Cork City 0 Peamount United 6
Two second-half goals from Stephanie Roche set Peamount Rovers on their way a comfortable FAI Cup final win over Cork City in Tallaght where the Dubliners overran their young opponents late on to complete their double in some style.
James O’Callaghan’s side were a little slow to get going but as the game wore on they became increasingly dominant.
A couple of decent Maria O' Sullivan saves kept her side in it for a while but City ran out of steam under near relentless pressure towards the end.
Having got the opener in the 46th minute and then added a second five minutes later, Roche was absolutely central to the win, and the 31-year-old teed up Áine O’Gorman for the goal that essentially put the result beyond the slightest doubt with 13 minutes remaining.
Karen Duggan, with a close-range header from a corner, Rebecca Watkins and Tiegan Ruddy then all scored in the closing 10 minutes to underline their side's superiority in fairly ruthless fashion.
O’Gorman had a hand in the last two with her cross for Megan Smyth-Lynch teeing up a volley that O’Sullivan parried to leave Watkins with a tap in and she then set up Ruddy to score from 12 metres a couple of minutes from time.
It was hard on a young Cork City side and their captain, 19-year-old goalkeeper McCarthy, who leaves the club for a scholarship in the United States after Christmas. But for all their hard work through the first half, really their only chance of note came at 2-0 when Katie McCarthy sent Christina Dring clear into the area where the 21-year-old missed the target.
O’Gorman had had the best chance of opening half with a shot on the turn that flew just over after Roche had won the ball. But it was disjointed stuff from the Dubliners until the break with their striker admitting that they had been a little too impatient for their own good.
“I think we tried to force it a bit too much in the first half,” said the Republic of Ireland international who was named player of the match. “We were probably cautious and didn’t play our usual game. James had a chat with us at half-time and we know once a goal came, things would flow. We got a few more chances and took them.
“It was about believing in ourselves around the pitch,” she added. “Cork are a good side, very well organised and it was important that we kept a clean sheet. I felt that whoever got the first goal would go on and win it and once we started playing our football, we knew that it was going to come together.”
Cork City manager Rónán Collins admitted that the challenge had all been a bit too much for his players in the end but, he insisted, they will push on from the experience.
“If we had replicated what we had done in the first half, we could have got back into it,” he said with regard to City falling behind barely a minute into the second half. “It’s a cliche, that it’s a game of two halves; we’ve got one of those halves today but we have to double it and get both halves in the future.
“It’s tough right now,” he continued, “but we went out to play with a brave game plan and I think it worked in the first half, I think we really executed it well but it was a big ask to ask that of young players over two halves. But that’s our DNA and we’ll stick with it. We’ve got to really kick on now, they are young player who have set really high standards and they will be hungry now to kick on next year.”
CORK CITY: O'Sullivan; Foley, McNamara (Walsh, 82 mins), Burke, O'Brien (S McCarthy, 82 mins); Cassin, O'Mahony; Liston (Seward, 82 mins), Dring (Shine, 72 mins), Noonan; Egbuloniu (K McCarthy, 57 mins).
PEAMOUNT UNITED: Reid-Burke; O'Callaghan, Walsh, Farrelly (Doherty, 83 mins), Beirne (Doyle, 79 mins); McCartan, Duggan; O'Gorman, Ryan-Doyle (Watkins, 79 mins), McEvoy (Smyth-Lynch, 70 mins); Roche (Ruddy, 84 mins).
Referee: C Purcell (Waterford).