All-Island Cup round-up: Big wins for Athlone and Bohs as Galway have positive start to title defence

Aoibhe Fleming in action against Lisburn Ladies on Sunday, 24 March 2024.

Aoibhe Fleming in action against Lisburn Ladies on Sunday, 24 March 2024. Credit: Martin Doherty (ETPhotos)

The first round of fixtures of this year’s Women’s All-Island Cup took place this weekend as Galway United begin their defence of their title having beaten Cliftonville in the final last year.

The second round of fixtures are scheduled to take place across the weekend of the 20th and 21st of April.

Group A

Group A began with the Saturday evening meeting between Women’s Premier Division champions Peamount United and Linfield Ladies.

United took the lead in the 27th minute courtesy of Ellen Dolan but Linfield fought back in the second half and a brace from Keri Halliday had it looking like the Northern Irish side would take the three points.

It wasn’t to be though as Louise Masterson netted with five minutes to go for a 2-2 draw.

On Sunday afternoon, Bohemians hosted Lisburn Ladies in what turned out to be a one sided contest as the Gypsies secured the three points with a 4-0 win to go top of Group A.

Paul Corcoran’s report from the game can be found here.

Group B

It was an all Women’s Premier Division affair for the opening game of Group B on Saturday as Cork City hosted Wexford.

Orlaith Conlon put the visitors ahead in the 34th minute but Dorothea Greulich scored in injury time to equalise for Cork City.

Somehow deeper into that first half injury time period and Wexford were back in front through Ciara Rossiter but Colleen Kennedy scored for the Rebels shortly after the re-start for a 2-2 draw and a share of the points.

There was a 1-1 draw in the other Group B game on Sunday as last year’s beaten All-Island Cup finalists Cliftonville hosted Shelbourne.

Jemma Quinn opened the scoring for Shels in the 29th minute but Marissa Callaghan fired back in the 34th minute to give both sides a point.

Group C

In Group C Crusaders Strikers sit top of the table after the first round of fixtures after their 1-0 win over DLR Waves on Saturday.

Amy McGivern had the only goal of the game during the game at Whitehall.

Treaty United and Shamrock Rovers played out a 1-1 draw later that day with Erin Van Dolder scoring in the 33rd minute, only for that goal to be cancelled out by Aine O’Gorman in the 41st minute.

Christine Allen’s report on the game can be found here.

Group D

The reigning All-Island Cup champions Galway United got their campaign underway on Saturday night when they travelled to the Showgrounds to face Connacht rivals Sligo Rovers.

Rola Olusola scored twice to give the Tribeswomen a solid 2-0 win in their opening game of this year’s competition.

The other game in the group got underway on Sunday evening as the NIFL Premiership champions Glentoran hosted Athlone Town at Blanchflower Stadium.

Glens were a goal up heading into half-time when Kerry Anne Beattie and Nadene Caldwell scored in the first half to take the lead, having gone behind after former Glentoran forward Casey Howe put the Town ahead in the fifth minute.

Kerrryanne Browne struck the equaliser in the 48th minute but Howe would come back to haunt Glentoran once more in the 73rd minute when she put the visitors ahead.

Ciara O’Neill and Keri Lynne Rossman added two more goals to give the FAI Cup champions a 5-2 win.