TEK take heart as they push Wexford all the way

by Dave Donnelly

FAI Senior Cup
TEK United 1
Wexford Youths 4
FAI Intermediate Cup champions TEK United have a chance to double their haul of silverware for the season when they take on Whitehall Rangers in the DWSL Premier League Cup final on Sunday.

Greenogue, the home of Women’s National League side Peamount United, is the venue as they face off against the newly-crowned Intermediate Shield winners at 3.30pm.

Whitehall saw off the challenge of Manulla in the Shield final last Sunday, while TEK followed up their win over Wilton United with a creditable performance against Wexford Youths in the FAI Cup.

It was always going to be a tough ask for a non-league side to take the scalp of last year’s treble champions, though they did have home advantage for the tie.

Youths gave a lesson in clinical finishing in the first half as they took a 3-0 lead into the break despite a dogged defensive effort from the hosts.

There was a huge slice of luck about Edel Kennedy’s fourth-minute opener as it took a wicked deflection and spun past the helpless Emma O’Brien in the TEK goal.

Wexford doubled their lead just when Ciara Rossiter’s corner was met by the head of Ireland international Rianna Jarrett.

Lauren Kelly made it 3-0 on the stroke of half time and Aisling Frawley added a fourth early in the second half.

TEK will take heart from their performance in the final half-hour, and they deservedly pulled one back as Shauna Peare headed home a Laura Donnelly cross.
And they were unlucky not to grab a second in the final minute but Rebecca Dowling’s header grazed the bar.

“Wexford was always going to be a major challenge but the players were up for the challenge,” TEK assistant manager Philip Henry told the Dublin Gazette.

“Although losing by a 4-1 scoreline, in context, it was a great day for all involved. Wexford Youths have won the highest women’s division in Ireland for the last two years.

“They are the current holders of the FAI Women’s Senior Cup and most recently returned from the Champions League qualifiers, where they won two out of their three matches.”

To even reach this point was a major achievement for a side who looked set for a difficult season after a slow start, and the prospect of a second trophy is testament to how their luck has turned.

“We had brought in some new players this year and it was taking some time to start to gel and play in the way we wanted.

“Things started to change around mid-July and we went on a run of good form and were unbeaten in 12 of our next 14 games.”

Attention now turns to Greenogue on Sunday afternoon, where the top two in this year’s Premier Division meet in what promises to be an enthralling encounter.

Anybody interested in joining TEK United can contact the club through their Facebook page for more information.

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