League Report: DLR Waves 1 - 1 Shamrock Rovers

Aine O'Gorman scored her 200th league goal yesterday

Aine O'Gorman scored her 200th league goal yesterday Credit: Matthew Lysaght (ETPhotos)

Christine Allen reports from the UCD Bowl

It ended all square between Shamrock Rovers Women and DLR Waves, in an entertaining battle that drew a vocal crowd.

Not even a Six Nations face off between Ireland and England at Twickenham could keep The Waves and Rovers fans away from Belfield for both sides' season opener in the SSE Airtricity Premier Division.

The most notable switch up to Head Coach Collie O’Neill’s starting League eleven was between the posts, Summer Lawless the new Rovers gatekeeper in place of the injured Amanda Budden.

The Hoops had the majority of possession in the first half, Shauna Fox delivering enticing balls down the southern stadium side channel for winger Lia O’Leary to chase.

Melissa O’Kane sat at right back alongside the towering Jessica Hennessy and Fox, while Scarlett Herron and Jaime Thompson looked to make things happen, forging links with Stephanie Zambra and Aine O’Gorman up front.

The first real chance on goal for the visitors came in the 8th minute, Joy Ralph controlling a miscue of a clearance from a DLR Waves set piece, before carrying the ball forward and rolling a perfectly weighted pass to O’Gorman.

In recent days O’Neill spoke to shamrockrovers.ie on the “advanced” training preparations that the squad have been building upon, and this was evident as Rovers shapeshifted on the pitch, moving with a fluidity and flair that any South American team would be proud of.

Fox, O’Leary, Ralph, Thompson, Zambra and O’Gorman displaying a touch of the Seleção Canarinha, Stephanie Zambra's fluorescent yellow boots perhaps a nod to ‘The Canary Squad.’

Rovers came close to breaking the deadlock in the 21st minute when a right footed strike by O’Gorman was caught firmly in Eve Badanas gloves.

Herrron too used her physicality to shoulder past defenders, a cracker of a shot from the UCD student sweeping just shy over the crossbar.

The smooth style of play would serve as a warning blast to the Sky Blues and the women in azure and white rallied.

Despite Rovers possessing more of the ball and playing the more attractive football, first blood was drawn by the home team.

A determined run by Robyn Bolger released Michelle Doonan, who with the outside of her left boot, rounded past Jessica Hennessy, before trying her luck with a strike.

Shouts of protest from the home fans rose as the swerving ball was caught by Lawless, who appeared to drop back into the goalmouth.

Confusion ensued for both players and spectators alike, before the referee deemed the ball to have crossed the line and awarded the goal to The Waves.

1-0 to Laura Heffernan's side.

Rovers responded quickly, the technically astute Stephanie Zambra firing two shots on goal within the space of three minutes.

As luck would have it, the Shankill striker was hampered by the position of her body and unable to execute with enough power to trouble goalkeeper Eve Badana.

At the break it was 1-0 to the home side but it could have been 4-1 to Rovers.

Following the restart, O’Leary gave chase to an inviting ball from Fox.

Deciding to go it alone, the confident winger fired towards goal, the shot flashing across the post.

Goalscorer Doonan, who will be one to watch for the season to come, led the attack on the counter for the remainder of the half but her efforts were in vain.

The visitors were finally rewarded for their belief and creativity in front of goal when a delivery by the visionary Shauna Fox was picked up by Joy Ralph, who sent the defender the wrong way with a Ronaldo-esque step over, before playing the ball to O’Gorman, who shouldered passed substitute Nadine Steward a mere inches inside the box.

A leg was left carelessly in O’Gormans path and the skipper fell, protests from the home crowd contrasting sharply with the referee who pointed confidently to the spot.

As the captain marched purposefully towards the penalty spot, you never doubted that she would miss.

For a moment it looked as if Badana had done enough to parry the ball left and wide, but O’Gormans power and placement were too much for the keeper.

The remaining ten of the half was a nail biting affair, both sides eager to pick up the three points from the opener.

Deep into stoppage time, in a move initiated between O’Leary, Coady and O’Gorman, the winger, as lightning quick as in the opening minute of the game, positioned herself to receive the ball from O’Gorman, before delivering a clean cross that found Hennessy.

Lifting her left boot, the number 5 tried to place the ball into the back of the net, yet her touch was too firm and sent it careening over the bar.

An exciting battle between both sides, with plenty of positives for O’Neills side to take as The Hoops welcome Wexford FC next Saturday at Tallaght Stadium.


DLR Waves: Eve Badana; Eve Conheady, Amber Cosgrove, Jessica Gleeson, Chloe McCarthy; Robyn Bolger (Freya Roche 60), Isobel Finnegan, Bronagh Kane (Taylor White 35), Neema Nyangasi, Eve O'Brien; Michelle Doonan.

Subs not used: Rugile Auskalnyte, Oleta Griffin, Nicole Keogh, Hannah Tobin-Jones, Cliodhna Donnelly, Rebecca McMahon.

Booked: Eve Conheady (54), Freya Roche (73).


Shamrock Rovers: Summer Lawless; Shauna Fox, Jessica Hennessy, Melissa O'Kane, Lia O'Leary; Scarlett Herron, Aoife Kelly, Aine O'Gorman, Jaime Thompson (Shannon Coady 74), Stephanie Zambra (Maria Reynolds 74); Joy Ralph.

Subs not used: Laura Fanning, Hannah Martin, Alannah Prizeman, Lauren Kelly.

Booked: Shauna Fox (81).


Referee: Daryl Carolan.

Attendance: TBC.