WNL Round-up: Tabletoppers Peamount United beat champions Wexford Youths to open up eight-point gap while Shels rout depleted Cork CitySat, Jun 15 2019
Peamount United struck a major blow in the fight for this season’s Women’s National League with a 1-0 win over champions Wexford Youths.
The Dublin side moved eight points clear at the top of the table thanks to the narrowest of wins over last season’s treble champions at Ferrycarrig Park.
Eleanor Ryan Doyle struck ten minutes before half-time as the Peas dominance finally told, and it was enough to earn James O’Callaghan’s side an 11th win from 11 games this season.
All eyes were on the clash in Wexford on what could prove to be the pivotal day in the title race, when a win for Wexford would have brought them within two points of the summit.
For once, the home side found themselves on the back foot early doors and, though Becky Cassin nearly set up Aisling Frawley for a tap-in at the back post, the Peas created most of the chances.
Amber Barrett had the first chance inside four minutes as she blazed a shot across goal, and the Ireland striker drove a long-distance shot just past the post as the midway points approached.
The Donegal native forced Sophie Lenehan to tip around the post moments later before captain Aine O’Gorman called the Wexford netminder into action once more.
The pressure eventually told and it was fitting that Ryan Doyle, who scored both goals in Peamount’s 2-1 win over Youths in Greenogue, was the one to provide it.
The playmaker brought the ball down on the edge of the box and unleashed a furious half-volley that Lenehan could only get a hand to on its way to the back of the net.
Lauren Dwyer produced a desperate last-ditch block to deny O’Gorman before Megan Smyth-Lynch saw her free-kick clack off the outside of the post.
Wexford produced more in front of goal in the second half but their finishing let them down, Lauren Kelly dragging a shot wide before Frawley headed sub Katrina Parrock’s cross past the post.
Wexford’s first shot on target came 13 minutes from time when Frawley forced Naoisha McAloon into a comfortable save, and Rianna Jarrett did likewise from a free-kick soon after.
Parrock almost earned her side a point in the dying minutes as McAloon prevented an own goal before Parrock lashed the rebound off the crossbar, but Peamount survived.
Shelbourne moved within two points of second-placed Youths, with a game in hand, thanks to a routine 5-0 win over Cork City at Tolka Park.
Emily Whelan scored twice, while Alannah McEvoy, Alex Kavanagh and Kate Mooney were also on target for Dave Bell’s side.
Whelan opened the scoring midway through the first half as she finished calmly past City keeper Maura O’Sullivan after being played through on goal.
Shels continued to press and got their second of the game just before the break when McEvoy got on the end of Kavanagh’s ball in to poke past O’Sullivan.
Top scorer Kavanagh moved to ten for the season from the penalty spot shortly after the resumption after Christina Dring had tripped Jamie Finn in the area.
Whelan made it four when she turned home a cross from Rebecca Cooke and substitute Mooney added the fifth 15 minutes from time.
On Sunday afternoon, Limerick host DLR Waves at the Market’s Field while Galway travel to the Watershed to face Kilkenny United. Both games kick-off at 2pm.