Peas swoop late to make it three WNL wins in a row

by Gazette Reporter
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Women’s national league – Bohemians 0 – Peamount United 3

JUST four weeks in and the Women’s National League is already shaping up for its most competitive year yet but pole position has taken on a familiar look as Peamount United have pulled clear.

The Newcastle side have made the perfect start as they look to become the first side to win three consecutive titles with three wins from their three games.

Second-half goals from Tiegen Ruddy, Eleanor Ryan Doyle and Becky Watkins saw the Peas to a deceptively tense 3-0 win away to rapidly-improving Bohemians at the Oscar Traynor Complex.

The final scoreline doesn’t tell the complete story as the sides remained deadlocked heading into the final quarter before Ruddy capped off a slick move to make the breakthrough.

Ruddy, who missed almost the entire 2020 season with an ACL injury that saw her quit a scholarship in Connecticut, met Dearbháile Beirne’s left-wing cross with a deft first-time finish.  

Aine O’Gorman Capt of Peamount United FC shields the ball from Erica Byrne of Bohemian FC

As is so often the case, once the dam was broken, the goals began to flow and Ryan Doyle added a second eight minutes later, having only entered from the bench moments before the opener.

The playmaker lined up a free kick 20 yards from goal, having been fouled by Bohs captain Sophie Watters, and curled an unstoppable free kick into the top corner of Niamh Coombes’ goal.

And the clincher was the best of the lot, Ryan Doyle exchanging passes with Aine O’Gorman before lifting the ball to back post where striker Watkins was waiting to prod home a sublime first-time finish.

“We played Bohs in pre-season and we knew they were a good team,” Peas manager James O’Callaghan told the Dublin Gazette.

“Every match we play is going to be really tough – obviously Wexford and Shelbourne are top teams – so we were delighted to win those first two games, and Bohs is equally hard in different ways.

“We’re really happy with our start and winning the three games, because it was a very tough start. The girls have been brilliant, working really hard in training.

“There’s still room for improvement and we have to knuckle down now and really focus on Treaty next weekend. We’re going to have to be on our game again.

Lauryn O’Callaghan Peamount FC gets away from Bronagh Kane Bohemian FC

“We played a lot of games in pre-season, so got a good idea of how teams are progressing, and the games were very, very tough.

“There’s good management in the league, the younger players are getting more experience and improving, and it’s wide open.

“There’s no easy games. Every team has the potential to take points of every team, so it’s really exciting this year.”

DLR Waves joined Galway in second position, two points behind the leaders, as they continued their unbeaten start to the season with a fine 1-0 win over Cork City at Turner’s Cross.

Defender Jess Gleeson, a winter recruit from Shelbourne, scored the game’s only goal late in the first half as she smashed home a free kick from the edge of the box.

Waves were good value for their win and may even have made it more comfortable, only for a second-half Gleeson free from a similar position to rattle the crossbar.

Pictures by Conor Ryan

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