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Women's National League Cup round-up

Updated: Sunday, 02 Feb 2014 18:36 | Comments

Ciara Rossiter was one of the stand out performers for Wexford Youths
Ciara Rossiter was one of the stand out performers for Wexford Youths

Castlebar Celtic, Raheny United and Wexford Youths all secured their places in the semi-finals of the Bus Éireann Women's National League Cup with wins this afternoon.

Last year's beaten finalists Castlebar and Raheny finished the day joint top of Group 1 with seven points each, while Galway WFC and Shamrock Rovers' cup dreams were put to bed for another year as they sit rock bottom of the group without a single point to their names.

Wexford Youths maintained their 100 per cent winning record in the cup with a 1-0 home victory over DLR Waves to top Group 2.

In the same group, Cork Women's FC had a home game postponed for the second time in three weeks, meaning their opponents Peamount United will have to wait to see if they can complete the quartet of semi-finalists. A single point for the Peas in that rescheduled fixture will see them beat DLR Waves to second spot and emerge from the group.

A DLR Waves own-goal was all it took to give Wexford Youths a vital win in Ferrycarrig Park. Youths' winger Ciara Rossiter was causing all sorts of problems for the DLR defenders down the left flank in the early stages of the game.

The visitors also had their fair share of possession early on, but went a goal down in the 14th minute.

Amy Walsh was the quickest to react to an error in the DLR defence, and she tapped the ball into the net via an opponent from close range.

The hosts took that lead into the break, and in the 69th minute their minimal lead looked far more comfortable as Margaret Doyle was shown a straight red for the Dublin outfit.

Doyle was judged to have been the last player back when she took Amy Walsh down on the edge of the penalty area.

Maria Delahunty came agonisingly close to doubling Wexford's lead in the second half, but her effort struck the crossbar. Youths net-minder Mary-Rose Kelly was doing her bit to ensure her side held on to the lead in the latter stages of the game, and she commanded her area brilliantly as Wexford ran out as 1-0 winners.

Group 1 leaders Castlebar faced a short trip to local Connacht rivals Galway WFC. The hosts began well, and their striker Lynsey McKey got a shot away in the seventh minute, but she watched the ball fly wide.

Castlebar goalkeeper Rachel King was in flying form, and she brilliantly stopped an Eleanor Stafford header from flying into the net in the 19th minute. The deadlock remained unbroken as the sides headed in for a break at the interval, but both teams emerged in the second half hungry for goals.

Sarah Rowe fired the ball over for Castlebar as expectations of an opening goal in Eamonn Deacy Park gradually grew bigger and bigger. Ruth Fahey and Keara Cormican both came close with shots for Galway midway throughout the second half, but their inaccuracy in front of goal was punished in the 73rd minute when Rowe put Celtic 1-0 ahead.

King was called into action for the Mayo side yet again as she dramatically denied Lucy Hannon a late equaliser, and she was receiving all of the applauds as it ended 1-0 to Castlebar.

Raheny had absolutely no problems in overcoming Dublin rivals Shamrock Rovers in Morton Stadium. The goal-hungry 'Pandas' took the lead in the 24th minute when Louise Kearney opened her account for the afternoon in neat fashion.

Less than two minutes later, Raheny forward Catherine Cronin had doubled her sides advantage with a well struck goal. The hosts were then awarded a penalty in the 32nd minute, and Rebecca Creagh smashed the ball home to give them a 3-0 lead at the break.

Raheny were in no way sympathetic of their opponents, and they were in attack mode upon the resumption. Kearney bagged her second and Raheny's fourth in the 68th minute to confirm the victory, before Cronin also completed her brace ten minutes later and it ended 5-0 to Raheny.

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