Continental Tyres Women’s National League: Shelbourne Ladies claim WNL Cup after Peamount win
Shels retain trophy after penalty shoot-out drama…
Goalkeeper Amanda McQuillan proved the Shelbourne hero in the penalty shoutout as they beat Peamount United to retain the Continental Tyres Women’s National League Cup at Greenogue.
McQuillan saved Niamh Barnes’ third spot kick for Peamount after 120 minutes of fitful football had failed to separate the sides at the windswept Newcastle venue.
Amber Barrett, Claire Kinsella, Chloe Moloney and Eleanor Ryan-Doyle did score from 12 yards for Peamount who finished with 10 players after substitute Sarah McKevitt had been sent off in extra-time.
But Shels proved just a little more clinical from the spot as skipper Pearl Slattery, Gloria Douglas, Roma McLaughlin and Jamie Finn all scored before Rachel Graham slotted home the final kick to cue the celebrations.
Starting the better, Reds carved the first real chance on four minutes.
A surging run from Niamh Prior got her in behind down the inside left channel to feed McLaughlin who set up Douglas to crash a shot off the crossbar.
And Shels’ bright beginning brought its reward with the lead goal five minutes later. McLaughlin did well to nod down Alex Kavanagh’s deep free kick for Leanne Kiernan to shoot past Naoise McAloon.
Peamount looked for a response and came close on 12 minutes, Heather Payne heading wide after good work by Barrett.
Encouraged by that, the west Dublin side were level three minutes later as Payne got free in the area to round McQuillan and tap home.
Barrett then thought she’d put Peamount ahead on 19 minutes, but McQuillan clawed her chip out at the second attempt.
Shels played their way back into the game with Finn having a header cleared off the Peamount line from Siobhan Killeen’s corner.
Playing with the wind at their backs in the second half, Peamount had an early goal disallowed for offside before they needed McAloon to rescue them with a terrific parry save from McLoughlan’s stinging drive.
And there followed another let off for Peamount on 62 minutes. Killeen was put away by Douglas on the right to cross for Kiernan who planted her header just wide.
Peamount remained dangerous on the break and Barrett should have done better than volley straight at McQuillan from Payne’s through ball three minutes later before the 90 minutes petered out.
The main incident in extra-time came 14 minutes in when Peamount’s McKevitt was dismissed for a bad challenge on Shels’ defender Seana Cooke who was taken off on a stretcher to hospital with an injury to her lower left leg.
Both sides had chances to win it in the second period of extra-time.
Peamount’s Ryan-Doyle robbed Slattery only to see her chip sail wide.
McAloon then produced the save of the game to tip over a thumping shot from Douglas.
Shelbourne Ladies captain Pearl Slattery said: “It’s a great moment for us. All of those nights of training really came off for us and we’re delighted with the result.
“It was a great game of football but I do think, over the 120 minutes, we did deserve it and to come out on top after penalties is great.
“We got an early lead and put them under pressure straight away but we gave away a disappointing goal and they came back at us. In the end, we showed character and it’s great to come away with a medal.”
Peamount United: McAloon; O’Callaghan (Byrne, 100), Barnes, Moloney, Kelly; McCartan; Lynch (Kinsella, 79), Farrelly, Ryan-Doyle, Payne (McKevitt, 77); Barrett.
Shelbourne Ladies: McQuillan; Finn, Graham, Cooke (Watson, 105+4), Prior; Kavanagh (Mooney, 89); Killeen, Slattery, McLoughlan, Kiernan (Donnelly, 68); Douglas.
Referee: Alan Patchell (Dublin).