Report: Rovers 11-0 Bonagee United

Five goals apiece from Emma Doherty and Casey Howe helped Sligo Rovers advance to the quarter-finals of the Women’s FAI Cup with an 11-0 victory against Donegal neighbours Bonagee Utd at the Showgrounds this afternoon, writes Conall Collier.

Substitute Amy Hyndman also found the net late in the second-half as the Bit O’Red completed a memorable afternoon in what was also a first FAI Cup win.

The victory and the 11-goal tally will provide an invaluable confidence-boost for the Sligo Rovers women who have found the going tough this season in the Women’s Premier Division (WPD) as they now turn the focus to next Saturday’s live TG4 game against Wexford.

This was a historic occasion for the Bit O’Red, a first home game in the competition and a first victory following last season’s narrow loss to Bohemian FC at Dalymount Park in the club’s debut season at senior level.

It was also a notable outing for Donegal Women’s League champions and FAI Amateur Cup finalists Bonagee Utd as a mother and daughter featured in the starting 11, Catherine Fletcher between the posts and daughter Katlyn in an outfield role.

Bit O’Red manager Steve Feeney made one change to the team that started against hosts Athlone Town last weekend as the action resumed in the WPD.

Keeva Flynn came in to make her first senior start for Kate Nugent while Sarah Kiernan, who limped out of the action after 34 minutes against Athlone last week, was able to take her place in the starting 11.

The hosts made the best possible start with Emma Doherty finding the net inside a minute and it got better soon after from Casey Howe’s eighth-minute effort made it 2-0 to the Women’s Premier Division side.

The Sligo Rovers women continued to create chances and the effort and determination was rewarded before the mid-point of the half when Emma Doherty grabbed her second goal of the afternoon.

Howe claimed her second goal soon after and then Doherty completed her hat-trick in the 30th minute.

Bonagee eased the pressure on a couple of occasions in the opening half and won a number of corners, but close to the interval they were almost caught out by a quick counter-attack from the hosts as Doherty brought a good save out of Catherine Fletcher.

Sligo Rovers resumed on the front foot and Doherty added two quick goals to take her tally to five and give the hosts a 7-0 advantage.

Howe then completed her hat-trick with a great strike before the hour mark while at the other end Bonagee’s Katlyn Fletcher was denied by a smart Bonnie McKiernan save.

The goal-hungry hosts continued to surge forward and Howe added two more for a five-goal haul and substitute Amy Hyndman also hit the target to make it 11-0.

Sligo Rovers – Bonnie McKiernan; Alice Lillie, Keeva Flynn, Sarah Kiernan, Leah Kelly, Jodie Loughrey, Eimear Lafferty, Katie Melly, Keri Loughrey, Casey Howe, Emma Doherty. Subs – Lauren Boles for Lillie and Kate Nugent for Flynn half-time, Ciara Henry for Doherty and Amy Hyndman for J Loughrey both 60 mins, Michaela Burke for McKiernan 73m

Bonagee Utd – Catherine Fletcher; Siobhan Sweeney, Zara Shortt, Catherine Greer, Eimear Sweeney, Amanda Callaghan, Katlyn Fletcher, Mollie Page, Keevna Heron, Bronagh Gallagher, Deborah Kerrigan. Subs – Natalie McFadden for Kerrigan 59 mins, Rachael Bogan-Alison for Gallagher 70m.

Referee- Michael Connolly.

Assistant-referees – Alan Dunne, Keenan Deering.

Fourth official – Ryan Maher.