A look ahead to the weekend's Bus Éireann Women’s National League action.
Saturday 19 October
Cork Women's FC v Wexford Youths Women's AFC, St Colman's Park, 7.45pm
Cork host Wexford Youths in the unique setting of St Colman’s Park in Cobh on Saturday night. The home side are still searching for their first points of the campaign after five games.
Both sides suffered 6-1 losses last week so there will be massive incentive for each set of players to put things right this week.
Wexford’s Jessica Gleeson (knee) is out but the length of her absence is yet to be confirmed while Rianna Jarrett is still a few weeks away and Jenny Clifford (knee) will have a fitness test.
For Cork, Angie Carry (ankle ligaments), Chloe Ahern (calf) and Trish Fennelly are all out while Michelle Brown (hamstring) and Elaine Walsh are doubts.
Wexford’s Peter Doyle commented: “Last week the score-line was a little unfair considering the effort that was put in but Peamount are clinical and took their chances and they were full value for the three points. We’re looking forward to it – the girls never stopped pushing forward last week and will be looking to bounce back.”
Cork’s Chris O’Mahony said: “Nothing really went our way last week. It’s Rebel Week in Cork this week and there’s a bit of a buzz around the place. Playing under lights will be something new for the girls and it may help change our fortunes.”
Sunday 20 October
DLR Waves v Shamrock Rovers, Jackson Park, 2pm
DLR Waves host a Shamrock Rovers side buoyed by their first win of the season last week when they beat Cork Women’s FC 6-1 at the AUL.
Waves were beaten 2-0 in Castlebar so will be aiming to bounce back and prevent the Hoops getting on a roll. Rovers will welcome back goalkeeper Michelle Watson from suspension. Alison Brien and long-term injuries Lauren Kavanagh and Carla Moran are still out for the home side.
“DLR will probably be a tough enough test. Larry will have them well organised and get a result. Our confidence is good. We won’t get carried away but last week gave us a lift and we’d like to build on it,” said Shamrock Rovers boss Stephen Craig.
DLR Waves boss Larry Mahony added: “We’d a poor first half last week but were better in the second half. We’ll look to maintain the same level of energy and commitment as we showed in the second half into this game.”
Galway WFC v Peamount United, Eamon Deacy Park, 2pm
Galway will host Peamount United at Eamon Deacy Park looking to prove they can mix it with the top two. The Galwegians were unlucky to go down 4-2 to Raheny last week but know Peamount will hardly be an easier task.
The Peas returned to form with a 6-1 victory in Wexford and manager Eileen Gleeson is looking forward to a good game against the league’s newcomers.
“It was good to be back to winning ways. It was a good performance and good result. I’m expecting a tough game. Galway are very well organised and a good squad. With them being at home we certainly won’t be taking them lightly,” said Gleeson.
Galway’s Caroline Carter (knee) is ruled out while the return of former Salthill Devon stars Dora Gorman and Julie-Ann Russell to Galway will add an extra subplot to the fixture.
“It was a very good experience against Raheny last week. We did well in spells and learned a lot from it. We’ll look to see some improvements this week but I’m sure it’ll be very similar against Peamount.
"Their attacking players are very good and there’s a bit of interest with some of their players having grown up with our players,” said Galway boss Nigel Keady.
Raheny United v Castlebar Celtic, Morton Stadium, 2pm
Raheny United and Castlebar Celtic will meet in a dress rehearsal for the FAI Umbro Women’s Senior Cup final which takes place at the Aviva Stadium next month.
Champions Raheny continue to lead the league with a 100% record after five games but Castlebar have been impressive this term and lie third with ten points under their belt.
United boss Terry Eviston is pleased to have a full strength squad competing for places saying: “There’s a lot at stake for both teams. It’s important we pick up points against clubs outside the top two.
“If you take things for granted against anybody you will get caught out and will drop points. This game should take care of itself given that both sides will be looking to lay down a marker for the cup final.”
Castlebar coach Adrian Carberry is confident that his side will be up for the challenge of meeting the champions on Sunday.
Katie Walsh is close to a recall from a knee injury, Trish Moran (knee) is also close but Shauna Jackson (ankle) is out and facing an MRI scan to ascertain the extent of the injury.
“Everybody getting better and getting fitter every week. It’s a hard one for both sides because of the fact we’re meeting in the final but the thing is that football always changes, the cup final is its own game,” said Carberry.
“Games like this are the reason why we’re in this league. Raheny are the top side by far but we want to test ourselves against the best. You set yourself a goal and try to do it as well as possible. We want to win the league. It’s going to be hard but we’re up for the challenge.”