Peamount United finally complete dream title double

by Dave Donnelly
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Peamount United sealed a first-ever national league and FAI Cup double at the third attempt with a ruthless 6-0 demolition of Cork City at Tallaght Stadium.

A brace from fit-again Steph Roche and one each from Aine O’Gorman, Karen Duggan, Becky Watkins and Tiegan Ruddy sealed a handsome win.

All six of the goals arrived in the second half as a stout defensive effort from the Rebel Army eventually gave way to waves of Peamount attacks.

For the Newcastle side, it will have been a relief to get over the line following cup final defeats to Raheny United in 2012, following their first title win, and Wexford Youths 12 months ago.

In spite of the scoreline, Cork City more than played their part in a game that remained in the balance until Peamount rattled in four goals in the final 15 minutes.

That it remained scoreless at the break was testament to the youthful side’s energy and relentless pressure, but they found the pace too difficult to maintain after Roche broke the deadlock.

City had been beaten by a 3-0 scoreline in both of their league meetings this season so were always going to be up against it in the champions’ back yard.

For 45 minutes, they made it impossible for Peamount to play their normal passing game and showed quality on the ball, with Eabha O’Mahony in midfield particularly impressive.

Chances were at a premium during that first half but, gradually, Peamount found their opportunities, but neither Claire Walsh nor Lucy McCartan could really test Maria O’Sullivan.

They call the moments each side of half time ‘championship minutes’ and that certainly proved to be the case as Roche broke the deadlock within a minute of the restart.

A clever reverse pass from McCartan put the striker into space and she did wonderfully to squeeze her left-footed shot past O’Sullivan from a tight angle.

Six minutes later, Roche had her second and it was a more simple finish as Alannah McEvoy reacted quickest to a rebound and teed up her strike partner to smash home.

If City’s heads dropped from the quick double concession, they did a good job of hiding it and really should have found a route back in before the hour.

Uncharacteristic hesitation in the Peas defence led to an opening for Christina Dring but, with time to pick her spot, the playmaker rushed her shot and failed to find the target.

Peamount, who finish the season with just one defeat in all competitions, dialled up the pressure in response but Roche’s dreams of a cup final hat-trick were scuppered by the impressive O’Sullivan.

The killer third arrived 14 minutes from time and it was fitting that it was captain and golden boot-winner O’Gorman who provided the finish from Roche’s assist.

The outstanding Duggan added a fourth with her head from sub Megan Smyth-Lynch’s corner, before two more replacement got their names on the scoresheet.

Watkins fired into an empty net after O’Sullivan had done well to deny Smyth-Lynch, before Ruddy celebrated her return from a long lay-off with an ACL tear by scoring the pick of the strikes.

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