O'TOOLE ON THE DOUBLE TO PULL STRINGS FOR NORTH WALL
ST PATRICK'S ATHLETIC............0
The second round of the DWSL Intermediate Cup beckons for North Wall after they powered their way by a youthful and inexperienced St. Patrick's Athletic thanks to a four goal haul at St. Anne's Park.
Irish international record goalscorer, Olivia O'Toole, proved she still has plenty of magic left in her boots as she grabbed a couple of gems while Paula Spain and an unfortunate own goal rounded up the tally for this talented North Wall outfit.
It was that own goal that broke the deadlock early in the first half as Jessica Gibson's deep cross into a crowded area caused havoc and a deflection off a defender ended up in the top corner of Leanne McDonnell's net.
There was no luck needed for the second goal as North Wall took the Saints apart with a lightening quick counter attack just before the half hour mark. Stacey Grimes raided down the right flank before crossing low into the penalty area where Paula Spain was loitering with deadly intent to sweep the ball by McDonnell with a clinical finish.
Just three minutes later and Grimes was again causing mayhem down the right flank as she picked out O'Toole with another pin point cross. O'Toole doesn't need a second invitation when she has the net at her mercy and the former Irish international took a neat first touch to control the ball before stroking home from close range.
With just nine minutes gone in the second half O'Toole doubled her tally and ended the game as a contest when she curled a stunning 20 yard free kick into the top corner of McDonnell's net. The goal was a reminder of the magic that O'Toole has conjured up over the years in what has been a breathtaking career packed full with honours for both club and country.
O'Toole influence on both the game and North Wall was immeasurable, but the home side had plenty of star performers on show. In Louise Murphy and Stacey Grimes they have two marauding wingers with the ability to drift by defenders and pick out crosses, while at the back they have a formidable defensive unit ably directed by goalkeeper, Leona Preston.
The nearest that the Saints came to scoring was through steely centre half, Vicky Redmond, in the closing stages of the game. Twice the excellent defender had North Wall rattled as she tested Preston with a close range shot and then hit the woodwork with a flying header.
Still, St. Pats will take plenty from this game despite the defeat. The Saints are a youthful side, average age just tipping the twenty mark, and this is their first season at the top of the intermediate grade. The Inchicore side showed enough glimpses that they are well capable of competing at this level and will no doubt be back for another bite at some silverware.
NORTH WALL: Leona Preston; Louise Murphy, Nadine O'Reilly, Amy Kelly, Rosie Doyle, Jessica Gibson, Stacey Grimes, Stacey Spain, Sinead McDermott, Paula Spain, Olivia O'Toole. SUBS: Sabina Perry (for Gibson 55mins).
S. PAT'S: Leanne McDonnell; Ciara Mooney, Karen McSweeney, Sarah McIntosh, Vicky Redmond, Trisha Dorman, Aishling Woods, Nicola Scott, Laura Norris, Nicola Duffy, Sara O'Donoghue. SUBS: Kirstan Johansen (for Scott 50mins), Zoe Gregory (for Norris 57mins).
Referee: Pat McGuirk