Galway WFC have failed in their first bid to qualify for the semi-finals of this year’s Bus Éireann Women's National League Cup.
Galway needed a victory over neighbours Castlebar Celtic when the two sides met in Eamonn Deacy Park on Sunday. However luck was not on Galway’s side when they lost out by 1-0.
The result ensures both favourites Raheny United and Castlebar qualify from their pool, with Galway and Shamrock Rovers missing out.
The Galway ladies started brightly and had a number of chances to take the lead in the opening half, including a near miss by striker Lynsey McKey in the seventh minute. Castlebar goalkeeper Rachel King brilliantly stopped an Eleanor Stafford header in the 19th minute and the deadlock remained unbroken at the interval
Ruth Fahey and Keara Cormican both came close with shots for Galway midway throughout the second, but Celtic, knowing a draw was enough for them, defended well, while always looking dangerous on the counterattack.
And it was one such counterattack which undid Galway in the 74th minute when Geraldine McLaughlin crossed to Sarah Rowe, who on the far post made no mistake when finishing to the net.
Galway WFC’s focus now returns to the league and they begin their third and final round of games on Sunday February 16 at home to Wexford Youths.
Manager Nigel Keady says it is important after a poor cup run to focus and regroup quickly.
“We are fighting it out for a top-four finish which would see us qualify for the FAI Cup quarter-finals. We now need to up our performance level to show we are a top-four team.”