Cork City secured an important three points in the Continental Tyres Women’s National League as they defeated Galway United 3-1 in Bishopstown on Sunday afternoon.

A Saoirse Noonan hat trick, which included two penalties, was enough to see City secure the victory at the expense of Galway, who had levelled through Lucia Lobato.

The Leesiders started the match brightly and they took the lead after just two minutes as Saoirse Noonan headed Nathalie O’Brien’s excellent cross past the keeper from close range.

The visitors almost levelled with a quarter of an hour on the clock but City goalkeeper Amanda Budden did well to tip Aislinn Meaney’s effort on to her own crossbar.

But Galway would finally level the scores midway through the first half as Lucia Lobato slotted in from a tight angle after Lynsey McKey’s corner fell kindly to her inside the box.

The FAI Cup holders went close to retaking the lead with the first period drawing to a close but after being sent through on goal by Saoirse Noonan, Michelle O’Driscoll fired her shot narrowly wide of the target.

Interim manager Ronan Collins made two changes at the half time break as he looked to give his side more of an attacking impetus.

Noonan almost found the top left corner with a stunning effort just shy of the hour mark but after cleverly flicking the ball into the air, the striker drilled her volley just wide of the far post.

City continued to look the more threatening of the two sides and they finally retook the lead with twenty minutes remaining as Noonan grabbed the goal which saw her become the clubs all-time leading goal scorer, overtaking her injured team mate Clare Shine's tally.

Substitute Danielle Sheehy sent Noonan through on goal with an excellent pass over the top of the Galway defence and after the City number nine was bundled over inside the box, she empathically rifled her penalty into the right corner.

And Cork sealed the first win of the Ronan Collins reign as they were awarded another spot kick with 77 minutes on the clock.

Noonan again strode forward confidently and expertly powered her shot just inside the right post for her ninth goal of the season, her 25th goal for the club, to complete her second hat trick of the campaign.

The result sees City remain in fourth place, five points behind league leaders Peamount United, who beat them 5-0 last time out while Galway remain in sixth.

Cork City: Amanda Budden; Amy McCormack (Courtney O’Keefe 78), Ciara McNamara, Maggie Duncliffe, Nathalie O’Brien (Hannah Donoghue 45); Danielle Burke; Eadaoin Lyons, Christina Dring, Katie McCarthy (Danielle Sheehy 45), Michelle O’Driscoll; Saoirse Noonan.

Galway WFC: Tina Hughes; Lucia Lobato, Shauna Fox, Meabh De Burca (Sinead Donovan 64), Carlie Schecht; Emma Starr, Tessa Mullins (Rachel Baynes 87); Aislinn Meaney, Chloe Singleton, Lynsey McKey; Aoife Thompson.

Referee: JP Grey (Cork).

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