Slattery’s spot kick is enough to fend off Treaty Utd

Galway United 1

Treaty United 0

Joseph Murray at Eamonn Deacy Park

GALWAY United’s hopes of retaining the All-Island Cup remain intact as they edged past Treaty United in a lively quarter-final encounter at Eamonn Deacy Park on Saturday evening.

Successive league defeats threatened to derail the momentum that Phil Trill’s side had built up since the start of the season, but United held their nerve and never looked back after Jenna Slattery’s perfectly-struck penalty edged them in front after 54 minutes.

The Tribeswomen were out of action last week to allow for a new surface in Terryland but showed no signs of rustiness as they flew out of the traps in the early stages. Amanda Smith and Julie-Ann Russell both had chances to score from well-worked moves inside the box. The latter’s effort, a spectacular volley that floated just wide of the upright, was the pick of United’s first-half chances.

Treaty, however, were in no mood to roll over. The Limerick-based side possesses plenty of firepower and peppered the United goal with shots from distance, with American midfielder Isabella Flocchini posing a particular threat from long-range.

As the half progressed, Galway grew in confidence and looked the likelier side to find the game’s opener. However, Aislinn Meaney’s withdrawal through injury on 36 minutes forced Trill into a reshuffle. The unexpected change initially sapped some of United’s fluidity and allowed Treaty to grow back into proceedings.

The momentum shift almost caught the hosts. Treaty’s Stefanie Young found herself with just the keeper to beat after a rapid counter-attack sent her through just before half-time. Yet, somehow, she was denied by Aoibheann Costello, who had made a lung-busting run from the opposite end of the pitch to make the vital block.

Costello’s intervention proved to be as valuable as a goal for United. The hosts made a fast start to the second half and regained control over proceedings. The pressure finally paid off as Russell was upended in the area following a well-worked throw-in routine. Slattery, captaining the side on the day, never shirks the big occasion and made no mistake with her powerful finish from the spot.

Pictured: Galway United’s Aoibheann Costello gets to the ball ahead of Treaty United’s Leah Martin during Saturday’s All-Island Cup quarter-final at Eamonn Deacy Park.

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