FAI Continental Tyres Women’s National League Previews
Saturday, November 29: UCD Waves v Raheny United, Jackson Park (7.30pm), Referee: Wayne McDonnell
Second placed UCD Waves host third place Raheny United in a repeat of the FAI Continental Tyres Women’s Cup Final on Saturday night. It took extra time for the Pandas to topple the Waves at the Aviva Stadium earlier this month and another classic encounter is expected tomorrow evening.
“I’m really looking forward to tomorrow night,” enthused Waves boss Eileen Gleeson. “We always serve up good games.”
Gleeson was quick to dispel any notions that Raheny United go in as favourites having beaten her side in the league and cup this season.
“They were two very different games,” insisted Gleeson. “We were very good in the league tie and the scoreline didn’t reflect the game.”
“The cup final loss was a blow, everyone gets a knock after losing a cup final, but it was a mistake that decided it, so there isn’t much between us,” added Gleeson.
Orlaigh Nolan suffered a broken leg in last week’s 2-2 draw with Castlebar Celtic so Gleeson will have to do without the striker for around six weeks having just seen her side drop points for a third time this season.
“It’s not an ideal situation as Raheny have games in hand and Wexford are very good. As I’ve said before the league is a lot stronger this year and teams can take points off each other,” added Gleeson.
“The last two games have been tight between us,” declared Raheny United manager Casey McQuillan. “I don’t really think there is much between the two sides. I’ve heard some rumours about injuries in their camp, but we can’t concern ourselves with that we have to worry about our own game. They have a lot of quality, so many international players. Their consistency isn’t there yet, but that will come when you have so many good players.”
Sunday November 30: Galway WFC v Cork City Women’s FC, Eamonn Deacy Park, (2pm), Referee: Irma Mulvihill
A maiden league victory of the campaign is on the line in Eamonn Deacy Park as Galway WFC host Cork City Women’s FC. Galway have the edge in their two previous meetings this season as the first league meeting on September 28 ended in a 2-2 draw and Galway then advanced to the Continental Tyres Women’s League Cup semi-final with a 2-0 victory.
“I was very happy with the performance for most of the game against Peamount two weeks ago,” explained Galway boss Don O’Riordan. “We scored two decent goals. It was disappointing to concede two goals but there was very little to fault my players.”
“Sunday is a big game for both of us, we know from the last two games, how tough Cork are as both games where very close. City had a good result last week against Peamount, both of us are looking for a first win of the season, which could makes it a tough game.”
O’Riordan took full advantage of his side’s week off, working with the team on the training pitch and fine tuning some plays.
“We’ve had a good two weeks” said O’Riordan “I gave the players Sunday off, I just think mentally having a totally free Sunday is a good break.”
“Galway will be a difficult trip as they have a lot of dangerous and experienced” explained Cork boss Charlie Lynch. “They have players like McKey and Cunningham as well as some exciting talents like Kelleher. We were a lot more dangerous going forwards against the Peas last Sunday and we really should have had more than two goals on the day. I’m delighted with how the players are starting to perform in our new system and I know once we tighten things up a little at the back we’ll see more and more results.”
While welcoming back Fiona Considine to full fitness, Katie McCarthy is unlikely to feature due to a slight injury in the Castlebar game. Tara Murphy is suffering from concussion and Nathalie O’Brien is a long term absentee due to a broken leg. There is positive news around Chloe Ahern who is nearing full fitness. Stacey Paul and Eleanor Lucey will be unavailable for the Rebels due to work
Peamount United v Castlebar Celtic, Greenogue, (2pm), Referee: Deirdre Nolan.
In their previous meeting this season, Peamount turned around a two goal half time deficit to claim a 3 – 2 victory with Hayley Nolan grabbing a brace.
“We had a disappointing end to last Sunday’s game against Cork” admitted Pea’s boss Robbie Mulligan, after City came from two goals down to grab a point. It was circumstances on the pitch rather any specific mistake which cost us the three points, which is a bit of a comfort. I think we’re progressing all the time.
“Sunday will be a cracker of a game, Castlebar have got a bit of consistency together. They had some good results lately, but I’m confident we can deal with them. We have one or two niggles but I should have a full panel for Sunday” added Mulligan.
“I’m looking forward to a top class game” enthused Celtic manager Adrian Carberry. “Peas play good football and their pitch is top class. We had a great result last weekend, the dressing room is a lot happier” explained Carberry, his side having drawn 2-2l with UCD Waves.
“It was a really good battling performance” Carberry explained. “We lost our keeper Rachel King, but we battled hard and deserved a share of the spoils.
“I’m expecting a tough game on Sunday, Peamount are very quick on the counter attack, they lost a lot of players over the summer, but Robbie is really getting them back on track. They battled back from 2 – 0 down when we played them earlier this year, they can capitalise on half chances and once they are given a sniff!” added Carberry.
Celtic are without goal keeper Rachel King who is suspended following a red card against UCD Waves last week, Aoife Brennan will replace King between the posts. Sarah Rowe is unavailable due to other commitments and Celtic are without long term injured Amber Lynch.
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