Whitehall claims Womens Intermediate Shield


Whitehall claims Womens Intermediate Shield

Whitehall Rangers picked up the FAI Women’s Intermediate Shield with a dominant display over Manulla FC at Gainstown at the home of Mullingar Athletic with a 5-0 triumph.
8th Sep 2019

Three first-half goals set the tone for the game in which Whitehall never truly looked like they were going to lose. 

Despite the scoreline, it was actually Manulla who applied early pressure from the kick off with Captain Aoife Freyne pressing the Whitehall midfield back. Winger Tracey Hall showed her worth with some quality pieces of skill down the left but the end product was lacking.

Whitehall Rangers had the first opportunity on goal in the game when Captain Charlie Graham shot from distance but it didn’t trouble Manulla's Simona Fernandez in goal. However, Graham made up for it only moments later when she found herself in space inside the Manulla box and she made no mistake in drilling it home from seven yards out to put the Dublin side ahead.

Rangers began to take control of the game from thereon in and could have made it 2-0 just two minutes later when a brilliant through ball from Tara Bergin set Katrina Moore in space but she shot low and wide to right post. It didn’t get any easier for Manulla when on 16 minutes Whitehall got their second. A fantastic effort from just outside the box saw Helen Cooney curl one into the left corner to put Rangers firmly in the driving seat with still half an hour until half-time.

Manulla had the chance to pull one back after 20 minutes when she was played through on goal but Whitehall defender Aedin Hayes recovered well to get the block in and clear.

Whitehall made it three on 30 minutes when Katrina Moore scored a truly spectacular effort from 30 yards out, lobbing Fernandez in the Manulla goal to place one hand on the cup for the Dubliners. They should have had a fourth when Rangers appeared to have lobbed Fernandez again and the ball bounced back out but neither the lineswoman or the ref waved for a goal and play continued.

The second half saw Whitehall continue their pressure straight from the kick off and Charlie Graham again got in for her side after some hesitation in the Manulla defence but her chip over the keeper went over the bar also.

Some heroic goalkeeping from Fernandez kept Manulla’s hopes alive when she pulled off a brilliant fingertip save to deny Rangers from a corner on 55 minutes.

Captain Fantastic Charlie Graham was writing her own script for this final however, and she made it 4-0 on the hour mark after stealing the ball from under Laura Regan's feet and poking it into the corner of the Manulla goal.

Whitheall were relentless and made it 5-0 when Leah Farrell pounced on a loose ball from a corner to slot it from close range on 73 minutes. Captain Graham tried for the hat trick for the duration of the game but it never came and she had to settle for Player of the Match.

Whitehall Rangers: Grace McAuley-Ryan; Aedin Hayes (Sinead O'Kelly), Tasha Graham (Niamh O’Doherty), Amy Henry, Tara Bergin, Katrina Moore, Leah Farrell (Jen Kett), Rachel McLaughlin (Debbie Burnett), Michelle Walls, Charlie Graham, Helen Cooney (Lisa Walsh).

Manulla FC: Simona Fernandez; Louise Dempsey, Laura Regan, Aisling Flannery, Sinead Flannery, Aoife Freyne, Stacey Freyne (Suzanne Cunnane), Tracey Hall, Niamh Flannery (Megan Costello), Tara Phillips (Aisling Rougjeen), Emma Cosgrave.