Monaghan United 2 – 1 Limerick FC

Sunday 6th July 2008

Limerick FC Ladies bow-out of FAI Senior Cup to Monaghan United

In the basking sunshine at Pearse Stadium, saw Limerick FC captained by Deidre O’Doherty play Monaghan United in the first round of the FAI National Senior Challenge Cup.
Limerick started the game brightly with Sinead Leahy, Sinead Cusack and Sheila McAteer working well down the right and asking questions from the Monaghan defence who were just about standing up to the challenge. Limerick should have taken the lead in the eight minute when Sheila McAteer broke down the right and crossed to the feet of the inrushing Brenda Wall only for Brenda to miss time her shot. After this Monaghan got more into the game and started to press forward winning a couple of corners which were well handled by Lorna Barry in the Limerick goal. Monaghan took the lead in the fifteenth minute when they won a free kick 25m from goal and despite the Limerick wall the Monaghan No.7 Charlene Graham curled the ball round the wall and into the bottom corner of the net for a fine goal. Limerick responded to the challenge and had good efforts just off target from Jenni Lyttle and Sheila McAteer. Again Monaghan came back with the Limerick centre backs Anne-Marie Leahy and Karen Keehan being kept on their toes. Monaghan nearly extended their lead on the half hour when No.8 Michaela Newell hit a good shot just over the crossbar. Limerick finished the half brightly pressing down the left with Ellen Butler winning a corner but unfortunately the physically big and strong Monaghan defence held firm. 1-0 to Monaghan at half time.
Limerick were forced into making a substitution at half time with the unwell Rachel McGann being replaced by Kathy Whelan. The half time team talk by manager Donal Magee seemed to work well for Limerick with Deidre O’Doherty and Jennie Lyttle getting more into the game in midfield and putting more pressure on the Monaghan players. Again Limerick were unlucky when Ellen Butler beat her marker only for her effort to graze past the outside of the Monaghan post.

Limerick were piling on the pressure at this stage winning plenty of corners but the Monaghan defence were holding up to the pressure. Limerick were unlucky not to equalise when Jenni Lyttle’s corner resulted in a scramble on the Monaghan goal line but the ball was cleared out for another corner. The follow-up corner was cleared again by Monaghan but only out to Ellen Butler who rounded her marker and crossed right along the goal line. With only the slightest of touches required to knock the ball over the goal-line the ball eluded all the Limerick forwards. After fifteen minutes of the second half Monaghan extended their lead against the run of play. A rare attack was cleared by the Limerick defence but unfortunately the ball fell to the feet of Monaghan’s Charlene Graham who hit a high looping ball which dipped just under the Limerick cross bar giving the Limerick keeper no chance. 2-0 to Monaghan. The Limerick response was immediate with Limerick winning a free kick just to the right of the eighteen yard box and about thirty yards out. Jenni Lyttle took the free kick and crossed it into the Monaghan box with Ellen Butler getting the final touch to start Limerick on the comeback trail. Again Limerick pressed and even had a corner cleared off the line and despite all the pressure it began to look like it was not going to be Limerick’s day. Limerick went three at the back bringing on Lorna Hogan for Kathy Whelan and Sarah Mitchell for Sheila McAteer and despite pressing strongly they could not get the break through. Final score 2-1 to Monaghan.

The Limerick manager was disappointed for the players after the game but took many positives from the game with the effort, endeavour and commitment of the players always 100%. This is a new young team which can only learn from the experience and on the day were only just beaten by a well organised and more experienced Monaghan side. Player of the match was Sinead Leahy who had a brilliant game at right back for Limerick.
Limerick now revert back to training and hope to play a few more friendlies in order to prepare for the Munster Senior Cup later in the season.
Limerick FC1.Lorna Barry, 2. Sinead Leahy, 3. Rachel McGann, 4. Karen Keehan, 5. Ann-Marie Leahy, 6. Jenni Lyttle, 7. Sinead Cusack, 8. Deidre O’Doherty (Capt.), 9. Brenda Wall, 10. Sheila McAteer, 11. Ellen Butler.
Subs.: 12. Laura Hogan, 13. Kathy Whelan, 14. Laura O’Connor, 15. Ciara Nolan, 16. Sarah Mitchell, 17. Sinead Hickey, 20. Natalie Walsh.
Monaghan Utd.: 1. Julie Moran, 2. Mary Croarkin, 3. Sharon McAree, 4. Suzanne Gordan, 5. Pamela Treanor, 6. Nakita Cassidy, 7. Charlene Graham, 8. Michaela Newell, 9. Orla Callan, 10. Evelina Norkevicitute, 11. Natasha Graham.