Women’s National League
Peamount United 2
A RARE goal from former Republic of Ireland international midfielder Karen Duggan capped a dominant display from Peamount United as they made it five wins from five to stay top of the Só Hotels Women’s National League.
James O’Callaghan’s Newcastle side simply had too much quality in key areas of the pitch for early pacesetters Shelbourne who slumped to their first defeat of the campaign at PRL Park, Greenogue.
On the front foot from the start, Peamount penned Shels in their own half in the opening stages, skipper Áine O’Gorman forcing a comfortable save from Amanda McQuillan eight minutes in with a drive from distance following Amber Barrett’s lay off.
Shels did settle, playing their way into the game as Emily Whelan registered their first threat when off target with a volley from outside the area four minutes later. In an intriguing midfield tussle, action in the final third at either end was at a premium for much of the first half.
Peamount squandered an opportunity from a set-piece on 23 minutes when Eleanor Ryan Doyle headed tamely wide having been picked out from Claire Walsh’s diagonal free kick.
But the pedigree of Peas attack came to the fore 10 minutes later as they cut through the Shels rearguard for the first time to conjure a fine lead goal.
Barrett found time and space to thread a ball through for the run of O’Gorman who raced in to skilfully lob the advancing McQuillan for a quality finish.
The home side should have have been punished for defensive sloppiness six minutes later when goalkeeper Naoisha McAloon’s poor clearance gifted the ball straight to Shels’ Whelan.
One winger picked out another as Whelan’s cross found Jessica Ziu who cleverly made space only to get under her shot which McAloon was relieved to see fly over her crossbar.
Starting the second half as they did the first, Peamount corralled Shels in again. Barrett, set up by O’Gorman, might have done better than shoot straight at McQuillan when she had more time on her hands.
Megan Smyth-Lynch then brought the save of the game from McQuillan with a dipping volley from some 30 yards the Shls keeper batted round a post.
But the danger remained from the resultant 61st minute corner. Smyth-Lynch’s accomplished left foot whipped the ball over to the back post where Duggan found the net with a downward header.
Shels blew a glorious chance to get back into the game on 75 minutes. Whelan was again involved, playing Rebecca Cooke in on goal. But the substitute was a little too casual with her shot as she presented McAloon with an effortless save.
As Shels chased the game late on they were vulnerable to Peas’ the counter attack. And Ireland striker Barrett ought to have extended the home side’s winning margin three minutes from time with her best chance of the night from Ryan Doyle’s pass, the Peas number nine hurried her shot which didn’t trouble McQuillan.
The woodwork then deprived Shels of a late consolation in stoppage time, Kate Mooney header’s shaving the crossbar from Jess Gargan’s cross.