Previews for Sunday's four Bus Éireann Women’s National League matches.
Castlebar Celtic v DLR Waves, Celtic Park, 2pm
Castlebar Celtic host DLR Waves looking to continue their recent good form which saw the Mayo side reached the FAI Umbro Women’s Senior Cup Final then draw with Wexford Youths away last weekend.
DLR travel to Castlebar with memories of their first ever victory as a Bus Éireann Women’s National League side still fresh in their minds. Waves beat Cork Women’s FC away last weekend so are in confident mood.
Celtic coach Adrian Carberry said: “It was a tough test in Wexford last week. Travelling on the same day took a lot out of the girls and you could see the legs were heavy late on.
“Wexford are a good footballing team but we made a mistake failing to clear a corner. Unfortunately we didn’t create enough despite a great first goal by Rachel Kearns. We’ll learn from that game. DLR are a well-organised side and it should make for a good tight game. We’re delighted to be at home and we’ll be aiming for the three points as always.”
Castlebar’s Shauna Jackson is out injured (ankle) but Deirdre Doherty returns while DLR suffered a blow with the news that Alison Brien’s foot injury, which has hampered her for a couple of months, turns out to be a broken foot. Sharon Cullen is also a doubt.
“We didn’t play well in Cork last week but we won so we can’t turn our noses up at that. We’ve come a long way when we can win and not be happy. By all accounts from what I’ve heard about Castlebar this season we’re in for a tough game,” said DLR Waves coach Larry Mahony.
Raheny United v Galway WFC, Morton Stadium, 2pm
Raheny United continue their dominance of the division and secured a memorable 3-0 victory at Peamount United last week but manager Terry Eviston is keeping his side focused ahead of the visit of Galway WFC.
“Galway are a new one for us. I’ve not seen them before but I know they have quality players and we’ll treat them with respect. I’ve focused on getting the mental attitude right for every game. Nothing changes for us,” said Eviston.
“We want to raise our standards every week. I was very impressed with our performance last week. We can’t live on that but we showed a quality that I was looking for from them.
“We’ve started the season well but it is just a great start. We haven’t won anything so we’ll make sure we don’t take our eye off the ball and keep putting in those performances.”
Raheny should welcome back Kerrie Ryan (back) while Galway have a doubt over top scorer Sinead Taylor who has a torn quad muscle.
“Sinead is a big influence for us and has been putting away the chances that we’re creating but the likes of Lucy Hannon have created a lot for us,” said Galway coach Nigel Keady.
“Last week’s performance was our best so far but Raheny look like they’re in great form and are strong all over the pitch with few weaknesses. It’s a good test for the girls and it’ll tell us where we stand.”
Shamrock Rovers v Cork Women’s FC, Tallaght Stadium, 2pm
Shamrock Rovers host Cork Women’s FC with both sides looking for their first points of the campaign. The Hoops were unfortunate to have goalkeeper Michelle Watson dismissed against Galway WFC last week as they lost 4-0 at home while Cork were not at their best as they succumbed to a 2-0 home defeat by DLR Waves.
Hoops boss Stephen Craig will look to solve his goalkeeping problem with Michelle Watson suspended while Cork have Trisha Fennelly, Michelle Browne (groin), Chloe Ahern (hamstring) and Megan Carroll (thigh) still on the absentee list.
“The red card had a big impact last week. I felt we were coming back into the game so a red card and a penalty put us in an impossible situation at 3-0 down. Saying that we were a bit disappointing,” said Craig.
“I see Cork as being in the same process as us – building a young team. It’s a game both sides feel they have to win.”
Cork Women’s FC’s Chris O’Mahony said: “The fact were both on zero points means something will have to change. We’re both hoping for three points obviously and we know Rovers are improving. It’s our first visit to Dublin this season so that’ll be good for the younger players to experience.”
Wexford Youths Women’s AFC v Peamount United, Ferrycarrig Park, 2pm
Wexford Youths will look to prove they can start edging their way back into the top two again as they did for spells last season when they host Peamount United at Ferrycarrig Park on Sunday.
The Model County side drew with Castlebar Celtic last week while Peamount suffered their first league defeat at the hands of champions Raheny United.
Wexford will give fitness tests to Jenny Clifford (knee) and Clare Conlon (dead leg) while Nikki Dunphy has opted to leave the squad.
“This is a good challenge for the squad and we’re looking forward to testing ourselves against an experienced side like Peamount,” said Wexford’s Peter Doyle.