Academy Weekend Review – October 17th

Both of our women’s teams took centre stage at the Showgrounds on Saturday and Sunday as our four male academy sides had the weekend off. Two fantastic days saw ten goals scored across two games, five in each, as Rovers won by the odd goal in both and booked their respective places in the Shield Semi-Finals.

After tasting defeat for the first time in seven games last time out, our WU17s bounced back to beat Greystones United 3-2 on Saturday afternoon at the Sean Fallon Centre. Having won 2-0 in Dublin three weeks ago, Rovers completed a league double over United to ensure qualification for the Semi-Finals with one game to spare. Orna Murphy struck first and Jessica Casey’s brace secured the three points and kept us top of the table by that same margin. We face DLR Waves (2nd on 7pts) in the final group game next weekend needing just a draw to guarantee top spot while that result might not be enough for our opponents as they could yet be overtaken by Greystones or Athlone Town. Finishing first would mean home advantage for the Semi-Final so there’s plenty for us still to play for.

Twenty-Four hours later and it was the WU19s turn to celebrate. Goals from Sarah Kiernan, Kate Nugent and Helen Monaghan helped Rovers to a 3-2 win over Carlow/Kilkenny at the Sean Fallon Centre. It was our 5th win in the 6th and final group game and assured us of 1st place as we finished three points clear of Donegal in second. The result also means Rovers will have the advantage of hosting the Semi-Final at the Showgrounds. Bohemians will be our opponents after they beat Bray 4-0 yesterday to take the runners-up spot in Group B. Hopefully the result will be the same as it was on June 27th of this year when the sides last met in the First League phase, Rovers running out 3-0 winners on that occasion.

Richard Mullan