Six goals shared at the Market’s Field as hosts Treaty Utd and Sligo Rovers produced an exciting Women’s Premier Division (WPD) encounter, writes Conall Collier.
Two goals from Emma Doherty and one by Jodie Loughrey revived Sligo Rovers and countered first-half strikes for Treaty by Cara Griffin, Hayley Walsh and Kiara Kilbey as the players delivered some exciting end-to-end action.
There was a water break midway through each half as the players coped with the sweltering conditions.
Sligo Rovers had conceded six without reply against champions Shelbourne a fortnight ago while last weekend Athlone Town got the better of Treaty by 7-0.
Against that background, both managers will be able to take positives out of the game, but will also be well aware that lots of improvement will be required if either team is to make any impact in the forthcoming All-Island competition or start an upward trajectory in the WPD.
Treaty sprinted out of the traps and had a goal on the scoreboard inside 90 seconds when Cara Griffin finished confidently to the net.
As the Bit O’Red tried to settle into the game, a defensive lapse gifted Hayley Walsh her second goal of the season when her speculative effort from distance gave Bonnie McKiernan no chance to make it 2-0.
However, as the players maintained a high-tempo, Emma Doherty headed Sligo Rovers back into contention midway through the half after Casey Howe had squandered a couple of earlier opportunities.
Treaty still posed a threat going forward against a disjointed Sligo Rovers side and the Limerick women created numerous chances without any reward until the 43rd minute when Kiara Kilbey ‘s goal gave her side a 3-1 interval lead.
Facing an uphill task in the second-half, Sligo Rovers got back into contention in the 54th minute when Emma Doherty did the spadework and Jodie Loughrey finished the job with a header to the net.
Almost immediately, Treaty had a chance when Kilbey ran on to a long clearance from goalkeeper Ann Marie Ulliac who flashed her effort wide of the target.
To their credit, Sligo Rovers countered and Casey Howe shaved the outside of the Treaty post in the 64th minute.
Some 60 seconds later the sides were level when Emma Doherty produced a good finish.
Both sides had chances subsequently with Sligo Rovers in the ascendancy although they always looked vulnerable at the back.
Overall, a draw was probably a fair result, but Treaty will be disappointed to have surrendered that two-goal interval advantage.
Treaty Utd – Ann Marie Ulliac; Grace McInerney, Chloe Hennigan, Alanna Mitchell, Jessica Heffernan, Katie Lawlee, Emma Costelloe, Aoife Mulkerrin, Kiara Kilbey, Hayley Walsh, Cara Griffin.
Subs – Kelsey Wing for Mitchell 30 mins, Esra Kangel for Walsh 80m, Michaela Cumes for Lawlee 85m
Sligo Rovers – Bonnie McKiernan; Alice Lillie, Sarah Kiernan, Keela Scanlon, Orna O’Dowd, Emma Hansberry, Jodie Loughrey, Ciara Henry, Keri Loughrey, Emma Doherty, Casey Howe.
Subs – Aoife Brennan for Henry 57 mins, Leah Kelly for Lillie and Kate Nugent for O’Dowd both 66m, Helen Monaghan for K Loughrey 83m.
Referee – Daryl Carolan