Bus Éireann Women’s National League Cup Previews

Sunday, January 26


Group 1

Castlebar Celtic v Raheny United, Celtic Park. Referee: Damien MacGraith.

CASTLEBAR Celtic got off to a stunning start in their group with a 9-1 victory over Shamrock Rovers last week but face a different proposition when they host Raheny United at Celtic Park.

This game is a repeat of the FAI Umbro Women's Cup Final which was the highlight of the women's football calendar in 2013 so another cracking tie is anticipated. Raheny beat Galway WFC with an injury-time winner from Clare Shine last week.

Celtic continue without Caoimhe Reilly and Shauna Jackson who are out in the long term while Deirdre Doherty is not available. New signings Lauren Bowles, Geraldine McLoughlin, Aoife Brennan and Marie Gallagher-Bones have settled in well.

"We created a lot of chances and took them. We were beaten 9-2 earlier this year so we know what's like when it looks like everything the opposition hit goes in. It's a different challenge this week so we'll have to see if our defensive side of things is right. Even with the changes Raheny will be tough. A good performance from us and we've a great chance of progressing," said coach Adrian Carberry.

Raheny are missing Noelle Murray through suspension while Rebecca Creagh returns.

"We had a very tough game last week but we didn't play near the level what I know we can play. Galway were very well organised and could have been further ahead at the break. We improved a little bit in the second half and wore them down. It went from a disappointing day one minute and then we score late on and take the win. Castlebar are in good form and I understand the pitch is testing there. It could be the kick up the backside we needed last week," said Raheny coach Casey McQuillan.


Shamrock Rovers v Galway WFC, AUL Complex. Referee: Paula Brady.

SHAMROCK Rovers will look to bounce back from their disappointing loss to Castlebar when they host Galway WFC this weekend. This fixture is likely to face a pitch inspection.

"We've put a lot of effort into getting things right and to perform like that was not acceptable. A few harsh words were spoken afterwards and I hope that people took that on board. We were close to going in 1-0 down at the break but let in two goals in the last three minutes of the half. In the last ten minutes of the game we let in four goals. The girls know they let themselves down and didn't compete. They've promised they will compete so hopefully we'll see how they respond this Sunday. It'll be another tough game as it is every week in this league," said Hoops boss Stephen Craig.

Rovers have a full squad to choose from while Lucy Hannon returns from injury for Galway.

"We played very well last week and disappointed not to see out the last few minutes. I was very happy overall. We're not a million miles away from them which is a boost. It's hard to know what to expect from Rovers this week after their result. I'm sure they won't roll over. Our previous games against them have been difficult enough challenges," said Galway WFC coach Nigel Keady.


Group 2

DLR Waves v Cork Women’s FC, Jackson Park. Referee: Natasha Valentini.

DLR Waves host Cork Women's FC at Jackson Park looking to get back to winning ways after their loss to Peamount United last week.

Waves coach Larry Mahony was pleased with the display but expects a test against an improving Cork side. Niamh Connolly, Alison Bryan and Sharon Cullen are all likely to miss out while Orlagh Nolan remains out of action. Danni Scales did well last week so should come into the side.

"I was reasonably pleased with how we did last week. The first goal was poor while the second one was an excellent counter attack b y Peamount. The third goal was down to the ball landing to the wrong player at the wrong time for us. We didn't stop working. There was an awful lot of good to take out of it. We'll look to build on that this week but Cork won't be easy so will expect a tough game," said Mahony.

Cork are without Megan Carroll and Linda McNamara remain out of action while Michelle Browne is a doubt with a hamstring injury. Natalie O'Brien and Angie Carry are doubts with flu.

"We signed Rachel Whelan from Cappoquin and Lorna O'Connell, ex-Douglas Hall, who has been in US on scholarship, in midweek. Eleanor Lucey, Jessica Lawton and Alive Heath made their debuts last week and the performance was good but the girls are getting used to the level and tired a little late on. We'll look to build on that this week," said Cork's Chris O'Mahony.


Peamount United v Wexford Youths Women’s AFC, Greenogue. Referee: Michael O’Connor.

PEAMOUNT United and Wexford Youth Women's AFC meet in an intriguing encounter at Greenogue as both sides seek to build on their opening round victories last week.

The Peas, who have a full squad with the exception of long term absentee Sara Lawlor, beat DLR Waves 3-0 while Wexford beat Cork 2-0.

"It was a good competitive game last week. DLR put a lot of pressure on us but we had a few chances in the first half and their keeper played well. Wexford are always a tough opponent, well organised and always look to win it so I'm looking forward to this challenge," said Peas boss Eileen Gleeson.

Wexford Youths have the same squad as last week. Rianna Jarrett is edging closer to fitness but is not ready for a return.

"It was a solid display last week and we created a lot of chances but Cork defended well. The girls kept their composure and probed until the goal came. This game will be a different type of game but we always like the challenge of facing Peamount. We’ve beaten them once before and we always go into games against them knowing that we are capable of doing so again," said Wexford's Peter Doyle.



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