Rovers record first home league win of the season




Sligo Rovers scored four goals for the first time in the Women’s Premier Division and that helped them to a first home win of the season with an impressive performance against Bohemian FC this evening, writes Conall Collier.

Two second-half goals from Paula McGrory and one each in the opening 45 minutes by Keri Loughrey and Sarah Kiernan paved the way to victory with Lynn Craven briefly giving the visitors a lifeline with a speculative 65th minute strike that made it 2-1.

This was the first of three successive home games for the Bit O’Red with bottom-of-the-table Cork City due to visit the Showgrounds next Saturday ahead of an eagerly-awaited FAI Cup semi-final against Athlone Town on Saturday 14th October.

While this was an encouraging performance this evening, manager Steve Feeney will now concentrate on keeping the players focused solely on the next game.

However, after going through a campaign that produced one WPD win out of the previous 15 outings, it certainly looks as if the lessons that were dispensed in some of those encounters have moulded the team into a more solid outfit.

The return of Lauren Boles, Emma Hansberry and Paula McGrory is also a factor and two wins in-a-row will also boost the confidence of the players.

Sligo Rovers made the best possible start and had the ball in the back of the Bohemian FC net after only six minutes when Keri Loughrey finished well.

Emma Hansberry had a shot well saved by Rachael Kelly soon after and the hosts remained in the ascendancy without too much difficulty.

Jodi Loughrey was involved in many positive moves for the Bit O’Red, but there was a fortuitous second goal when Sarah Kiernan’s 30th minute corner looped into the net for a 2-0 advantage.

That prompted the Dublin women into action and they created three good chances late in the half through Katherine Malone with two efforts and Katie Lovely.

Both sides went in search of goals in the second-half and Sligo Rovers lost Leah Kelly when she was hit with the ball and had to be assisted from the pitch close to the hour mark with Paula McGrory deputising.

The Dublin women got back into the game briefly when Lynn Craven scored a delightful goal with a speculative effort from distance that looped over Bonnie McKiernan.

Sligo Rovers weathered the storm and more or less sealed the victory when McCrory found the net from a Katie Melly pass with 12 minutes remaining.

Emma Doherty then brought a good save out of Rachael Kelly, but the Bohs ‘keeper had to pick the ball out of the net again in the 86th minute when McGrory claimed her second goal of the evening to wrap up a comprehensive victory.

Sligo Rovers – Bonnie McKiernan; Alice Lillie, Sarah Kiernan, Leah Kelly, Eimear Lafferty, Jodie Loughrey, Emma Hansberry, Lauren Boles, Keri Loughrey, Emma Doherty, Casey Howe.

Subs – Keeva Flynn for Kiernan 52 mins, Paula McGrory for Kelly 56m, Katie Melly for Howe 62m, Ciara Henry for Hansberry and Jessica Casey for J Loughrey both 88m.

Bohemian FC – Rachael Kelly; Lynn Craven, Katie Burdis, Lisa Murphy, Ciara Maher, Fiona Donnelly, Kira Bates-Crosbie, Mia Dodd, Katie Lovely, Katherine Malone, Rachel McGrath.

Subs – Niamh Prior for McGrath and Abbie O’Hara for Bates-Crosbie both 59 mins, Anna Hegarty for Dodd and Sadhbh Moran for Burdis both 88m.

Referee – Michael Connolly.

Assistant-referees – Ciaran O’Reilly, Richard Storey.

Fourth Official – John McLoughlin.