Cailean Coffey reports from PRL Park.
Reigning Women’s National League Champions Peamount United took on newcomers Treaty United with the League finally kicking off in venues across the country on Saturday, after being postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Peamount United ran out 5-0 winners to open their account for the season with goals coming from Aine O’Gorman, Eleanor Ryan-Doyle, Alannah McEvoy and Stephanie Roche while an own goal from Treaty’s Chloe Connolly opened the scoring on Saturday evening.
As the game kicked off under the August sun, it was Peamount who started off strongly, initiating wave after wave of attack, with Niamh Farrelly and O’Gorman proving to be a lethal combination.
Treaty, to their credit, didn’t back down and were calm in possession.
A few quick balls over the top of the Peamount defence were dealt by Lauryn O’Callaghan and Sadbh Doyle, but the plan was clear, and were it not for the positional awareness of the Peamount defence they would certainly have caused more trouble than they did.
As it was, however, Peamount continued to cause trouble, with Treaty goalkeeper Michaela Mitchell reacting superbly on more than one occasion to keep the score level.
One sensed a goal was coming and it arrived in the 12th minute in the form a quick exchange of passes down the right wing which was followed by a driven ball low across the box from O’Gorman.
The ball was deflected goalward by an errand leg from Chloe Connolly at the near post and Mitchell was caught flatfooted to open the scoring.
From this point onwards Peamount took control and continued to attack in waves looking for a second goal. Treaty too were attacking, but their passes seemed seconds too late every time and Peamount dealt easily with them.
If the first goal was luck, Peamount’s second was precision, as Ryan-Doyle played a piercing pass through the entire treaty defence on the left side of the box in the 22nd minute, and it was met beautifully by O’Gorman, who ran on to tuck it gently into the far corner.
Treaty started far brighter in the second half, Aoife Horgan in particular was causing Peamount lots of problems, but the strength of Doyle and O’Callaghan allowed them to clean up lost balls and win almost ever 50/50 available to them.
Despite their newfound attacking impetus, they always felt vulnerable each time Peamount drove forward, and a mis-timed header from Shannon Parbat on the halfway line in the 60th minute allowed Peamount the opportunity to play the ball forward quickly.
O’Gorman played it swiftly across the box from the wing, which saw the ball being pulled back for Ryan-Doyle to whip high into the centre of the goal from just outside the box.
Goal number four was a piece of magic, as Peamount attacked once more, the ball was played back to new signing McEvoy outside the box, the forward took a quick touch and curled it straight into the top right corner.
The 66th minute saw the introduction of Republic of Ireland international Stephanie Roche, who has returned to Peamount after six years of playing in the United States, England and Italy.
To mark the occasion, the former Puskas Award nominee slotted home her team's fifth goal with a low shot from outside the box in the 77th minute.
Peamount United: Niamh Reid Burke ; Lauryn O'Callaghan , Sadbh Doyle ; Megan Smyth-Lynch , Eleanor Ryan Doyle , Niamh Farrelly , Karen Duggan , Claire Walsh (Chloe Moloney 63) ; Aine O'Gorman (Lucy McCartan 75) , Alannah McEvoy , Dearbhaile Beirne (Stephanie Roche 62) .
Subs not used: Naoisha McAloon, Louise Masterson, Lauren Kealy, Niamh Barnes.
Booked: Niamh Farrelly (33),
Treaty United: Michaela Mitchell ; Marie Curtin , Ellen Casey (Jenna Slattery 46) , Eve O'Sullivan (Anna Shine 46) , Shannon Parbat ; Gillian Keenan , Maggie Dunelitte (Laura Kavanagh 65) , Tara O'Gorman (Karen Connolly 68) (Cara Griffin 72) , Mora Shine ; Aoife Horgan , Chloe Connolly (Rebecca Horgan 57) .
Subs not used: Rosie Young.
Referee: Sara Blacoe Dyas
ExtraTime.ie Player of the Match: Aine O’Gorman (Peamount United)