadlock just shy of the half an hour mark but after Nathalie O’Brien kept the attack alive at the back post, Donoghue powered her header at the U.C.D shot-stopper.

The Students thought they had snatched the lead as the first half drew to a close but they were denied by a stunning double save from City keeper Amanda Budden.

Dearbahlie Beirne’s exquisite lob was somehow clawed off the line by the recovering Budden before the Republic of Ireland international saved Avril Brierly’s driven rebound.

That near miss seemed to have given U.C.D a lift and they finally ended the stalemate at the beginning of the second 45 as Naima Chemaou found the net.

Dearbhaile Beirne expertly skipped past her marker down the right flank before finding Chemaou in space in the box and she did the rest, calmly directing her volley back across the goal and into the far bottom right corner.

City rallied following that setback and they almost levelled terms on the hour but Michelle O’Driscoll was desperately unlucky to see her dipping shot from distance crash against the bar.

U.C.D began to sit back and soak up the pressure inflicted by Cork all the while looking to pick off their opponents on the break.

And from such an attack Waves doubled their lead to seal the win that sees them begin their season on a high.

After Beirne raced onto a defence-splitting pass to send her through on goal, the playmaker unselfishly rolled the ball across the face of goal to give the onrushing Naimi Chemaou the simple task of slotting into the empty net for her second.

Erica Turner denied City a consolation late on as she bravely saved Savannah McCarthy's fierce attempt from close range and Waves hung on to the clean sheet and the victory.

CORK CITY: Amanda Budden, Nathalie O’Brien, Danielle Burke, Ciara McNamara, Saoirse Noonan, Savannah McCarthy, Hannah O’Donoghue (Christina Dring 74), Michelle O’Driscoll, Katie McCarthy (Courtney O’Keefe 82), Maggie Duncliffe, Kate O’Donovan (Eadaoin Lyons 45).

Subs not used: Mary Barrett, Eve Badana and Danielle Sheehy.

U.C.D WAVES: Erica Turner, Chelsee Snell, Aisling Spillane, Ally O’Keefe (Kerri Letmon 74), Sinead Gaynor, Dearbhaile Beirne, Chloe Mustaki, Leanne Payne, Avril Brierly (Sophie O’Donoghue 74), Eimear Lafferty (Orla Haran 82), Naima Chemaou.

Subs not used: Carla Moran, Keelin McEntee and Jenny Chambers.

Referee: Christopher Braganza.

Star Player: Dearbhaile Beirne.

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