Abi Ticehurst rounds up all of the action as the top two went head to head in the latest round of FAI Women’s National League action and the rest of the league concentrated on closing the gap.
In the Spotlight: Shels on top in seven goal thriller
Crowds were allowed back in for the first time since the league kicked off and the 300 who turned up for the battle of the top two were not disappointed. Both sides headed in the game level on points, but Peamount United had the upper hand having played one game less. Shelbourne looked to build on their previous performance with the same starting XI as the previous five whilst Peamount kicked off their return with this game and sought to blow away the cobwebs of the mid-season break.
Barely 30 seconds from the whistle and Emily Whelan was in with a chance but could not to get the ball quite under the right control in order to put Shelbourne in front. Moments later and a looping free kick from Jessie Stapleton was able to find the head of Saoirse Noonan (pictured celebrating above via @Shelsfc) and the Shels were 1-0 up.
The Peamount defence looked unsettled for much of the first half with panic passes played. Their first real attempt was a ball struck into the bottom corner but it lacked pace and was easily collected by Amanda Budden. Some slick passing up field by Shelbourne saw the ball land with Ziu who was able to turn Peamount which opened up space for Noonan and the home side were 2-0 up inside 15 minutes. The Peas continued to struggle with the rhythm of the game, losing possession in easy build up points and from set pieces. They seemed to find form towards the end of the half as Sadhbh Doyle caught the crossbar, however Jess Gargan was able to clear. Just ten minutes before the break, a Peamount penalty was converted into the bottom right corner by an assured Doyle. 2-1 going into the break.
Pace certainly picked up from the whistle and a feisty second half ensued. A Noelle Murray free kick found Jamie Finn but to no avail, but little time was wasted before a previously limping Whelan fizzed a ball across the box and it smashed in the back of the net. Worldie. 3-1 to Shelbourne.
Noonan was able to run amok in midfield, cut inside the box and shot from a tight angle before she was denied by a Peamount block. Peas followed up on the attack and Gorman noticed Budden off her line and lobbed her to make it 3-2.
A pacey final 10 minutes saw Shels denied a penalty, which was a very questionable decision by the referee indeed. One minute into stoppage time at the end of the game and Karen Duggan dramatically equalised for Peamount in what was assumed to be the last goal of the game, however in true Murray style, she was able to latch on the end of a long ball and secure the three points for Shelbourne in the final moments, all whilst manager Noel King had been sent to the stands by the referee. What a game.
Noonan has seen a fair amount of pressure in front of goal having made the step up from Cork City, but she didn’t disappoint in this game. Honourable mentions to Budden who had a sterling game to deny Peamount scoring more goals. She now has eight clean sheets to her name so far this season. Sadhbh Doyle the standout for Peamount.
FT Shelbourne 4-3 Peamount United
A huge result for Cork City who secured their first win of the season and moved up the table from the bottom spot as a result. Captain Becky Cassin capitalised on an off-guard Bohemians as a free-kick swung in. No let up for Bohemians as they face Peamount next.
A smart passing game played by DLR Waves ensured that they would secure the win away from home at Galway. Shauna Fox with the first of DLR’s goals. Katie Malone followed suit and secured the second from inside the six yard box. An impressive performance up top for Impetus’ own Carla McManus once again, she’ll be keen to be back on the scoresheet for the Waves when they play Cork City at home. A debut appearance between the sticks for Galway’s Leah Hayes-Cohen and she’ll no doubt want to keep building on that experience.
FT Galway WFC 0-2 DLR Waves
Deadlock for the first 65 minutes in the tightly fought contest, Sinead Taylor was able to put that right for WexfordYouths. A point a piece looked likely when Gillian Keenan nabbed one for Treaty United, however Aoibheann Clancy snuck a late goal for Wexford to clinch the victory.
FT Wexford Youths 2-1 Treaty United
Saturday 10th July:
DLR Waves v Cork City (4pm)
Peamount United v Bohemians (4pm)
Athlone Town v Wexford Youths (7pm)
Sunday 11th July:
Treaty United v Galway (2pm)