Dave Donnelly reports from Tallaght Stadium
Peamount United carved out their own slice of history as they sealed a first-ever national league and FAI Cup double with a ruthless takedown of Cork City at Tallaght Stadium.
Six second-half goals saw the all-conquering west Dublin side to just their second-ever FAI Cup triumph and their first in a decade.
The Peas were denied the double in a tight affair with Wexford Youths at the Aviva Stadium a year ago but ensured there would be no repeat with a relentless second 45 minutes.
Stephanie Roche scored twice within six minutes of the resumption before captain Aine O’Gorman, Karen Duggan, Becky Watkins and Tiegan Ruddy added goals late on.
The scoreline was far from a fair reflection of a game in which the 2017 cup winners, City, competed well but they lacked the clinical touch displayed by the champions.
Peamount have dished out numerous hammerings to some of the league’s best sides over the past couple of years but there was little sign of that as half-time arrived with the tie scoreless.
In truth, neither side created an awful lot in the opening 45 as City’s high-energy pressing game caused Peamount problems without ever leading to a clear chance.
The experience of two cup final defeats in the last two years may have weighed on Peamount’s minds while City looked like a team playing without fear or pressure.
The Dubliners started to assert control towards the end of the half but, bar a Claire Walsh header and Lucy McCartan volley, hadn’t unduly troubled City keeper Maria O’Sullivan.
That all changed within a minute of the resumption, and it was a goal of real quality that finally broke the Rebel Army’s resistance.
A lovely reverse pass from McCartan opened up space for Roche on the left-hand side of the penalty area and she did brilliantly to squeeze a shot past O’Sullivan from a tight angle.
Six minutes later, it was 2-0 and again it was all in the build-up as O’Gorman’s cross was blocked by Danielle Burke, but Alannah McEvoy was able to tee up Roche to smash home.
That would ordinarily be the catalyst to the floodgates opening but City responded to the knock well, and should have halved the deficit just before the hour.
Some hesitation in the Peas defence allowed Christina Dring to run through but she rushed her effort and shot wide when she looked odds-on to score.
Roche was determined to bag the hat-trick and was denied only by a last-ditch Burke tackle, while O’Gorman, McEvoy and Duggan all forced saves from O’Sullivan.
The City keeper, playing her final game before departing for a football scholarship in the States, was finally beaten again with 14 minutes remaining.
O’Gorman applied the finishing touch from close range after being played in by Roche, before Duggan nodded home a fourth from sub Megan Smyth-Lynch’s cross.
Substitute Watkins put number five past O’Sullivan after the keeper had denied Smyth-Lynch, before another sub in Ruddy scored the pick of the goals with a well-taken strike.
Cork City: Maria O'Sullivan; Zara Foley, Ciara McNamara (Lauren Walsh 82), Danielle Burke, Nathalie O'Brien (Shaunagh McCarthy 82); Eabha O'Mahony, Christina Dring (Laura Shine 72), Becky Cassin; Sophie Liston (Nadine Seward 82), Saoirse Noonan, Lauren Egbuloniu (Katie McCarthy 57).
Subs not used: Abbie McCarthy, Eadoin Lyons.
Peamount United: Niamh Reid Burke; Lauryn O'Callaghan, Niamh Farrelly (Della Doherty 83), Claire Walsh, Dearbhaile Beirne (Sadbh Doyle 79); Lucy McCartan, Karen Duggan, Eleanor Ryan Doyle (Becky Watkins 79); Aine O'Gorman, Alannah McEvoy (Megan Smyth-Lynch 69), Stephanie Roche (Tiegan Ruddy 83).
Subs not used: Naoisha McAloon, Niamh Barnes, Becky Watkins.
Referee: Claire Purcell
ExtraTime.ie Player of the Match: Stephanie Roche (Peamount United).