Against Shelbourne, the team went two goals in front early on with long range strikes from Scarlett and Áine, was that the perfect start?
It was. Once you get two goals in quick succession like that, you can see the team begins to settle so it was an ideal start, after being a little bit shaky for the first 15 minutes. I think both sides were, so it was always going to come down to whoever got that first goal to settle them down. Then to get the second one so close to it, that settled us a little bit more and got us into our rhythm.
The third goal is a really good team move, finished off nicely by Alannah for her first goal since May. How pleased were you with that?
We’ve done a few of those over our last couple of games and long may it continue. You can see that a lot of the work that the players are doing on the training ground, the repetitive nature of what we’re constantly asking and demanding of them, is finally coming out on the pitch on match day. That’s always nice to see.
Shels tried to get back into the game and eventually scored a consolation goal in injury time. How did you think the second half played out and what can we take from it into the rematch?
The players nearly felt the same as me at the start of the second half – just blow it up now so we can all go home! Obviously for Shels, when you have a first half like that you want to try and get a reaction out of the players. They did react well and put us under a lot of pressure. From our perspective, our areas of improvement are to try and pick them off a bit better when they do throw so many bodies forward. We will take some of the positives out of it, that Shels threw the kitchen sink at us and it was only into injury time that we did concede.
In terms of injuries, we had Amanda Budden back in goal and Maria Reynolds has handed a place in your match day squad for the first very first time all season. Orlaith O’Mahony missed last week. How is everyone going into Saturday?
It’s the exact same squad again, so nothing has changed there. Orlaith has ramped up her training. She’s only done 50% at the moment, hopefully by Friday she’ll be back into full training but it might come too soon to be involved in the match day squad.
The group will be looking for the same result again against Shels in the FAI Cup semi-final. How much would it mean to everyone involved to reach the final after all their hard work this year?
That’s exactly it, after all the hard work because we started in December with gym sessions first of all and then ramped it up. We’ve done an awful lot of hard work that people don’t see. They only see the fruits of it with some good performances over the last couple of weeks. So, I just hope that the good form continues, for all the hard work that the players put in, that they do get to be able to go to a Cup final. They do always say, the harder you work, the luckier you get, so we might get an extra bit of luck on Saturday and get there.
Last week the derby was live on TG4 with a partisan crowd. This week, with more at stake is it set to be an even bigger occasion with the players leaving everything out on the pitch?
I think between the players and teams themselves, last week will probably be treated the same but from a supporters’ perspective it appears that this upcoming game is bigger. I know from being out with some of our affiliate clubs, nearly every kid and every team that they have is coming along. I’m sure Shels will be doing the same to try and bring their extra support and in fairness to Shels, their support was very vocal and loud on Saturday, which gave them good encouragement as the game went on. Hopefully we might be able to match that, if not top it this Saturday.
Indeed, Tallaght Stadium is really taking shape with the seats in the new north stand and hopefully the main stand will be fairly full to cheer on the team because of the difference it makes to our players?
It has, and you can see that Shels drove on from the vocal support that they had last week so if we had something similar on our own patch, the girls would get great encouragement out of it and help push them on that extra percentage to get to a Cup final.