Moment of magic wins Women's FAI Cup final for Cork City
Cork City 1 UCD Waves 0
Irish international Clare Shine provided an exquisite first-half winner to earn Cork City their first-ever Women’s FAI Cup triumph at Lansdowne Road on Sunday afternoon.
The Cork-born striker scalped pre-match favourites UCD Waves by latching onto Katie McCarthy’s through ball on 34 minutes before rounding goalkeeper Brooke Dunne and firing in with her weaker left foot from an acute angle.
The Students, back in the final after a three year absence and chasing their first success since 2004, could have few complaints as they failed to spark on the big occasion.
During a second half in which Cork defended robustly, UCD’s best chance of equalising came from a misjudgement by goalkeeper Amanda Budden on 67 minutes. When she came under pressure when casually dribbling the ball outside of the penalty, her attempted clearance fell straight to the feet of Catherine Cronin.
The winger opted to shoot straight away but her effort from 35 yards sailed two yards wide with the goal gaping.
Indeed, Cork might have extended their winning margin only for Dunne using her feet to deny Danielle Sheehy who cut in from the right and tried her luck with a low shot.
UCD had struggled to contain Shine from the early stages and the former Glasgow City forward, who lifted the trophy in 2013 while playing for Raheny United, provided the most lethal threat.
After failing to connect with a header on 23 minutes, Shine conjured another good opening five minutes later. Saoirse Ronan pass released the striker clear on goal but she opted for power rather than accuracy and the shot drifted over the crossbar.
Budden at the other end was relatively unworked in the opening half. UCD’s territorial dominance gained very little traction in the final third, leaving the Dubliners working off set-pieces in their hunt for a goal.
With them mounting a comeback after the break, their nearest chances arrived from free-kicks. In the last minute, Chloe Mustaki’s effort was caught by Budden who seemed to have carried the ball over the line. UCD couldn’t rely on goal-line technology but Cork were deserving of their maiden crown.
CORK CITY WFC: A Budden; D Burke, C McNamara M Duncliffe, N O’Toole; K O’Donovan (C Dring 64), K McCarthy; S Ronan (L Kelly 83), M Bourque, D Sheehy; C Shine.
UCD WAVES: B Dunne; A Dunbar (S Gaynor 90), C Walsh, E Cahill, R Carroll; C Mustaki, K Duggan; C Cronin, D Beirne (T O’Gorman 83), A Dunbar; K Letmon (N Chemaou 64).
Referee: P Brady (Dublin).