Stephanie Roche stars as Peamount hit six to win cup

Superb second-half performance powers Peamount to league and cup double
Stephanie Roche stars as Peamount hit six to win cup

Peamount’s Stephanie Roche celebrates scoring her second goal with teammates

WFAI Cup Final: Peamount United 6 Cork City 0 

Peamount United completed the double by blitzing Cork City with six second-half goals in today’s FAI Women’s Cup final at Tallaght Stadium.

Following an evenly contested first half of few chances, Stephanie Roche grabbed an early brace before Áine O’Gorman added a third.

Three goals in the last nine minutes from Karen Duggan and substitutes Becky Watkins and Tiegen Ruddy made the final scoreline harsh on City.

After finishing 14 points off Peamount, the young Rebels went into the final as underdogs against a side chasing their first Cup in a decade and began brightly.

Éabha O'Mahony more than made her presence felt in the midfield battle against Duggan but star striker Saoirse Noonan was isolated wide on the left, closely watched and marshalled by Lauren O’Callaghan.

With Peas visibly nervous in the opening exchanges, City needed to pounce, yet they’ll rue squandering opportunities like a 16th minute free-kick which O'Mahony overhit.

That failed to test Niamh Reid-Burke in the United goal and she was relatively untroubled thereafter as the champions gradually began to boss the key battles.

O’Gorman was first to threaten, floating a 25th shot just over from 18 yard before Eleanor Ryan-Doyle nodded marginally wide at the back post from Allanah McEvoy’s deep corner. The same player then miscued her volley 10 yards out.

After holding out till the break, City were breached within 60 seconds of the restart.

Roche showed all her experienced by staying onside to latch onto Lucy McCartan’s slide-rule pass. Peamount’s sople striker still had work to do in finding the far corner but her low drive carried sufficient power to angle in despite Maria McCarthy’s getting a hand on the effort.

City had it all to do after conceding again six minutes later. Zara Foley looked to have cut out O’Gorman’s right-wing cross but McEvoy teed the ball up for Roche to slot the ball home from eight yards.

Rónán Collins’ side, who won the Cup three years ago, conjured their first real chance on 58 minutes, with substitute Katie McCarthy setting up Christina Dring for a shot which she couldn’t keep on target.

On 76 minutes, the lively O’Gorman made it 3-0 by springing the offside trap to latch onto Roche's fine pass and finishing with a low drive from an acute angle.

Peamount showed no mercy in the final 10 minutes by tacking on three more. Former Ireland international Duggan always posed a threat from set-pieces and she steered a header beyond O’Sullivan from Megan Smyth-Lynch’s corner with nine minutes left.

It went from bad to worse for Cork’s youthful cubs three minutes later when O’Sullivan’s parry from Smyth-Lynch’s sidefooted volley fell perfectly for substitute Becky Watkins to convert. Teenager Watkins, within a minute, squared for fellow sub Tiegen Ruddy to curl a right-footer into the top corner.

CORK CITY: M O’Sullivan; Z Foley, C McNamara (L Walsh 82), D Burke, N O’Brien (S McCarthy 82); B Cassin, E O’Mahony; S Liston (N Seward 82), C Dring (L Shine 71), S Noonan; L Egbuloniu (K McCarthy 57).

PEAMOUNT UTD: N Reid-Burke; L O’Callaghan, N Farrelly (D Doherty 84), C Walsh, D Beirne (S Doyle 79); L McCarton, K Duggan; Á O’Gorman, E Ryan-Doyle (B Watkins 79), A McEvoy (M Smyth-Lynch 69); S Roche (T Ruddy 84).

Referee: Claire Purcell (Waterford).

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