League Report: Shamrock Rovers 2 - 1 Wexford Youths

Áine O'Gorman grabbed her third goal of the season

Áine O'Gorman grabbed her third goal of the season Credit: Peter Fitzpatrick (ETPhotos)

Macdara Ferris reports from Tallaght Stadium

Shamrock Rovers’ excellent start to the season on their return to the Women’s Premier Division continued with a 2-1 win over Wexford Youths in Tallaght thanks to goals from Jess Gargan and skipper Áine O’Gorman.

The win for Collie O’Neill’s side has the Hoops unbeaten on ten points from the opening dozen on offer.

Rovers’ ambition is for their women’s team to bring silverware to Tallaght and if they are to do so they need to get the better of the likes of Wexford Youths as they did on Wednesday night.

The visitors have won plenty of trophies during Rovers’ long absence from the top flight of the women’s game and so having drawn 1-1 with double winners Shelbourne last time out, this was another good test for Rovers to bench mark their progress.

While there has been much discussion with the signings Collie O’Neill made for Rovers over the winter, the acquisition of both Emily Corbet and Rianna Jarrett by Wexford has added considerable fire power to their front line.

With all the attacking options available for both sides on the pitch, it was maybe surprising it was such a cagey opening 45 minutes with very little goal mouth action as the teams tested each other out.

It was Corbet who had the first real chance of the game but her shot on seven minutes from distance was too weak to really trouble Amanda Budden. The Hoops goalkeeper was tested on a couple of occasions by corners from Aoibheann Clancy that Budden had to bat the ball away from under her crossbar under pressure.

The visitors best chance of the half fell to Jarrett whose low shot from distance was turned away by Budden but the opening goal came from the home team late in the half as their pressure paid off.

First Abbie Larkin had showed a clean pair of heels to the Wexford defence, only a fine save from Maeve Williams to keep the ball out but the Hoops weren’t to be denied as they carved open Youths in first half injury time.

Gargan started and ended the sweeping move for the Hoops. She won the ball on half way before feeding Alannah McEvoy. Her one-two with Alannah Prizemann allowed her to swing a delightful cross into the box and Gargan arrived to head home by the stranded Maeve Williams in the Wexford goal.

Seven minutes into the second period Youths were level in fortuitous fashion. Meabh Russell swung a looping cross from the right that caught out the backtracking Budden to find the top corner of the net.

However the Hoops retook the lead in the 65th minute through their captain’s. O'Gorman came in at the back post in the six yard box to slot in Abby Larkin's square pass off another good passing Rovers move that had Jamie Thompson involved playing in Larkin.

Neither side could find another breakthrough and so the Hoops go into the international break in third place level with Shelbourne and two points behind league leaders Peamount United but with a game in hand on the duo above them.

Youths have the two wins to their name but with two games in hand on United they won’t be overly concerned although with the shortened league structure this season due to the World Cup there is little wriggle room for teams to lose too many.

Shamrock Rovers WFC: Amanda Budden; Jessica Gargan, Jessica Hennessy, Abby Tuthill, Lia O'Leary; Orlaith O'Mahony, Alannah Prizeman (Melissa O'Kane 71); Aine O'Gorman, Abbie Larkin, Alannah McEvoy (Lauren Kelly 77); Jaime Thompson.
Subs not used: Summer Lawless, Chloe McCarthy, Shauna Fox, Hannah Martin, Nicole Fox, Shannon Coady, Katie O'Reilly.
Booked: Jaime Thompson (88).

Wexford Youths Women: Maeve Williams; Meabh Russell, Nicola Sinnott, Orlaith Conlon, Ciara Rossiter; Abbie Brophy, Aoibheann Clancy, Kylie Murphy, Michaela Lawrence (Edel Kennedy 61); Emily Corbet Corbet (Aine Walsh 81), Rianna Jarrett.
Subs not used: Claudia Keenan, Louise Corrigan, Lauren Dwyer, Orlaith Deasy, Shauna Carroll, Freya DeMange, Ceola Bergin.
Booked: Meabh Russell (63).

Referee: Chris Sheehan
Attendance: 569
extratime.com Player of the Match: Jessica Gargan (Shamrock Rovers)