All Island Cup - Shamrock Rovers 3 - 0 Peamount United

Action from Shamrock Rovers versus Peamount United

Action from Shamrock Rovers versus Peamount United Credit: Matthew Lysaght (ETPhotos)

Shamrock Rovers record a 3-0 win over Peamount United to secure their place in the semi-final of the Avenir Sports All-Island Cup.

Revenge surely never tasted so sweet for Shamrock Rovers as the final whistle blew in Tallaght stadium - the very same venue in which the visitors had put two past Amanda Budden in May of this year.

While the players and staff in Dublin 24 have maintained a professional exterior despite the invariable pressure that has weighed upon them throughout their difficult start to this campaign, their reaction to Lauren Kelly’s goal in the 44th minute spoke volumes about their desire to win and perform for this club.

Out of sight of the LOITV camera angle, Amanda Budden, Melissa O’Kane, Maria Reynolds, Shauna Fox, and Jessica Hennessy came together in a huddle and slapped hands as the two Kellys smiled at the other end.

It is largely thanks to the quality of the opposition that this victory feels like such a momentous achievement for The Hoops, who are now two games away from getting their hands on silverware.

Rovers made three changes for their quarter-final clash with Peamount, with Budden, Kelly, and Fox replacing Joy Ralph, Summer Lawless, and Scarlett Herron.

From the opening bell, Peamount’s intent was clear - to get the ball to Erin McLaughlin straight down the pipe and have the number 10 whip it down the right lane to Jetta Berrill.

Lia O’Leary and Shauna Fox put in an incredible shift for the Rovers women to neutralise the triple threat of McLaughlin, Berrill, and Jessica Fitzgerald.

Fox, in particular, who had not started for The Hoops since their narrow home defeat to Galway United, cemented her case for a starting place with an impressive performance.

Hennessy and Reynolds too once again shone at the back - Rebecca Watkins and Freya Healy mere pawns on their chessboard.

Healy tried her luck from long range in the 11th minute but Budden watched it like a hawk and tipped the strike over the bar.

Stephanie Zambra sought to make things happen from deep in the centre of the park and delivered.

The first chance for Rovers came from an obtuse roll of the ball out far and wide to O’Reilly who did well to cut inside Watkins and fire on goal, but there was not enough power in the shot to trouble Niamh Coombes.

Zambra followed this pass with another stellar through ball, this time to L. Kelly who had made a darting run, but the former Pea was deemed offside.

The Shankill native’s 3rd pass was the pièce de résistance, a dink with the outside of her right boot delivered at just the right pace to reach her skipper Aine O’Gorman, who was stopped by the formidable Karen Duggan.

A fourth from Zambra was converted by O’Gorman who was deemed offside.

As the Tallaght tiki-takas reigned with slick passages of play, McLaughlin urged for calm amongst the sea of blue.

The number 10, to her credit, was by far Peamount’s best player in attack.

The speed of her ball control was impressive to witness as the senior Irish international turned the green and white shirts - clipping at the heels of both Fox and Budden whenever the ball was recycled by Reynolds or O’Leary.

Duggan was relentless at the back for the visitors, marshalling the right and left lanes as The Hoops continuously hunted for the opener.

Peamount came back into the game in the final 15 of the first but the Rovers backline muzzled their bite.

It felt like just desserts when Rovers netted their first moments before the half-time whistle blew in a move that started with Fox at the back.

The Hoops number 22, Melissa O’Kane, dinked and weaved in circuitous routes across the full 90’, turned Ciara Maher (who to her credit, was impressive for The Peas) before switching the ball to Aoife Kelly.

Kelly laid it off for O’Gorman who threaded a pass through a small opening to L. Kelly - the former Pea swinging her right boot and slotting the ball home.

At the restart, Peamount sought to secure a foothold in the game but Reynolds, Kelly, Hennessy, and Fox shielded their teeth.

Healy dinked a visionary ball to Dolan at the edge of the box in the 63rd and looked on with frustration as Dolan cut it across an empty goalmouth.

Healy’s reaction just about summed up The Peas afternoon as she threw up her hands and looked to the sky.

Rovers punished The Peas for their meek play in the final third in the 64th when O’Gorman muscled her way beyond two blue shirts to feed Lauren Kelly through on the right.

As her angle on goal narrowed, the goal scorer, to her credit, did not hunt for glory but instead lifted her head.

Spotting O’Gorman who had pedalled into the heart of the D, Kelly squared it to her skipper who once again used her strength to force her way beyond Berrill and Duggan and tap the ball home.

“Let’s keep the heads now!” Budden forewarned as Peamount resumed the tip-off.

In the 70th McLaughlin gave the home fans a scare when she cut the ball with her right boot beyond Reynolds and fired on goal; however, her effort was caught and smothered by Budden.

Fiona Owens and Scarlett Herron took to the turf in the 72nd and both had an impact.

Owens almost assisted O’Reilly to Rovers 3rd in the 79th but the number 57 was denied by a crucial intercept from Lauryn O’Callaghan.

Herron, who has impressed at left wing back for The Hoops, beat Maher in the air and skimmed the crossbar in the 80th with a towering header on foot of an O’Gorman set piece.

Rovers 3rd started from a Reynolds header which O’Leary took down with her chest.

The Portmarnock native caught the experienced Duggan out with one touch of her boot and found herself one-v-one with the keeper and calmly converted in the 87th.

The contest ended 3-0 to Rovers who now march into the semi-final of the Avenir Sports All-Island Cup.

Watch highlights of the game here.


Shamrock Rovers WFC: Amanda Budden; Shauna Fox, Jessica Hennessy, Maria Reynolds (Hannah Martin 90); Aoife Kelly, Aine O'Gorman, Melissa O'Kane, Lia O'Leary (Ella Kelly 90), Katie O'Reilly (Alannah Prizeman 90), Stephanie Zambra (Scarlett Herron 72); Lauren Kelly (Fiona Owens 72).
Subs not used: Summer Lawless.
Booked: None.
Sent off: None.

Peamount United: Niamh Coombes; Karen Duggan, Chloe Moloney (Avril Brierley 81), Lauryn O'Callaghan; Jetta Berrill, Jessica Fitzgerald, Freya Healy (Dearbhaile Beirne 72), Ciara Maher, Erin McLaughlin, Becky Watkins; Ellen Dolan.
Subs not used: Niamh Reid Burke, Niamh Richardson, Shannon Thomas, Mia McGonnell, Lucy McCartan, Carla McManus, Louise Masterson.
Booked: Becky Watkins (49).
Sent off: None.