Match report V Galway United All Island Cup


Two Rola Olusola goals was the difference between the sides as holders Galway Utd returned to the scene of their 2023 Avenir Sport All-Island Cup final success for a 2024 opening round joust against Sligo Rovers at the Showgrounds.

This was a tough and uncompromising encounter and the opening exchanges were end-to-end with Emma Doherty having an early chance for the hosts while Jenna Slattery and Olusola both went close for Galway.

In the 19th minute Emma Doherty won a free for the Bit O’Red, but Kelsey Munroe hit over and from the resultant goal-kick Galway countered and conjured an opening goal.

The impressive Olusola raced clear and finished confidently despite the best efforts of Amber Hardy.

Both sides probed for openings subsequently with the best chance created by Galway from a corner in the 38th minute, but on this occasion Amber Hardy produced a spectacular save in a crowded goalmouth.

Sligo Rovers resumed smartly in the second-half and Allice Lillie surged forward from the kick-off, but her effort was narrowly over as the rain lashed down before easing a little.

Galway added a second goal in the 51st minute when Olusola got on the ball in the penalty area and once more applied the finishing touch for a 

2-0 advantage.

The hosts upped the tempo after Hardy produced a superb save to deny Olusola her hat-trick and it looked like Galway ‘keeper Maria O’Sullivan spilled the ball into her own net from a Keri Loughrey cross, but the referee awarded a free out.

The Bit O’Red continued to push for a goal and Keri Loughrey’s shot with eight minutes remaining was saved by O’Sullivan as Galway held on for victory.

The teams will meet again next Saturday evening at the same venue in the Women’s Premier Division.

Sligo Rovers – Amber Hardy; Kelsey Munroe, Keeva Flynn, Emma Hansberry, Muireann Devaney, Emma Doherty, Paula McGrory, Amy Roddy, Keri Loughrey, Jodie Loughrey, Alice Lillie. 

Subs – Kelly Crompton for Lillie 57 mins, Eimear Lafferty and Sarah Kiernan for Roddy and Munroe both 65m, Jessica Casey and Cara King for McGrory and J Loughrey 76m.

Galway Utd – Maria O’Sullivan; Aoibheann Costello, Lucy Jane Grant, Jamie Erickson, Jenna Slattery, Kate Thompson, Rolake Olusola, Jodie Griffin, Emily Kavanagh, Therese Kinnevey, Emma Duffy. 

Subs – Heather Loomes for Kavanagh 65 min, Lynsey McKee for Grant and Eve
Dossen for Griffin both 72m, Amy Madden for Costello 80m.

Referee – Ryan Maher.