Republic of Ireland v Finland

Republic of Ireland v Georgia

By Georgia! Irish women set scoring record

It was a night to remember for Ireland in Tallaght Stadium as they put on an exquisite showcase of football to put a record 11 goals beyond a disheveled Georgia in the fourth of their 2023 World Cup Qualifiers.

As a result of last week’s draw with Slovakia, this fixture was described as “a must-win” by manager Vera Pauw before kick-off. Scoring as many goals in this match as the entire year of 2021 that preceded kick off, there was no doubt as to the outcome early on.

With a bumper attendance of 3523 at the Shamrock Rover’s ground, the highlights ranged from a Denise O’Sullivan hattrick, a brace from captain Katie McCabe and first Ireland scores for Kyra Carusa and Saoirse Noonan.

The Girls in Green’s intentions were set right from the off when a Katie McCabe strike took a touch off the visitor’s Maiko Bebia and finished in the back of the net.

Carusa doubled the lead when a McCabe corner delivery found Louise Quinn’s head and was converted by the San Diego native’s first Ireland goal on her fourth appearance.

Lucy Quinn then got in on the action when she curled a phenomenal drilled cross in thanks to yet another McCabe assist, before things went from bad to worse for Georgia as O’Sullivan bagged her first and the home group’s fourth on the brink of halftime.

Going on to add a further two to her name in the 58th and 61st minute, her outstanding display was almost outdone by McCabe just a few moments later. Depositing a brace of her own into the back of the net thanks to a penalty won by Niamh Fahey and her own individual excellence in the 72nd minute, there was no stopping the Arsenal star.

Substitutes Saoirse Noonan and Amber Barrett then racked up another strike each, before Megan Connolly concluded the evening with an 11th score for Ireland in injury time.

An unprecedented achievement for the Ireland women’s side, it bodes well for next year’s fixtures and their hopes of qualification for a first major tournament.

Republic of Ireland v Slovakia

McCabe grabs draw for Ireland

The Republic of Ireland Women's team came from behind to draw 1-1 with Slovakia at Tallaght Stadium tonight.

Katie McCabe’s equaliser midway through the second half was enough to secure a share of the points for Vera Pauw’s side

It was a slow start from both sides early on during a relatively quiet first period but it was Ireland who had the better of the chances.

 Wing backs Áine O’Gorman and Katie McCabe looked dangerous from the start and it was O’ Gorman’s cross which produced Ireland’s first real chance on the half hour mark. Her ball found the head of Lucy Quinn but her header was saved by Korenklova.

Slovakia’s best chance fell to captain Dominika Skorvankova who found space inside the Irish box. Thankfully for the Girls in Green, Brosnan saved well to keep the scores level.

The hosts came close again when Katie McCabe’s corner found Louise Quinn at the back post but her header was saved by Korenklova.

The sides went in scoreless at the break.

Slovakia got off to a perfect start in the second half when Metavkova broke down the right wing before crossing the ball into Surnovska at the back post who finished from close range to give the  visitors the advantage.

Ireland almost equalised when Megan Connolly’s first time strike looked destined for the bottom corner but Korenklova saved magnificently to deny the Irish midfielder.

Ireland did find an equaliser with just over 25 minutes remaining. Denise O’Sullivan played the ball into the path of Katie McCabe who fired home first time into the bottom corner sending the Irish faithful crazy.

Slovakia grew back into the game and Boroova almost put Peter Kopun’s side back in front with an effort at the back post which was saved well by Brosnan.

Brosnan almost went from here to villain moments later when Surnovska nicked the ball off the Irish keeper inside her own area, but thankfully for Brosnan and Ireland, Louise Quinn made a fantastic block off the line to keep the scores level.

The game ended 1-1 with Ireland now sitting in fourth place ahead of their upcoming game against bottom seed, Georgia.

Shelbourne v Wexford Youths

Wexford Youths win Women’s FAI Cup

Wexford Youths are the 2021 Women’s FAI Cup Champions, after a fantastic second half performance saw them beat recent WNL winners Shelbourne.

Goals from Lynn Marie Grant, Kylie Murphy and Edel Kennedy sent Youths to victory, in front of a record crowd at Tallaght Stadium.

It was a slow enough start to the affair but both sides were well up for the physical battles.

Shels’ Saoirse Noonan came the closest inside the first quarter of an hour but Keev Gray was equal to her effort.

Youths did take the lead on the half hour mark when Lynn Marie Grant’s looping effort found the back of the net to give the Wexford side the lead. Shels did reply and Jessica Ziu was dangerous every time she picked the ball up inside the Youths half.

Ziu cut in from the left-hand side and fired an emphatic effort off the right post before Ciara Grant fired finished from close range to equalise for Noel King’s side. The scores went in level at a goal apiece.

Youths went out firing at the start of the second half. Ellen Molloy’s inch perfect pass split the Shelbourne defence straight into the path of Murphy. The Wexford Youths skipper finished first time into the bottom corner.

Noel King’s side almost hit back just after. Gargan’s cross found Noonan inside the danger area, but the Shelbourne attacker couldn’t direct her effort on target.

Shels almost equalised for the second time when the ever-lively Noonan broke through into the Youth’s penalty area but Orlaith Conlon made a terrific, goal saving challenge.

With just under 15 minutes to go, Kennedy scored a screamer after flicking the ball up and hitting it on the half volley from just outside the box to secure it for Wexford.

Youths almost scored their fourth goal of the game in the closing stages when Ciara Rossiter's effort skimmed the Shelbourne crossbar.

Stephen Quinn’s side will bring the FAI Cup back to the South East for the third time in five years. The victory caps off an excellent first season in charge for the Wexford boss.

Shamrock Rovers v Drogheda United

Title winning Rovers finish league in Style

Second half goals by Graham Burke helped give Shamrock Rovers all three points, as he struck just right at the death to snatch a win, as they overcame Drogheda 2-1.

The champions are celebrating after their success tonight, but were made hard to work by the Drogs, a penalty by Mark Doyle had them ahead just before half time, but Burke came up again for his side to not spoil their title party.

A worthy title win in truth for the Hoops, they showed true grit as they battled from 1-0 down to take all three points.

The game brings the curtain down on the career of Joey O’Brien as the veteran defenders retires for pastures new, while Jack Byrne returns having been introduced to the fans before kick off, a boost ahead of the 2022 season.

The opening half provided very little in the way of action, it took until the 38th minute for the first major chance, Burke firing a great shot on goal but David Odumosu saved well to deny him. Just seconds later the visitors had a chance at the other end, Mark Doyle cutting in the by-line with his effort on goal beating Alan Mannus but going wide.

Just before the break the Claret and Blue Army looked to spoil the party, as Sean Hoare was penalised for a foul inside the area, as the referee pointed to the spot, contact looked minimal but the Rovers defender still saw yellow. Doyle stepped up to send Mannus the wrong way to see them 1-0 ahead at the break.

Just four minutes after the restart, Burke finished a fantastic attacking play to race in behind the Drogheda defence, and finished well past the onrushing Odumosu to tie the contest.

Rovers could have added to the lead after the hour mark, Joe Redmond with an amazing goal bound clearance to deny Danny Mandroiu, as it looked like a certain goal, the prolific forward lethal in the area.

It looked like the points would be shared by the clubs, but in the end Burke popped up to seal the win, a training ground routine from a corner allowed Burke to rise high, and finish with a powerful header into the back of the net.

Republic of Ireland v Italy

21’s lose to Italy in Tallaght

The Republic of Ireland U21’s suffered their second loss in Group F tonight, losing 2-0 to Italy in Tallaght.

Although Jim Crawford’s outfit had good passages in play, that little bit of difference in quality between the two sides was the difference, with Lorenzo Lucca grabbing a vital goal on the half hour mark.

Italy kept pressing, and found a second late on, with Matteo Cancellieri putting the issue beyond doubt.

Ireland started well and had a promising opening ten minutes. Tyreik Wright had a shot nearly go in, but Italian goalkeeper Marco Carnesecchi was alert and tipped it over.

The visitors would soon settle. Emanuel Vignato and Samuele Ricci both had decent chances flash just wide.

The breakthrough came on the half hour mark. An Italian ball from the right was poorly dealt with by Jake O’Brien as he attempted to head clear a ball he should’ve used his feet to clear. He appeared to lose his footing and as the ball hit off him Lucca was on the spot to punish the error, finishing first time to give the Azzuri the lead.

Soon after, Vignato had another effort go just wide. Ricci continued to dominate the midfield and had another good chance to score. It remained one at the half however.

A minute into the second half, Italy nearly had a screamer. The ball sat up to Andrea Cambiaso outside the box who caught it on the volley first time. His effort just went off target, but if it had been on target there would’ve been nothing Brian Maher could’ve done.

Crawford would bring on JJ Kayode and Festy Ebosele to try bring some fresh legs to the side and a few minutes later also introduced Dawson Devoy and Ross Tierney. Late on in the game, it looked like two of the subs would combine to earn Ireland a point.

In the 88th minute, Tierney was played through by Ebosele, but Caleb Okoli intervened and nullified the chance. As good as a goal from the Atalanta man.

As the boys in green pushed for an equaliser, the Azzuri would finish it on the counter. A free from a Salvatore Esposito foul resulted in a brief spell Italy being camped deep, but the visitors eventually nicked the ball back.

One pass after regaining possession and all of a sudden late substitute Cancellieri was through on goal. He kept his head and made no mistake, eventually firing past Maher to seal it. The defeat leaves Ireland in a serious uphill battle for qualification.

Shamrock Rovers v Finn Harps

Shamrock Rovers crowned champs after win over Harps

Shamrock Rovers are the 2021 SSE Airtricity League Champions, after a 3-0 win over Finn Harps in tonight’s meeting at Tallaght Stadium.

It was a perfect night for the Hoops, as the game went according to script for them to record their 19th title. Daniel Mandroiu scored a brace in the opening half, while Aidomo Emakhu added the third late on, with an exception solo effort.

The result further increases the threat of relegation for Harps, but with Waterford also failing to take points tonight, they will aim to bounce back next week.

It didn't take long for Rovers to break the deadlock as Mandroiu struck a shot past Mark McGinley, to get his 11th goal of the season; after just three minutes.

Following their early opener, the Tallaght outfit dominated the ball, continuing to break down the Harps defence in search of a second goal. 

Just minutes later Dylan Watts played an exceptional ball into the area, with Mandroiu on hand to see his diving header, fly past McGinley for their second in the 23rd minute.

McGinley was the busier of the two goalkeepers all night, the Donegal stopper needed to be at his best, to palm away efforts by Neil Farrugia and Rory Gaffney.

The visitors did not trouble The Hoops for the entire opening half, McGinley deserving the playoffs for keeping his side just two behind going into the break.

Into the second half Rovers were seeking a third goal, Watts and Madroiu testing McGinley again, the veteran goalkeeper keeping the game at 2-0, as we passed the hour mark.

Both teams emptied the bench, as Harps remained passive in front of the target, while the Dubliners were doing their best to put the result beyond doubt.

It was the late change of Aidomo Emakhu that sealed all three points, the young forward finished off a perfect night in Tallaght, as he danced past the onrushing McGinley, and finished to an empty net.

For the full 90 minutes there was an electric atmosphere, and as the referee blew the full time whistle, the flares, smoke and supporters all made their way onto the pitch, to celebrate back to back titles for Shamrock Rovers.

Ireland v Sweden

Own goal costs Ireland against Swedes

Louise Quinn’s own goal in the first half was what ultimately separated the sides, as battling Ireland earned a respectable 1-0 against the world’s third best team Sweden; tonight in Tallaght Stadium.

The away team’s talent evident from the get-go, a very defensive opening underpinned Vera Pauw’s outfit’s positioning, with a long ball option often resorted too while attacking.

The lone goal came five minutes before half-time, as a Stina Blackstenius cross took a deflection off centre back Quinn and passed Courtney Brosnan; who otherwise put on a superb showcase.

Coming into the game the Swedes were red hot favourites but nonetheless the Girls in Green were determined to defy the odds to put up a fight.

Under siege by the Blackstenius, Lina Hurtig and Fridolina Rolfo the defensive third of the Irish cohort saw a lot of action. Quinn, Savannah McCarthy and Niamh Fahey stretched wide so as they could be surpassed and later exploited.

'Sky Ireland Player of the Match' Brosnan had a massive part to play tonight too, coming to the hosts rescue on numerous occasions, as she held steadfast between the posts.

The country’s forward strives characterised by Heather Payne’s pace in chasing down the ball and captain Katie McCabe’s set pieces which were somewhat lacking in this fixture, the scoreboard read 1-0 at the interval.

Changes aplenty occurred after the break, with action in abundance too, with three yellow cards within the first eight minutes of the second half, one of which was awarded to ex-Shelbourne star and current Birmingham City player Jamie Finn.

The 'Yellow squad' went on to continue their dominance for most of the remainder, but the last 10 minutes signalled a ramp up in momentum for the Irish to bag an equaliser.

Time was their biggest enemy by that point though as the breakthrough never surfaced, ensuring things were wrapped up as they were at the break, 1-0 in Sweden’s favour.

Ireland will now look to their next outing versus Finland for a more fruitful take home, but can be proud of their performance this evening to hold a tight deficit although will be left yearning for more.

Shamrock Rovers v Bohemians

Stalemate in Dublin Derby

A Stephen McGuinness error gifted 10-man Shamrock Rovers a point in the Dublin Derby, as the Hoops drew 1-1 with Bohemians at Tallaght Stadium.

After a cagey opening, a fast Bohs break led to an open goal for Liam Burt, who slotted home to open the scoring.

Promise Omochere then raced through on goal looking to make it two, but Pico Lopes pulled him down and saw red for his trouble.

With the crowd behind them in the second-half, the Hoops tried to drag themselves back into the game.

Their luck turned as a tame Towell strike looped through the hands of McGuinness to nestle in the bottom corner.

Bohemians started the better of the two teams, passing the ball crisply and dominating possession, while the hosts struggled to gain a foothold.

Chances were few and far between, and it was the Gypsies who upped their game, crafting a couple of quality chances. Burt’s sizzling snapshot just missing the post, and Dawson Devoy’s curling effort palmed away by Alan Mannus.

The Hoops were floundering, and so the visitors took their opportunity. A delightful flowing move starting with Ali Coote on the right, moving to Omochere, and then Keith Ward, was finished with ease by Burt.

With the play continuing to favour Keith Longs men, Pico Lopes grabbed a handful of Omochere’s shirt while the forward moved towards the Rovers box. Referee Neil Doyle took his time, reached for the red card and sent the centre-half traipsing down the tunnel.

With it all to do in the second half, Rovers tried to up the tempo and get the home support roaring. They succeeded, with a Barry Cotter run and off-target shot prompting a swell in the noise level.

Bradley’s men seized upon this, and Richie Towell lined up a shot from a fair way out. The strike was straight at McGuinness, but the replacement ‘keeper let the ball through his hands and up over his shoulder into the net.

Cue an eruption of sound in Tallaght, and the Hoops had an unlikely lifeline.

The rivals traded chances into the last moments, when substitute Aidomo Emakhu found himself free as a bird, haring towards goal after a mistake from Rob Cornwall. It was McGuinness who would redeem himself, as the ‘keeper made himself big to prevent a winner.

Stephen Bradley’s men worked some magic again to grab a point in the derby. For Keith Long and Bohs it’s another disappointing result from a dominant position.

Shamrock Rovers v Sligo Rovers

Tallaght men win Rovers battle

First half goals from Danny Mandriou and former Sligo player Aaron Greene were enough to give Shamrock Rovers the victory over Sligo Rovers at Tallaght Stadium.

The win extends their lead at the top of the table over St Pats to 12 points with six games to play.

Hoops began on the front foot putting pressure on the Sligo defence in the early moments of the first half and they didn’t leave their support waiting long when Mandriou picked David Cawleys pocket on the edge of the area and slotting the ball through Ed McGintys legs for the opener. 

The South Dublin side were not content with the narrowest of margins and went in search of a second only for the heroics of McGinty, denying Ronan Finn and Dylan Watts, as well as seeing a Lee Grace effort bounce of the woodwork. 

An effort from distance courtesy of Cawley was Sligo only real chance before Greene doubled the home sides lead.  

A poor headed clearance from Garry Buckley fell to goal scorer Mandriou who slotted in Greene, the former Sligo man with a clever dink beating the young Scot McGinty as he attempted to close down the striker.  

A poor mistake from Alan Mannus almost gave the Bit O’Red a glimmer of hope as the ball fell to Lewis Banks in the six-yard box, Finn clearing the danger. 

The introduction of Johnny Kenny at the break for the north west side gave fresh impetus to their attack as they played with more intensity in the second half. The home side however, were just too good and thwarted all and any attempt from the attack lead by the teenager. 

Despite conceding two in the first half, Ed McGinty was sensational in goal for the Sligo side as he denied Mandriou, Finn and Rory Gaffney. Sligo were also aided by the woodwork as many as four times in the game while Mannus was rarely troubled at the other end. 

Both sides are back in action on Monday night with local rivals as Shamrock Rovers host Bohemians in the Dublin derby while the Bit O’Red will hope to get their first win in five as they travel to strugglers Finn Harps in the North West Derby.