Irish National League Round-Up

Post To Post Sport‘s Ciarán Duffy provides us with his weekly round-up of the action in Ireland’s top domestic league as the competition reaches Round 23 (21/9/21).

Above: Athlone Town players celebrate their win over Shelbourne. Photo: @AthloneTownAFC

Coming into the weekend there were five rounds to go in the league, we were very much in the business end. There were fewer goals over the weekend than there typically are with just 11 goals in the five games, which speaks to the closeness of most of the games. Two of last seasons top four were beaten by two sides that only joined the league three seasons ago.

Athlone’s Storied Season Continues

While the headlines will focus on the top two in the league, Athlone Town in fourth deserve plenty of plaudits this week. The Midlands side are still in the title race as they put in a performance for the ages to beat Shelbourne.

The home side were under pressure early on in their attempts to move top of the table. Niamh Coombes was forced into first half saves from Noelle Murray and Megan Smyth-Lynch. Athlone had their chances in the opening period with Amanda Budden forced into a big save by Muireann Devaney,

Athlone defended with their lives and got the breakthrough just after the hour mark when Scarlett Herron headed in. They would get a second in quick succession with Kellie Brenan heading in Emily Corbet’s cross.

Shelbourne couldn’t find their way past an Athlone side that held firm in defence. The first game of the day saw the title race explode back into a four-way race with Athlone moving to within three points of top spot with Wexford playing later. Athlone Town 2-0 Shelbourne.

Youths Move Four Points Clear

Above: Wexford Youths players reflect on moving clear at the top of the table. Photo: @YouthsWomen. 

Wexford would be well aware of the earlier result. The league leaders went into the game against Treaty as heavy favourites. The home side would have been forgiven for being nervous, but they got the scoring started early through Edel Kennedy’s super strike.

Treaty United battled hard despite not having won a game all season. Wexford had the quality to see off the Limerick side with further goals from captain Kylie Murphy and Ciara Rossiter. Youths brought on young reserve Claudia Keenan for her debut late in the game.

The league leaders didn’t have to perform to their full potential to get the win but did manage the game well. Three wins from their final four games will see Wexford become champions for the first time since 2018. They could have the league wrapped up before playing champions Shelbourne on the final day. Wexford Youths 3-0 Treaty United.

Bohs Up To 6th With Win

Above: Goalscorer Abbie Brophy on the ball for Bohemians. Photo: @BFCDublin. 

Bohemians have had some memorable results this season, and late late drama meant they would get their first-ever win against DLR Waves.

Erica Burke set up the opening goal as she wrestled possession of the ball on the sideline and curled a cross into the box, Abbie Brophy turned it home first time, she’s been a star player this season.

Just after the break Waves equalized with Mia Dodd scoring her 5th goal of the season. From there it was back and forth but Bohs would get the winner late on. The crucial moment came when Bohs forward Erica Burke and Waves goalkeeper Eve Badana went for the same ball in the box, Burke got their first and was brought down resulting in a penalty. Burke would normally have taken the penalty but had to go off injured. Chloe Darby stepped up, and after waiting an age to get to take the spot kick fired it high into the top left corner.

Bohemians move up above Waves in the table with the win and now have every chance of making the top half. Bohemians 2-1 DLR Waves.

Peas Battle To Stay In Title Race

Above: Peamount Players supported the green ribbon campaign before kick-off. Above: @PeamountUtd 

The game was closer than the score line reflects, Sligo will feel aggrieved to not get anything from the game at PRL Park.

Peamount had the bit of class to get the job done with goals from top scorer Áine O’Gorman and Sadbh Doyle. O’Gorman scored from distance after good link-up play with Stephanie Roche. Doyle’s goal made the lead more comfortable, but Sligo were very much up for the game.

Peamount are now just two points behind Shelbourne in 2nd place with a similar goal difference. Peamount United 2-0 Sligo Rovers.

McCarthy and Cassin Heroics Give Cork A Rare Win

Above: Becky Cassin got the winning goal for Cork City. Photo: SportsFile.

Things took a while to heat up at Turners Cross but the game ended up being an exciting one.

The first big moment came when Galway won a penalty for a handball. Elle O’Flaherty stepped up to take it but saw her effort saved by Abby McCarthy. At the other end, Abbie Ronayne was called into action in the Galway net to stop Laura Shine from scoring. Clearcut chances were at a premium with Eva Mangan going close for the home side in the second half. There was late drama as a goal-mouth scramble in the Galway box led to a throw-in. Becky Cassin was on hand to score from there to secure the win for Galway. Cork City 1-0 Galway.

Table

Wexford extend their lead to 4 points. Shels remain 2nd but Peamount and Athlone close the gap.

Galway will be looking over their shoulder at Bohs who are just 3 points behind them, with Waves slipping to 7th. Cork move closer to Sligo while Treaty will finish the season in last place.

Fixtures

Next weekend is FAI Cup semi-final weekend. Both games take place on Saturday 24th with Shels hosting Bohs in a Dublin derby and Athlone Town at home to Wexford Youths. Both games can be watched live on LOITV.ie.

WNL Fixtures – October 1st

Galway vs DLR Waves

Shelbourne vs Cork City

Sligo Rovers vs Treaty United

Peamount vs Bohemians

Athlone Town vs Wexford Youths

Follow @PostToPostSport on Twitter and Instagram for coverage of the WNL. Make sure check out our Women’s Football Blast, where we look at the latest in Irish Women’s Football domestically and international every Wednesday, each week it goes up on our Irish Football Page on PosttoPost.Sport.Blog. you can contribute to our fundraiser for Ireland’s National Autism Charity here.

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