Raheny Utd win FAI Women’s Senior Cup for first time

Raheny United 2 Peamount United 1

Raheny United 2 Peamount United 1

Raheny United claimed the FAI Umbro Women’s Senior Cup for the first time in their history after a dramatic final against Peamount United today.

The Northsiders clinched the victory with a 90th minute winner from Noelle Murray after the most dramatic of endings to an exciting encounter at Dalymount Park.

Peamount United went ahead in the seventh minute with the game’s first attack of note. Julie-Ann Russell showed great skill on the left wing and her low cross was swept home by Sarah Lawlor.

Lawlor might have extended that lead within seconds when she burst through on goal again after a good pass by Stephanie Roche but she shot straight at Raheny keeper Emma Merrigan.

In the 19th minute Lawlor's pace got her in on goal again following a long kick-out but with just the keeper to beat the Peamount striker slipped her shot inches wide.

Peamount almost scored a fortunate second goal in the 35th minute when a left wing cross by Grace Murray beat everybody but bounced off the Raheny crossbar.

Raheny started to make headway at the opposite end of the field and two minutes later a clever lay-off by Rachel Graham set up Mary Waldron for a shot that Peamount keeper Linda Meehan did well to save.

A set-piece handed Peamount another opportunity in the 40th minute when Russell fired over a dangerous corner that Susan Byrne headed narrowly wide from eight yards out.

Two minutes before the break it was Lawlor again threatening the Raheny defence when she cut in from the left but Raheny keeper Merrigan made an excellent save.

As the game ticked into first half injury-time Raheny got the breakthrough they sought and leveled. Noelle Murray’s low strike was parried by Meehan but only as far as Rachel Graham and when the Peamount keeper blocked that shot the ball fell for Waldron to knock home.

Stung by the equalizer Peamount came out for the second half looking to regain command and Lawlor was unlucky not to find the target in the 51st minute with a header that Merrigan got down comfortably to save.

Lawlor’s pace caused havoc for Raheny again two minutes later but this time the Peamount striker fired into the side-netting with just Merrigan to beat.

Raheny thought they had taken the lead on the hour when a long range strike by Noelle Murray rattled Meehan’s crossbar. The rebound was headed back towards goal by Graham but remarkably also hit the bar and the loose ball somehow bounced awkwardly for Waldron and she couldn’t get to it.

Siobhan Killeen had a brilliant chance to make it 2-1 in the 66th minute but with just Meehan to beat her low shot somehow deflected off a defender and trickled narrowly wide of the Peamount goal.

Just when it seemed extra-time was certain, Raheny snatched the winner. A brilliant pass by Kate Flood found Rachel Graham on the right and she sent in a low cross that slipped through to Noelle Murray and she tapped into an empty net for a dramatic end.

PEAMOUNT UNITED: Meehan, McLoughlin, G Murray, Duggan, Byrne, Comerford, Russell, Quinn, Haughton, Roche, Lawlor.

RAHENY UNITED: Merrigan, Newman, Campbell, Flood, Cooke, Grant, Creagh, Graham, Waldron, N Murray, Killeen.

REFEREE: Adam Conroy.

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