Report by Joe Kelly.
Cork City fell to a 3-1 defeat at Tolka Park against Shelbourne in their opening game of the 2020 Women’s National League season on Saturday.
Shelbourne had the stronger of the first half and dominated the early exchanges with Jessica Ziu coming close in the opening minutes and on five minutes setting up Ciara Grant for an effort which was saved by Maria O’Sullivan. They found the breakthrough on 11 minutes via a free kick in by Alex Kavanagh which was headed home by Pearl Slattery to give Shelbourne a 1-0 lead.
Shelbourne continued to press their advantage and test the Cork City defence with the closest effort coming from Rebecca Cooke as she got forward with the ball and fired a shot which came off the post and wide. At the other end Christina Dring and Sophie Liston came close but their shots were blocked by the Shelbourne defence. Shelbourne found their second on the stroke of half time as Alex Kavanagh was again involved setting up Ciara Grant to head home to make it 2-0 to the home side at half time.
Shelbourne picked up where they left off at the beginning of the second half and soon had a third goal in the 50th minute as Rebecca Cooke got on the end of her own rebounded effort to put it away to make it 3-0 to Shelbourne. City made changes bringing on Lauren Singleton for her senior WNL debut in place of Nathalie O’Brien while Nadine Seward replaced Eadaoin Lyons.
Shelbourne continued to have much of the ball and the chances however substitute Nadine Seward came close in the 60th minute as she received the ball in the box but her headed effort was straight at the goalkeeper. City did get a consolation goal in the 88th minute after a foul in the penalty area on Christina Dring, Saoirse Noonan stepped up and put away the resulting penalty and the game finished 3-1 to Shelbourne.
Next up for City is their first home game of the 2020 Women’s National League season as they host 2019 Champions Peamount United at Bishopstown on Sunday 16th of August with a 2pm kick off.
Cork City: Maria O’Sullivan, Nathalie O’Brien (Lauren Singleton 55’), Danielle Burke, Ciara McNamara, Eabha O’Mahony, Becky Cassin (Kate O’Donovan 84’), Zara Foley, Eadaoin Lyons (Nadine Seward 55’), Sophie Liston (Lauren Egbuloniu 74’), Christina Dring, Saoirse Noonan.
Unused Substitutes: Abby McCarthy, Riona Crowley, Lauren Walsh,