St. Francis retain FAI Umbro Women’s FAI Senior Cup title

St. Francis retain FAI Umbro Women’s FAI Senior Cup title

St. Francis retain FAI Umbro Women’s FAI Senior Cup title - match report  
25th Jul 2009
FAI Umbro Women’s FAI Senior Cup final
Sharon Cullen 63
Saturday 25th July 2009Richmond Park, Dublin - Attendance: 1,000

St. Francis retain FAI Umbro Women’s FAI Senior Cup title

Sharon Cullen’s second-half winner against St. Catherine’s in the final ensured St. Francis retained their FAI Umbro Women’s senior Cup at Richmond Park.

Catherine’s knew they would have to contain the strike-force of Sharon Cullen and last year’s final match-winner Mary Waldron to have the best chance of claiming their first senior National Cup.

But they were almost unhinged just five minutes in as Cullen was left unmarked inside the area but her header lacked the power to trouble goalkeeper Charlene McKenna.

Tom Shannon’s side soon showed their own attacking threat and had winger Ealish Murray spotted Hannah Tyrrell in plenty of space inside the area on 13 minutes instead of hastily firing wide, they might have been ahead.

While Murray posed lots of problems down the flank, Sandra Mulhall did likewise for Francis. It was her trickery that had the Catherine’s defence on alert and she was given lots of room to exploit during the opening half.

On 27 minutes, defender Kim Flood had to produce a last-ditch clearance to prevent Waldron from putting away the loose ball.

However, it was at the other end four minutes later that the ball did end up in the net. Murray’s corner-kick hung the air to allow Hannah Tyrrell charge into the six-yard box to head the ball into the net but Referee Hilda McDermott deemed the striker’s challenge on the ‘keeper Áine Genocky to be excessive and awarded a free out.

Francis captain Karina Kelly’s shot from the edge of the area was wayward just past the half hour as the contest became more open.

In the dying seconds of the first half, Catherine’s carved out their best chance when Peral Slattery broke into the area only to have her toe-poked shot saved by the legs of Genocky.

The holders stepped it up in the notch after the break with their front duo providing more of a threat. Mary Waldron looked poised to give them the lead on the hour as she ran clear unchallenged but McKenna got the slightest of touches on the striker’s shot to divert it wide.

St. Francis did get in front after 63 minutes through a flowing move. Sandra Mulhall worked the opening by crossing from the left and Waldron’s cut-back from the far post was slotted home by Sharon Cullen from six yards.

Waldron thought she had doubled the advantage ten minutes later when her curled shot from 20 yards evaded the ‘keeper but the effort struck the underside of the crossbar and bounced back into play.

The closest St. Catherine’s came to finding an equaliser arrived 15 minutes from time as Kim Flood was given time at the back post to shoot - yet her shot was turned over by Genocky.

ST. CATHERINE’S: Charlene McKenna; Kim Flood, Amy McLoughlin, Susan Heapes (Niki Sheridan 88), Diane O’Hora; Wendy McGrath (Dionne Lyons 46), Caroline Thorpe, Mel Houghton, Eailish Murray; Hannah Tyrrell, Peral Slattery.ST. FRANCIS: Aine Genocky; Niamh Nolan (Megan Campbell 82), Louise Corrigan, Caroline McEvoy, Rebecca Dowling; Grainne Kearins (Saidhbh Collins 90), Karina Kelly, Seana Cooke, Sandra Mulhall; Mary Waldron, Sharon Cullen.
Referee: Hilda McDermott.