Wexford & Castlebar set for Bus Éireann Women's National League Cup Final
WEXFORD Youths Women's AFC and Castlebar Celtic are each bidding to lift the Bus Éireann Women's National League Cup for the first time this Sunday when the sides clash at Ferrycarrig Park (3.00pm).
The Model County outfit are playing at this stage of the competition for the first time while Castlebar are looking to put their cup-final heartaches behind them having losing at the same stage last year. Castlebar were also narrowly beaten in a dramatic FAI Umbro Women's Cup Final at Aviva Stadium in November.
"It's great to be involved on the last day of the season in a final - it's the way we would have wanted it to be," said Celtic coach Adrian Carberry.
"We've been the last two cup finals we could have played in but we haven't won one so we are going there knowing that we have to get across the line.
"We're playing a very good Wexford side - they're very strong. It's always very close against each them. The journey will be a test in itself so we're going down the night before to prepare correctly."
Carberry has to plan without striker Geraldine McLoughlin (knee surgery) while Stacey Muldowney picked up a knock in a friendly against a US college side last week but should be passed fit.
"If we can get them worrying about us it'll be in our advantage. In a cup final anything could happen - some players will be nervous but as when you see teams like Wigan winning the FA Cup Final against Manchester City last year then you know it's all about performing on the day.
"I'm delighted Wexford are in it too, they've a great set-up and excellent manager in John Flood so it is set for a big occasion."
Wexford are planning without long term injured pair Jenny Clifford and Lucy Sherwin while their only other concern is Jessica Gleeson, who is suffering with a hamstring strain.
"Other than a few small knocks and strains, the team are all relatively injury free and looking forward to the challenge," said Wexford's Peter Doyle.
"There is very little between the sides and it's a game that will be won or lost by either an error or a flash of brilliance and both sides have players capable of producing something special on the day.
"We are aware that Castlebar will be a little more accustomed to cup final day, having played in two already, while we will be enjoying our first.
"I have no doubt it will be a close encounter played in front of what will hopefully be a large and enthusiastic home crowd who almost acted as a twelfth player in the semi-final win over Raheny.
"No matter what the result, we hope to give it our best shot and although we have the height of respect for what the Mayo girls are capable of, we will be very focused on the task at hand."
Sunday, May 18
Bus Éireann Women's National League Cup Final
Wexford Youths Women's AFC v Castlebar Celtic, Ferrycarrig Park, Wexford (3.00pm)
Referee: Rhona Daly