Fancied Ferns seal the deal with five-star display against Wexford Bohs
Ferns United 5 Wexford Bohs 0
FERNS UNITED added another trinket to their trophy cabinet when they took home the KarePlus women’s shield with a 5-0 final victory over underdogs Wexford Bohs in Sunday’s one-sided clash played at a sunny Bunclody AFC.
The Premier League mainstays enjoyed a dream start when Liz Evered cut in along the left edge of the box, and her perfect cross was slid home with glee by inrushing midfielder Nicola Davitt with scarcely 90 seconds having elapsed on the stopwatch.
Left winger Amy Wilson, better known for her Gaelic football exploits with the Wexford ladies over the last few years, displayed nice trickery by feigning past her immediate marker and teeing it up for Rachel Collier to fire over a few moments later.
But Ferns soon doubled their lead as the latter’s cross from the right side found Leona Breen, and the star striker took one touch to compose herself before sweeping home.
Their third goal arrived on eight minutes and it was all about the quick-thinking of Wilson, who ran onto a dinked pass over the top to force a fine save from Lorraine Sludds, but then stooped low to head home the rebound from a tricky angle.
At this stage, a double-figure scoreline looked feasible, and it seems the only thing that knocked Ferns out of their confident stride was a horror injury sustained by Wexford Bohs’ Megan Doyle.
The midfielder writhed in agony on the turf after damaging her lower leg contesting a 50-50 ball, and while she was thankfully able to be removed from the field without the need of a stretcher, the 17-minute injury delay understandably resulted in a complete drop of tempo when play recommenced.
In fact, the next significant action of note saw the Wexford town side piece together an excellent move as Mary Kaylan-Goddall fired just wide from Gráinne Ní hAilín’s knock-down.
And she also came close after embarking on an enterprising run, only to be foiled by Gráinne McCabe.
Meanwhile, Ferns struck for their fourth in the last action before half-time when an out-stretched Breen connected onto a floater towards the back post and Evered was on hand to guide the ball home.
Given the circumstances, Bohs should be happy with their collective workrate in the new half, as they limited their superior opponents to very few clearcut chances aside from a goal in garbage time when bodies were tiring.
Tigerish Ferns defender Aoife Curran, a serious contender for player of the match, almost headed home from Breen’s flag-kick midway through the half, while Breen half-volleyed over in the follow-up attack as Ferns otherwise fed off scraps compared to their first-half dominance.
But they clicked one last time six minutes from the end when a searching pass from Wilson saw substitute Chloe Mythen escape down the left, and she laid it on a plate for Breen to seal the deal for an experienced outfit.
And by consigning this setback to the scrap heap, Bohs can certainly take encouragement from an otherwise progressive season for the club.
Ferns United: Gráinne McCabe; Rachel Collier, Mary O’Neill, Ali Evered, Aoife Curran; Hayley Nolan (capt.), Nicola Davitt, Caroline Murphy, Amy Wilson; Liz Evered, Leona Breen. Subs. - Chloe Mythen for Murphy (63), Ella Gavin for Davitt (63).
Wexford Bohs: Lorraine Sludds; Hayley Sludds, Aoife Tormey, Shirley Roche (capt.), Ciara Roche; Kate Murphy, Megan Doyle, Cara McDonald, Gráinne Ní hAilín; Mary Kaylan-Goodall, Leanne O’Reilly. Subs. - Lauren Roche for Doyle, inj. (29), Emma Darcy for McDonald (85), Rebecca Ennis for Kaylan-Goodall (85), Zoe Thomas for Ní hAilín (85), Rachel Flood-O’Keeffe for O’Reilly.
Referee: Martin Armstrong.