It was goals galore in the opening minutes of the Bus Éireann Women’s National League. Cork were first off the mark when Claudia Hudner found the back of the net within 2minutes at Ferrycarrig Park. Moments later it was Rovers who struck in Tallaght, Noelle Murray gave Rovers the lead. On the fourth minute it was Raheny who took the lead against Castlebar when Seanna Cooke hit the target.

Despite going behind from Cooke’s early goal, Celtic drew level on the quarter hour mark.  Emma Mullin saw her shot parried by the keeper and it was Emma Hansberry that reacted quickest, firing home from just four yards.   Hansberry was on target again just short of the 30minutes when her lob caught Niamh Reid-Burke off guard and found its way into the net. Raheny played some lovely football and showed time and time again why they are top of the league.   Into second half, however neither team took control of the game. Raheny had some clearer chances but Celtic’s resilient defence stood firm, determined not to allow history repeat itself.

Meanwhile in Tallaght, Rovers took full advantage of a poor clearance from Peamount United; the early Rovers attack looked to be clear by Peamount however Noelle Mooney powered her strike into back of the net.   Peamount continued to press forward and were rewarded in the 16th minute when Stephanie Roche scored a cracker from outside the box.   Moments later Rovers were behind, when Peamount broke quickly and Sara Lawlor put through on goal slid the ball under Sara Devlin. Peamount keeper Linda Meehan was called into action when her former team mate shot from distance was tipped over the bar by Meehan.

Into the second half and Rovers were straight back into the game. Hannah Tyrell was brought down in the box, penalty awarded to Rovers. Tyrell duly stepped up to send Meehan the wrong way.  Rovers, Noelle Murray was proving to be a handful for the Peas, while at the other end, Lawlor was a continuous thorn in the Rovers side.   Peamount were made to work hard to get all 3 points, shots hitting the woodwork and cleared off the line, you’d be forgiven to think it wasn’t going to be Peamount’s day.   However, with only minutes remaining on the clock, a good move on the left saw Stephanie Roche link with sub Ruth Comerford, Roche’s shot was parried and Critchley struck home the rebound to give Peamount the lead and what promised to be a vital three points.

In the sunny south east, after Hudner’s opening goal against Wexford, Cork had to wait until the just before half time to break the deadlock for the second game. Claire Shine was given time and space to rifle a shot from 25 yards into the top the corner.  Into the second half and Cork put the game beyond doubt when Irish Senior International Denise O’Sullivan headed home Cork’s third. Nikki Dunphy struck late on for Wexford to give a glimmer of home for a later revival but it proved too little too late for the home side.

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