By Dave Donnelly
DLR Waves continued their positive start to the season with a hard-earned 2-1 win over Galway at the UCD Bowl on Saturday in the Women’s National League
Goals from new signing Kate Mooney and Katie Malone saw the south Dublin side continue their unbeaten start to the season in Belfield.
Galway’s Rachel Kearns, the league’s top scorer, had cancelled out Mooney’s early opener but substitute Malone pounced late to earn Graham Kelly’s side the three points.
“It’s exciting for neutrals, but I’m not sure it’s exciting for us or the staff of Galway,” Waves manager Kelly told the Dublin Gazette about the nervy endgame on the day.
“I thought it was a very tight game and overall we deserved to win it. They had two chances and scored a great goal – Eve Badana made a great save at the end – but we deserved the points.
“I think the quality of football in the game wasn’t great and both teams cancelled each other out a little bit, but overall you have to be delighted with three points.”
Waves, fresh from an opening-day draw with Wexford Youths, began the game on the front foot and took the lead inside the opening 15 minutes.
Defender Jess Gleeson strode forward from defence and picked out her former Shelbourne teammate Mooney with a pinpoint cross.
The striker still had work to do to escape the attention of Irish international Savannah McCarthy, but she found the space to nod the ball back across goal and past Galway keeper Maja Zajc.
The home side continued to have the better of the early period and Mooney was almost in for a second, only for McCarthy to cut off her route to goal.
Mooney was replaced by Malone shortly before the break after turning awkwardly on her knee, an unfortunate end to an otherwise impressive debut.
The visitors forced the first save from Waves keeper Eve Badana, who was called back into the Ireland squad earlier this month, in injury time.
Billy Clery’s Galway side showed greater attacking intent after the break and Chloe Moloney saw her volley clear the bar early in the second half.
Set-pieces looked to be the visitors’ most likely route to goal and they nearly profited when McCarthy met a corner from the right, but she couldn’t direct her header on target.
It was a corner that led to the equaliser 12 minutes from time Shauna Brennan’s corner found the head of the prolific Kearns, who bravely put her head on the ball and buried the ball in the net.
That wasn’t quite everything, however, and there was still time for the home side to snatch what was a deserved victory.
Right-back Aoife Brophy seized on an errant clearance from Galway midfielder Ciara Cormican and sent a hopeful ball into the box.
Zajc looked to have the ball covered but the Slovenian international dropped the ball, and Malone was alert enough to stab the ball home from close range, at the second attempt.
Badana pulled off a fantastic save in the closing stages to earn the three points, punching a long-range effort from Kate Slevin over the bar.
PHOTOS : John Crothers