Plenty of graft but little return for Clery’s squad on home turf

Galway WFC's Tessa Mullins and UCD Waves' Dearbhaile Byrne in a tussle for possession during Saturday's National League tie at Eamonn Deacy Park. PHOTO: EIREFOTO.
Galway WFC's Tessa Mullins and UCD Waves' Dearbhaile Byrne in a tussle for possession during Saturday's National League tie at Eamonn Deacy Park. PHOTO: EIREFOTO.

Galway WFC kicked off their new season with a solid showing in their first outing at Eamonn Deacy Park, but the final output was lacking as they too went down by a single goal margin on an occasion when they could have got some reward.

Elsewhere on a weekend that was decimated by postponements, there was no joy for the Galway girls U18 side as they lost to Cork in the Inter League semi final on Sunday.

However, there was better news for Galway United U17 side as an impressive second half performance saw them pull away from the Kerry League in the seasonal opener at Fahy’s Field on Saturday. Unfortunately, the U19 team saw no action as their away contest against Limerick was called off.

Galway WFC 0

UCD 1

An early strike by Aine O’Gorman settled this Women’s National League contest at Eamonn Deacy Park on Saturday night, as new manager Billy Clery was left with nothing to show for a hard evening’s toil.

Now to the credit of the team they played some fluent football, but it was mainly sideways and backwards as they seldom offered a real threat to Brooke Dunne’s goal and their opportunities in the final third of the park were few and far between.

In contrast, it took two superb second half saves by Tina Hughes to keep the contest alive as the visitors showed why so many of their selection have enjoyed International experience. The likes of Karen Duggan, Claire Walsh, Julie Ann Russell and O’Gorman have a quality about them that in time may well be acquired by some of the young Galway girls.

A talking point afterwards were the amount of Galway players absent through injury as the likes of Ciara Cormican, Sinead Taylor and Shauna Jackson look to be weeks away from getting on the park.

An early injury to Jenny Byrne on Saturday did not help the home cause either, although substitute Alina Cheatham slotted in seamlessly to central defence on her departure. Grainne Barrett was another making a return to action in Terryland and, as ever, gave a committed positive performance in midfield

It was the Dublin side who were fastest out on the blocks on kick-off and they got the perfect reward when Aine O’Gorman applied the finish to a Dearbhaile Beirne delivery for a 1-0 advantage on just eight minutes.

Having been overpowered in the opening exchanges, the home side gradually played their way into the game as Meadbh De Burca, Tessa Mullins and Barrett got them some forward momentum. However, opportunities were hard to come by and despite the excellence of Aislinn Meaney, she was generally outnumbered by a resolute UCD back four.

For more, read this week’s Galway City Tribune.