Joy Ralph: ‘I think we need a bit of luck at the moment to be honest'

Joy Ralph in action in 1-1 draw between DLR Waves and Shamrock Rovers on 9th March 2024

Joy Ralph in action in 1-1 draw between DLR Waves and Shamrock Rovers on 9th March 2024 Credit: Matthew Lysaght (ETPhotos)

Macdara Ferris reports from Tallaght Stadium

With a goal and an assist, Joy Ralph secured the Shamrock Rovers player of the match award against Treaty United on Easter Saturday in the 2-2 draw in Tallaght.

It also earned her a place in the league's team of the week.

However, the Hoops forward, having supplied the pass for Rovers’ first goal in the very first minute of the match, had a chance to win the game in injury time but couldn’t convert the late chance to leave her disappointed.

Rovers forced two corners inside the first minute of the match and with the second one Ralph supplied the assist for Áine O’Gorman who scored her 201st league goal.

“It was great,” said Ralph about the Hoops scoring within 48 seconds of the kick off. “I’m not usually a corner taker but this year I’ve been put on them but I’m delighted to take them. Hopefully we’ll get a few more goals from them.”

The Hoops signed Ralph from DLR Waves mid-way through last season and she had two goals and five assists from six league appearances (along with two FAI Cup goals and two assists from three cup starts).

She got the first goal of this season, picking up a fine Alannah Prizeman pass, in the 61st minute to get the Hoops back into the game having trailed 2-1. 

Her Head Coach Collie O’Neill, speaking to after Saturday’s match which was his side’s third draw in the league, was full of praise for the 18-year-old.

“She has been really really good," said O'Neill. "She has great pace and hunger and a little bit of aggression but that is what you want. I think she will have a bright future in the game. She is one of the good ones.”

Ralph reckoned Rovers were unlucky not to get their first win of the season on Saturday.I think especially in the second half we tried to create chances, but I think we need a bit of luck at the moment to be honest.”

In second half injury time Lia O’Leary did well to create a chance from the left for Ralph who shot over the bar from close range. 

I probably should have took it with my toe but sure look,” said Ralph whose thoughts soon turned to their next match – a game against Shelbourne in Tolka Park after the league resumes after the Ireland’s upcoming games against France and England.

“That’ll be a big game,” said Ralph about squaring up to a Shelbourne side who knocked Rovers out of the FAI Cup at the semi-final stage last season and pipped them to runners up spot in the league by a point. 

“Going to Tolka it’s going to be big I think we’ll be ready for it, especially after the international break. We’ll be buzzing for that.”

Additional reporting by Christine Allen