Eleanor ecstatic in extra time WNL league cup thriller

by Dave Donnelly

Peamount United advanced to the semi-finals of the Women’s National League Cup at the expense of holders Shelbourne with a dramatic 2-1 extra-time win on Sunday.

Eleanor Ryan-Doyle netted a spectacular winner for Peamount early in the second half of extra time as the Newcastle side beat the Reds for the second time this season.

Noelle Murray fired Shels into an early lead from the penalty spot at the AUL Complex before Aine O’Gorman equalised with almost the last kick of the game to force extra time.

There was no shortage of controversy, either, as Shels were awarded a penalty with just 15 minutes played.

Leanne Kiernan was played through by Alex Kavanagh and the Ireland striker touched the ball around Niamh Reid-Burke before hitting the ground.

Former Ireland international Reid-Burke, who joined Peamount in the off-season after leaving Shels last summer, appeared to touch the ball away before upending Kiernan.

Referee Paula Brady pointed to the spot, however, and Murray showed why she was made captain on her return from Glasgow City as she took responsibility from 12 yards.

Peamount had the ball in the net five minutes before the break through April Player of the Month Amber Barrett, but it was ruled out for a tight offside call.

Shels had enough chances to seal the win in the second half, with Kiernan particularly wasteful in front of goal.

She blazed over from close range after ghosting between the centre-halves to attack Alannah McEvoy’s inviting low cross.

And Reid-Burke got her revenge when Kiernan was again played through on goal, racing out of her area and taking the ball cleanly with her feet.

That proved vital as Shels sat back in the final minutes and O’Gorman latched onto a Claire Walsh pass before smashing into the top corner.

The visitors dominated extra time and the second half was less than a minute old when they notched the decisive goal.

Ryan-Doyle caught the ball sweetly on the volley from the edge of the box only for Amanda McQuillan to touch the ball onto the bar.

The midfielder turned her back and missed what was to follow, as the ball bounced on the pitch and kicked back into the net.

“To be honest, I took the strike and turned my back because I thought it went over the bar,” Ryan-Doyle told the Dublin Gazette.

“I just saw everybody sprint to me and it went in.

“I was [overwhelmed]. To score a goal in the last minutes of extra time is something else.

“We knew they were always going to be tough competition, but they’re always tough and we just fought to the end.”

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