Waves fight by rough waters to beat Limerick

by Dave Donnelly

Women’s National League
DLR Waves 2
Limerick 1

DLR Waves produced their fifth win of the Women’s National League season as they edged out Limerick 2-1 at Jackson Park on Saturday night.

Goals from Sophie O’Donoghue and Catherine Cronin saw Graham Kelly’s side draw level with Cork City on 16 points after Mairead Teehan had equalised for the visitors just before the break.

Former Ireland international Jetta Berrill played her final game for Waves before returning to Budapest to continue her veterinary studies and the winger provided the pass for the winning goal.

It arrived just before the hour as the pacey Berrill outstripped Meg Brennan on the right wing and lifted her head to pick out captain Cronin arriving from the opposite side.

It was no less than Waves deserved following a lengthy spell of second-half pressure against a Limerick side stripped of management team Dave Rooney and Eileen Hehir.

The coaches were in Lithuania with the Ireland Under-17s, who qualified for the elite European qualifiers with three victories over Albania, the hosts and Greece.

The home side began the stronger of the two teams and hit the front after just eight minutes as a defensive lapse allowed playmaker O’Donoghue to pick out the bottom corner.

Cronin went close twice in quick succession for Waves but they were pegged back on the break a minute before half-time as Teehan ran in behind and beat debutante Eve Badana.

Teehan had another chance to put her side in the lead early in the second half but she couldn’t keep her shot down and DLR gradually regained control.

And they got the goal they warranted when Berrill beat Brennan out side and pulled the ball across for the arriving Cronin to bundle home.

“It’s a terrible time to concede a goal, and a poor goal from our side, but I thought, second half, we were really good,” Kelly told the Dublin Gazette.

“We dominated the game up until the last ten minutes. We missed a load of chances and that’s something we need work on. We started very well and got the early goal through Sophie, which settled us down a bit, but for the last ten minutes of both halves [Limerick were on top].

“They can play themselves and trouble teams with their pace. They’ll feel a bit unlucky but overall we deserved the win.

“It was a great goal [the winner]. Jetta has been phenomenal for us over the couple of months she’s been here, and her pace is phenomenal, so hard to play against.

“She’s a good player when she gets into them positions – she doesn’t just cross, she gets her head up, and she picked out Catherine at the back post.

“Jetta has been brilliant. She’s a huge positive around the dressing room. She has that bit of experience, is an international player. The younger girls have got to learn from her and they did.”

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