Women’s Match Preview: Rovers take on Bohs in FAI Cup 1/4 Final

Another Women’s FAI Cup quarter-final journey to Dalymount Park for Sligo Rovers to tackle Bohemian FC on Saturday, 3pm, writes Conall Collier.

Twelve months ago, the Bit O’Red made the same journey after they received a first-round walkover from a non-League team, this time around they negotiated another non-League team when they defeated Bonagee Utd by 11-0.

Bohemian FC also negotiated a non-League team in the first round with a 3-0 victory against Cabinteely at the Carlisle Grounds in Bray.

The Bohemian FC goals were scored by Lisa Murphy (two) and Fiona Donnelly, but the 11-0 win for the Bit O’Red sent both Casey Howe and Emma Doherty to the top of the scoring charts with five goals apiece.

Amy Hyndman scored the other goal for the Bit O’Red.

Both Doherty and Howe will be eager to stay at the top of the charts, but they will also be focused on helping Steve Feeney’s side make it to the last four of the competition.

However, the Dublin club has not lost to Sligo Rovers in six previous outings, four in 2022 and two already this season.

That type of form suggests that the Dalymount Park club will extend that run to seven by 5pm on Saturday evening.

The Dublin women enjoyed a 1-0 victory at Dalymount in May with Lisa Murphy hitting the target while at the other end Emma Doherty had a decent chance to equalise, but Rachael Kelly saved for the hosts.

Significantly, both Sarah Rowe and Erica Burke featured in that Bohemian FC victory, but will be absent this weekend.

The sides met in the Avenir Sports Cup at the Showgrounds in June and the Dublin women won that by 3-1, but it was a bizarre type of contest with a brace of first-half own goals and a penalty claim in each half waved away.

Sligo Rovers had to wait until Casey Howe converted a 92nd minute spot-kick for a consolation goal.

Both teams also lost last weekend, but the real surprise was the 5-0 victory that Athlone Town recorded against the Dublin women in what was the team’s heaviest defeat this season.

Perhaps an indication that the absence of Burke and Rowe is a major setback.

Sligo Rovers also lost last weekend when they conceded four goals without reply at Tallaght Stadium.

That was mainly a defensive performance from Sligo Rovers with very few chances created, although the Bit O’Red fashioned a couple of openings and failed to finish.

That has been an ongoing challenge for Sligo Rovers this season with a return of 11 goals in the Women’s Premier Division, a tally they matched in the FAI Cup against Bonagee Utd.

One player who will have an extra incentive to make sure the Bit O’Red progress to the last four is Emma Hansberry, twice capped for the Republic of Ireland at senior level.

Emma has also played in four FAI Cup finals and would be more than happy if she can help get the Bit O’Red across the line on Saturday at Dalymount Park.

“We’ve always had good battles with Bohs, we know that if we show up on the day and play the way we can, we can be a match for anyone,” she commented in an interview with Tony Magner that will be included in the special FAI Cup quarter-final match programme for Saturday’s game.

The game will be live on LOITV, kick-off at 3pm.

The teams will meet again in the Women’s Premier Division at the Showgrounds on Saturday, 30th September.