United Women continue to set the pace with emphatic win

Galway United Women announced their return to league action with an emphatic 3-0 win over Cork City in Eamonn Deacy Park on Saturday.

Phil Trill’s side adjusted seamlessly to life without Gemma McGuinness, with Jenna Slattery providing the class from midfield.

In a week the squad was bolstered by the arrival of Galway international Julie-Ann Russell and exciting young prospect Orlaith Deasy from Wexford Youths, established members of the squad took the opportunity provided by McGuinness’s departure and Kate Thompson’s unavailability.

Jodie Griffin and Rola Olusola contributed from the beginning and will be pleased with their efforts. Perhaps none will be more pleased than Annie Gough and Eleanor Hernon, both young players making their debuts late in the game.

Despite these positives, the day belonged to Slattery. Her first goal showed off her entire skillset. She drove forward in her own half despite the presence of three Cork players. On the run she pinged a beautiful 40-yard pass directly into the path of Olusola.

The pacy forward settled in possession and lifted her head to find Slattery who had used her athleticism to make up the 50 yards. She did not even break stride and managed to find the side of the net with a sumptuous strike from 15 yards out.

Cork did make a contest of it and grew as the tie progressed, but United carried a threat with their passing in midfield and pace in attack that could always stretch the hosts.

Such was their class that when Lynsey McKey doubled the lead in the 52nd minute, it felt like enough. It certainly was three minutes later when Slattery added her second - the three-goal cushion giving United a chance to empty their bench and hand out two competitive debuts.

Despite the positivity, there was some flatness created by the miserable attendance - this first game after winning the Avenir Sports All-Island Cup, and the Galway sporting public failed to turn out to salute them.

The problem appears to have been acknowledged by the club’s administrators who have announced the next home game against DLR Waves will be free to attend on September 9. With so much positivity and visibility around the women’s game, it is a great time to show support.


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