By Dave Donnelly
DLR Waves manager Graham Kelly is confident his side can bounce back from their derby disappointment as they take on Bohemians in Dalymount Park on Saturday afternoon.
Kelly admitted his disappointment as his Rebecca Cooke’s spectacular last-minute strike denied his side a point in a sun-soaked derby game with Shelbourne last weekend.
The home side were good value for at least a point at the UCD Bowl and Kelly was left frustrated by a foul throw that wasn’t spotted in the build-up to the goal.
Waves had worked hard to get back into the game as new signing Jetta Berrill had cancelled out Saoirse Noonan’s strike just after the restart.
“It’s great to go to Dalymount Park, one of the oldest grounds in football in Ireland, and to play there is exceptional,” Kelly told the Dublin Gazette.
“We got to play there last year against Bohs – it’s a brilliant venue and a brilliant occasion. We have everyone back fit, so we’ll go for it and see how we get on.”
The result means that Shelbourne remain deadlocked with Peamount United at the top of the table, one point ahead of Wexford Youths, with Waves now nine points behind.
Kelly was pleased by the nature of the performance, however, and feels the players have laid the foundation for a top-four finish and a potential FAI Cup run.
“It was a top performance from our girls and we knew that we’d have to be on the top of our game to compete with a top side like Shelbourne.
“Throughout the 90 minutes, we deserved something from the game, but the decision went against us, but that’s football.
“We know the potential in this group of girls, and it’s not very often you outplay Shelbourne. We had 52% possession to their 48%, and that alone tells you the performance we put in.
“We have to make sure we continue that now, because we’ve put in a couple of performances in the last few weeks, and make sure we finish in the top four.”
Substitute Cooke, playing her last game for the Reds as she returns to continue her football scholarship in Connecticut, said she spotted potential for a long-range winner while on the bench.
“I saw a few times we tried a few long-range shots and they were getting close, and I decided when I had the space and time I just looked up and shot,” Cooke told the Dublin Gazette
“It was a brilliant game with both teams going back and forth, but with the sun it was very tough, so to be able to come and contribute with the goal to keep top of the league is brilliant.”
Shels remain level on points with Peamount United, separated only by goal difference after the champions added three second-half goals to see off Treaty United 5-1.
Top scorer Eleanor Ryan Doyle moved to 14 with a brace, while Sadhbh Doyle, Alannah McEvoy and Karen Duggan also found the target.
Caption: Saoirse Noonan scores for Shelbourne during their WNL Dublin derby win over DLR Waves. Picture: John Crothers