Report: Rovers women get first win

Casey Howe’s brace of first-half goals boosted Sligo Rovers to a 2-0 victory against hosts Cork City in the Women’s Premier Division at Turner’s Cross this evening, writes Conall Collier.

This encounter opened at a cracking pace with chances at each end as both teams went in search of a first win of the season.

The Bit O’Red delivered a dynamic opening 45 minutes and then battened down the hatches in the second-half to seal a merited first win of the season that moved them off the bottom of the table.

An action-packed first-half saw Emma Doherty’s sixth minute shot scrambled away by Cork and then Casey Howe went close for Sligo Rovers.

At the other end Cork City had an Alex Mendez cross saved by Bonnie McKiernan before Ellie O’Brien looked certain to score, but her effort shaved the outside of the far post.

Thirteen minutes in an Emma Doherty header thundered against the Cork crossbar, but the Bit O’Red made the breakthrough soon after when Casey Howe finished to the net for a deserved lead.

It wasn’t all one-way traffic and Cork City created a good chance, but the offside flag rescued the visitors.

The hectic pace continued and Emma Hansberry skimmed the top of the Cork crossbar with a fine effort from about 30 metres.

Casey Howe’s 39th minute free from 20 metres was saved by Hannah Walsh at the expense of a corner, but Howe made no mistake in the 42ndminute when she raced into the Cork City penalty area and finished to the net for a merited 2-0 interval advantage.   

The Bit O’Red resumed smartly after the break and Casey Howe had a good early chance before the Loughrey sisters, Jodie and Kerri, combined, but were narrowly off target. 

Cork City custodian Hannah Walsh produced a smart save to deny Emma Doherty on the hour and the Sligo Rovers striker went close again soon after.

Cork City continued to probe for an opening and Christina Dring was denied as Bonnie McKiernan produced a fine finger-tip save and at the other end Howe was denied a hat-trick as Walsh saved well again.

Keela Scanlon made a crucial clearance in added time to deny the hosts a goal chance as Sligo Rovers took the points from Turner’s Cross.

Cork City – Hannah Walsh; Laura Walsh, Danielle Burke, Heidi Mackin, Eva Mangan, Alex Mendez, Jessie Mendez, Aoibhinn Donnelly, Laura Shine, Christina Dring.

 Subs – Chloe Atkinson for A Mendez 58 mins, Fina Bradley for O’Brien 60m, Nadine Seward for Dring and Niamh Cotter for Burke both 75m

Sligo Rovers – Bonnie McKiernan; Alice Lillie, Sarah Kiernan, Keela Scanlon, Amy Roddy, Emma Hansberry, Lauren Boles, Emma Doherty, Kerri Loughrey, Casey Howe, Jodie Loughrey. 

Subs – Leah Kelly for K Loughrey and Aoife Brennan for J Loughrey both 72 mins.