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Cork Women’s FC were the visitors at Morton Stadium for the first round of the Bus Eireann Women’s National League Cup fixture against high flying Raheny United.

 

It was Raheny who were quickest off the mark when in form Mary Waldron pounced on some slack Cork defending to open the scoring. A cross from Siobhan Kileen on the right was met by Katie McCabe, her initial shot was blocked but it fell to the unmarked Waldron who made no mistake from 4 yards.

Cork were forced to make a defensive reshuffle when the influential Marie Curtain was forced off with an injury, to be replaced by Lauren Murphy.

Denise O Sullivan was pulling all the strings in the heart of the Cork midfield, her quick feet and bursting runs from midfield were continuously causing trouble for the home side. The best of these opportunities saw O’Sullivan skipping past a number of players, unleashing a shot which was blocked and Raheny cleared the danger.

On the half hour mark, the game went from end to end. Cork had a free kick in a dangerous position which was dealt with comfortably by Raheny, who then proceeded to break to the other end only for Waldron to be upended by Murphy. The resulting free kick from Waldron hit the target but proved too hot for Amanda Budden to hold on to. McCabe was on hand for the rebound, but Cork’s Emma Farmer reacted quicker to clear the danger. 

Raheny increased their lead before half time, resulting from good build up from Killeen and Waldron. Waldron looked to run too wide of goal but checked back and chipped the ball back into the danger area. Budden came to collect and missed, with the ball heading goal-bound, Farmer cleared off the line but straight to Mc Cabe who made no mistake from 6 yards, rifling her shot into the roof of the net.

Start of the second half, Raheny introduced Sandra Mulhall and Megan Campbell and it was Mulhall who had an immediate impact, running at the Cork defence turning them inside and out.

Cork’s best chance came the way of Lynsey McKey. O’Sullivan picked out Valerie Mulcahy on the left wing. Mulcahy drove at the Raheny fullback and her clever play enabled her to pick out McKey on the penalty spot. McKey side stepped defender Seanna Cooke but the shot from her weaker left foot went straight at keeper Nicole Cranny.

Rebecca Creagh was beginning to exploit space in midfield to play the ball through to Waldron, but was denied by a late tackle from Farmer, deflecting the shot for corner 

On 65 minutes, Raheny put the game beyond a doubt. Creagh whipped in a free kick from the right and it was Seana Cooke who timed her run to perfection to meet the ball with her head and guided it past Budden.

Moments later Raheny added a fourth goal, the cross from the right was flicked away by the Cork defence. Mulhall back heel was deflected by Budden into Waldron’s path, her snap shot was blocked saved on the line by Farmer, however once again McCabe was quickest to react and duly hammered home from 4 yards.

McCabe could’ve added a third to complete her hat-trick, a corner flicked on at the near post by Waldron found McCabe 10 yards out but her first time shot was well held by Budden.

Cork rarely looked to trouble Raheny, their final chance of the game, which would’ve proved nothing more than a consolation fell to McKey. Claudia Hudner did well to play a ball over top for McKey, but her shot well saved and held by Cranny 

So Raheny march on into the semi finals, where they’ll meet either Castlebar, Shamrock Rovers or the winners of this weekend’s other cup match between Wexford and Peamount.