James O’Callaghan was delighted Women’s National League ‘underdogs’ Peamount got the chance to show their teeth for something other than snarling in Newcastle last weekend.
It was smiles all around as United celebrated winning their first league title in three seasons after their final-day victory over Sligo Rovers.
The title victory was the Peas fourth in their history but due to their extremely tumultuous season and the fact they find themselves down the pecking order in terms of finance and facilities with the influx of the LOI teams into the division, it was by far the ‘sweetest’ claims manager O’Callaghan.
“As everyone knows, we’ve been written off, losing players, players getting injured and not having the finances to back everything up like other teams, against that backdrop this is one of the sweetest wins we’ve had,” O’Callaghan said.
Things did look bad for O’Callaghan’s charges at the start of the year. They lost star names Aine O’Gorman and Stephaine Zambra in pre-season and had to deal with serious injuries.
“Peamount are big underdogs now,” comments O’Callaghan before suggesting the success has roots in hard work.
“We had one of the biggest crowds in women’s national league history tonight, which is amazing for little aul Peamount. We are just trying to do our best, we had to work really hard all year, had a really strong pre-season, and training has been high intensity and that was visible in a lot of the game, getting wins in the last 20 minutes of matches. The girls have been brilliant all season, I’m thrilled for them.”
Peamount had done enough to win the title with two games to spare but finished the season in style hitting Sligo for six at PRL Park.
Jess Fitzgerald and Ellen Dolan both hit two while Erin McLaughlin and Avril Brierley also scored in the Peas 17th win.
“It was a great result tonight,” Said O’Callaghan. “Sligo are a really good side. I think in the second half we really pushed on and we were delighted to get the win. Peamount will now be Ireland’s representative in next season’s Champion’s League and the manager hopes to ensure they do the league and the country proud.
“The best thing about winning the league is you get the Champions League. We would love to push on there and represent the League well.”
and make everyone proud of us. It’s a fantastic league and it probably doesn’t get the recognition it deserves so we would love to make some progression in that area.”
Ellen Dolan and Rebecca Watkins of Peamount celebrate with the SSE Airtricity Women’s Premier Division trophy and (inset) Peamount manager James O’Callaghan and Lauryn O’Callaghan Park in Greenogue. Pics: Stephen McCarthy
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