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Women’s National League Cup Previews

Sunday, February 2

(2.00pm)

Bus Éireann Women's National League Cup Group 1

Galway WFC v Castlebar Celtic, Eamonn Deacy Park. Referee: Irma Mulvihill.

GALWAY WFC host Castlebar in a Connacht derby with a full squad with the hosts needing a victory to progress while a draw would be sufficient for Castlebar.

“It’ll be close enough. There’s a real derby feel to it. It would be great to put one over them again if we could but the two clubs know each other very well at this stage so it’s set for another interesting encounter,” said Galway’s Nigel Keady.

For Castlebar – who drew 4-4 with Raheny last week - Geraldine McLoughlin returns but Deirdre Doherty is unavailable. Celtic have added Maria Harrington, who returns after recovering from an ACL injury, and Amber Lynch from Sligo to the squad.

“It was a great game last week. We should have been 3-0 up then let in some sloppy goals but we played better in the second half and Emma Hansberry caused a lot of problems before scoring two brilliant goals,” said Celtic coach Adrian Carberry.

“The two teams tried to play football in difficult conditions. The referee actually did very well to let it flow. You never know how these derby games will go. If we start well as we want to do I feel we’ve a great chance of winning this one. The girls just need to put aside the derby aspect and concentrate on playing as they can.”

Raheny United v Shamrock Rovers, Morton Stadium. Referee: Rhona Daly.

RAHENY United will look to clinch their place in the semi-finals when they host Shamrock Rovers at Morton Stadium on Sunday.

Casey McQuillan’s side are down a number of players with Pearl Slattery and Noelle Murray suspended. Kerri Ryan, Rachel Graham and Shauna Newman are injured but Sinead O’Farrelly should return.

“It gives me a chance to look at players who’ve not featured much recently. We left ourselves open last week. We were carrying the same injuries last week while some players were just back from injuries were obviously tired. We were ahead with less than a minute left in the game so should have seen it out,” he said.

“I’m still finding my way in there. We’re not playing that well but have continued to pick up results so that’s a positive.”

Shamrock Rovers boss Stephen Craig is anticipating another tough test for his side. He said:  “Everybody is fit in our camp. Raheny is always a difficult challenge for us but hopefully we give them a better game than in previous meetings.”

Bus Éireann Women's National League Cup Group 2

Cork Women's FC v Peamount United – This tie has been postponed due to the prevailing weather conditions  in Cork.

 

Wexford Youths Women's AFC v DLR Waves, Ferrycarrig Park. Referee: Shane Dunphy.

WEXFORD Youths have been boosted by the signing of senior international defender Marie Curtin from Fortuna Alesund in Norway. She is unlikely to make her debut in this fixture. Orlaith Conlon from Evergreen Kilkenny has also signed for Youths.

Edel Kennedy, Jessica Gleeson and Kylie Murphy all facing fitness tests before Sunday. Rianna Jarrett and Lauren Dwyer also remain out. Claire O Riordan is suspended after picking up four yellow cards.

“This is a big game on Sunday and we will be looking to top the group as I am sure DLR will also be looking to remain in the competition,” said Wexford’s Peter Doyle.

DLR are waiting on Danni Scales after a bout of concussion against Peamount two weeks ago. Niamh Connolly and Orlagh Nolan are still long term.

“There’s very rarely anything between us and Wexford. We both felt we could have got something out of are two meetings. We let in a very late goal down there when we went down there last time. I’d imagine it’ll be nip and tuck,” said DLR Waves coach Larry Mahony.

“It was great to see Carla Moran get on the score-sheet last week. She’s making great progress.”

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