Bohemians secured their place in the semi-final of the Evoke.ie FAI Women's Cup with an emphatic 3-1 win over Sligo Rovers in the Dalymount sunshine.
A first half blitz from the hosts in which Abbie Brophy, Erica Burke and a Sarah Kiernan own goal proved enough for the Gypsies to progress with Lauren Boles replying in the second half to give her side a glimmer of hope.
Both teams had been in good form going into the massive clash, the hosts having lost just once in their last six, whilst the visitors were fresh from an incredible 3-2 come-from-behind home win against reigning champions Shelbourne.
It was the home side that came flying out of the traps in front of a busy Jodi Stand.
Abbie Brophy continued her excellent recent form, with some quality crosses from the right hand side and linking up well with striker Aoife Robinson.
With just nine minutes gone this avenue almost paid dividends as Brophy showed her opposite number, Helen Monaghan, a clean pair of heels clipping a delightful ball onto the head of Aoife Robinson - fresh from her brace in last week's 3-1 win at home to Cork City - but the striker couldn't get enough purchase on the header.
Minutes later Niamh Prior, also on the scoresheet last week, went close to finding the top corner with a beautifully whipped free kick from the right hand side of the box.
The Bohs' pressure finally told with a quarter of an hour played, and it was player-of-the-match Brophy who got the goal her performance deserved.
Having been released by a defence splitting pass from Robinson, the pacey Brophy showed tremendous composure to slot the ball past the onrushing Amy Mahon.
GOAL ⚽️ | Bohemians 1-0 Sligo Rovers— Women's National League (@LoiWomen) August 6, 2022
Abbie Brophy is flying! A great goal from the Bohs winger to put her side ahead 🤩
Watch it LIVE on LOITV 👉 https://t.co/UanEanpjWa#FAIWomensCup | @EVOKE pic.twitter.com/wxqxui1K1P
The hosts doubled their advantage just minutes later when skipper Erica Burke confidently dispatched a penalty into the top right hand corner.
Prior’s floated cross from the left caused all sorts of confusion in the Rovers rearguard with the ball eventually bouncing up onto the arm of Helen Monaghan giving referee Alan Patchell no choice but to point to the spot.
Despite Bohs seemingly in cruise control, and the classy Chloe Darby pulling the strings in the middle of the park, it was the visitors who almost halved the deficit when Amy Boyle-Carr’s cross from the right almost snuck in at the near post but bounced off of the upright and away to safety.
This little fright served as a reminder to the hosts not to allow any complacency to set in and worked, as the refocused hosts made it three just before the break. Yet more brilliant wide play from Niamh Prior on the left, saw her cross turned into her own net by the helpless Sarah Kiernan, when it seemed keeper Mahon was coming to collect.
To their immense credit, the Bit O’Red continued to pour players forward looking for that one goal that would change the complexion of the game, and with seven minutes played got just that. Having struck the side netting with a difficult looking volley a few seconds earlier, Boyle-Carr clipped in a delightful ball for captain Lauren Boles to side foot home.
Although the visitors were desperately pushing to get another and trying to build a head of steam, Bohs did well in possession to take the sting out of it when possible.
Player-of-the-month nominee Rachael Kelly remained relatively untroubled in the Bohs goal, only being called into action to comfortably save from substitute Emma Hansberry’s free kick from distance.
Pat Trehy’s troops showed real grit and determination to see themselves over the line and despite a Sligo onslaught not really ensuing, there was enough of a threat to make the Dalymount faithful more than nervous in the dying embers.
The in-form Gypsies are now just one game away from the showpiece and with the form they have shown lately will fancy their chances in the semi-final.
Bohemian FC: Rachael Kelly, Katie Burdis (Ann-Marie Byrne, 69’), Isobel Finnegan, Lisa Murphy, Kira Bates-Crosbie, Erica Burke (Erin Phelan, 90+2’), Chloe Darby, Abbie Brophy, Aoife Robinson (Freya Roche, 69’), Katie Lovely, Niamh Prior (Bronagh Kane, 73’) Subs not used: Hannah Tobin-Jones, Abbie O’Hara, Molly O’Brien
Sligo Rovers: Amy Mahon, Leah Kelly, Orna O’Dowd, Gemma McGuinness, Lauren Boles, Emma Doherty, Kerri O’Hara, Paula McGrory (Fiona Doherty, 70’) Amy Boyle Carr (Katie Melly, 82’), Sarah Kiernan (Aoife Brennan, 82’), Helen Monaghan (Emma Hansberry, 58’)
Subs not used: Amy Hyndman, Lauren McLellan, Jessica Casey, Aife Haran, Farrah McDonagh
Referee: Alan Patchel
In Tolka Park, Jemma Quinn struck a brace as Shelbourne came from 2-0 down to overhaul bitter rivals Peamount United in a whirlwind first half in their quarter-final clash.
Alannah McEvoy was on target twice in the opening 13 minutes to put the visitors 2-0 up against a Shelbourne side who famously pipped them to the WNL title on the final match-week in 2021.
However, by half-time Shels had wiped out the advantage, Quinn pulling one back after heading home Alex Kavanagh's cross on 23 minutes.
GOAL ⚽️ | Shelbourne 3-2 Peamount United— Women's National League (@LoiWomen) August 6, 2022
JEMMA QUINN 🤩
Shelbourne complete the comeback just before half time, Quinn with a sublime finish 💥
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Jess Gargan met Heather O'Reilly's centre with a bullet header to level the contest on the 36th minute. And with two minutes left in a rollercoaster opening half, Shels would take the lead, Quinn breaking down the left and firing a superb shot into the far top corner.
The WNL table toppers held firm from there, triumphing 3-2 against their west Dublin foes.
Wexford Youths are also safely through to the last four after a 3-1 win over a DLR Waves side that finished with nine players at Ferrycarrig Park.
It was DLR Waves who opened the scoring as Katie Malone headed home from close range following Sarah McKevitt's pin-point delivery in the 16th minute.
Wexford’s equaliser also came from a header as Nicola Sinnott guided Aoibheann Clancy's corner home five minutes from the break.
DLR Waves were reduced to 10 players early in the second half as Mia Dodd was shown a straight red card, and it went from bad to worse 17 minutes later when goalkeeper Eve Badana was dismissed for a hefty challenge on the advancing Ellen Molloy.
Wexford finally took advantage of their extra numbers when Molloy’s beautiful flick ended up in the net in the 86th minute, and they added as third through Ciara Rossiter in the final moments.
Late goals from Ellen Molloy and Ciara Rossiter secured a 3-1 win for Wexford Youths against DLR Waves at Ferrycarrig Park.
Katie Malone put the away side in front with a header from close range after 15 minutes, Nicola Sinnott heading home a corner to level the game before the break.
GOAL ⚽️ | Wexford Youths 2-1 DLR Waves— Women's National League (@LoiWomen) August 6, 2022
Ellen Molloy with what must surely be the winner for Wexford at Ferrycarrig Park against the nine of DLR Waves!
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The match remained deadlocked until the final five minutes, with Molloy hooked a shot to the net after a corner had been half-cleared. In the final minute, Rossiter pounced on a rebound to make sure of victory.
Athlone Town will complete the semi-final quartet after a 2-0 defeat of Cork City in the later kick-off. The league's third placed team had to wait until just after the hour mark to hit the front, Muireann Devaney drilling a low shot into the far corner.
Gillian Keenan effectively put the seal on the win 14 minutes from time, lashing home on the rebound to double the midlanders' advantage.