Shelbourne captain Pearl Slattery: 'We've done all we can - all we can do now is wait'

Sat, Oct 26 2019

Shelbourne captain Pearl Slattery in action against Peamount United earlier this season. Credit: Peter Fitzpatrick (ETPhotos)

Shelbourne captain Pearl Slattery believes that, regardless of the outcome of Saturday’s league decider, the Reds have left nothing behind in their pursuit of Peamount United.

A 4-0 victory over DLR Waves on Wednesday night put Shels temporarily on top of the Women’s National League but a victory for Peamount at home to Cork City will see them crowned champions.

A spate of midseason cancellations due to international call-ups saw Shels bring forward their final game with Limerick, meaning they’ve dealt their 21-game hand already.

Three weeks ago, the prospect of the title race going down to the final day looked remote as Shels trailed by five points with games against Peamount, champions Wexford Youths and Waves to come.

A 2-1 victory over the Peas – their first defeat of the season – and Jamie Finn’s last-minute winner against Wexford ensured Peamount need a win on the final to seal their first title in six years.

A draw with Cork City would set up a play-off to decide the destination of the league title – Shels forced a play-off in 2016 but lost out to Wexford in a winner-takes-all game.

“We came with one job to do and that was to get the three points, and we did it,” Slaterry told following the win over Waves.

“It wasn’t a perfect performance for us but four goals in the end, so not too bad, so we’ve done all we can now. All we can do is wait.

“When it comes to the league, we take it week by week. I’ve always said that to the girls. We don’t stop until we know that it’s not possible to win the league.”

Rebecca Cooke scored twice for the Reds before limping off with what appeared to be an ankle ligament injury, while Jessica Ziu and Emily Whelan were also on target.

Cooke opened the scoring, against the run of the early play, inside four minutes and Dave Bell’s side never looked back from there, with Ziu bagging a spectacular second just before half time.

“From the dressing room, we knew we were here to do one thing and nothing was stopping us tonight – we were going out for that win.

“That’s no disrespect to DLR – we were coming out of here with nothing but three points and we’re happy with that.

“We needed to win. We knew coming here that we needed three points. That takes it to the last day.

“The last three months, that’s all we’ve been saying – take it game by game and see where it leaves us. Right now it forces them to play their last game.

“That’s really all you can ask of the club, the staff and all the players, to keep them going to the last game and don’t let them win it easy, and that’s what we’ve done.”

Peamount have home advantage against Cork and, with a 2-1 win on the opening day and a 3-0 win in Bishopstown they’re overwhelming favourites, however City have the ability to cause an upset.

“I know if it was me and I had a chance with Cork to stop a team winning the league, I’d be right up for it, but it depends on what team comes up and what heads are on.

“Peamount have played really well all season, but funnier things have happened. We’ve done our job and that’s all I can ask of our players.”