By Dave Donnelly
Peamount United return to league action this weekend with a difficult trip to face fellow title-chasers Wexford Youths at Ferrycarrig Park.
The champions were disappointed to bow out of the Champions League at the first hurdle last week as they were beaten 5-2 by Spartak Subotica.
Serbian champions Spartak proved too strong as a four-goal haul from the impressive international Tijana Filipovic separated the teams.
Eleanor Ryan Doyle pulled two fine goals back late on for the Peas, including a stunning 25-yard free kick, but it was too little too late.
“They’re a professional team and they’ve a lot of quality in the team, but in saying that I thought we matched them for a lot of it,” Peas boss James O’Callaghan told the Dublin Gazette.
“We didn’t get much luck in terms of they were quite clinical in their finishing. If we had gone in 1-0 at half time, it could have panned out a bit different, but it just wasn’t to be.”
To add to the disappointment, their planned third-place play-off with FC Nike was called off in farcical circumstances due to a Covid case in the Georgians’ camp.
Peamount were left waiting for five hours for confirmation that the game had finally been cancelled and another opportunity to test themselves against top opposition was denied.
Nevertheless, their focus returns to the league and a meeting with a Wexford side who saw their league clash with DLR Waves rained off on the same day.
Both teams will both be looking to get back on the board after Shelbourne took advantage of their inaction to rejoin Peamount at the top of the table.
The Reds ran out 4-0 winners at home to Athlone Town to move level with Peas on 43 points, four points ahead of Youths, albeit with a game extra played on both.
Goals from Emily Whelan, Alex Kavanagh, Leah Doyle and Saoirse Noonan saw the Reds to victory, while Noonan also missed two penalties during the game.
Bohemians travel to face Galway on Saturday afternoon as they look to build on an impressive 5-1 win over Treaty United last weekend.
Sean Byrne’s side recorded their biggest win since facing the same opposition on the opening day despite torrential rain at Dalymount Park.
Lisa Murphy and Erica Burke were on target in the first half, before Abbie Brophy, Chloe Darby and a first career goal from Lara Phibbs rounded off a resounding win.