Heartbreak for Quinn as Shels lose on penalties

by Jonny Stapleton
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Athlone Town 2

Shelbourne 2

Shelbourne and Jemma Quinn in particular were just five minutes away from writing one the greatest Cup final stories of all time.

Quinn came off the bench to turn a game Shelbourne were struggling in on its head. The old-school striker forced extra time with an old-school opportunistic finish. The 32-year-old then looked like she’d won it for the Tolka Park side when he drove the ball into the bottom corner.

However, Athlone Town levelled with five minutes to go and went on to lift the cup for the first time in their history via penalties.

The Town display was special in its own right and their win was historic but denied the game a Roy of the Rovers-style narrative.

Quinn was on course to be the story of the decider and not just because she was a super sub. The Dubliner only ended a nine-year break from all football last year and after helping Shels to the double last season was on course to the final hero in Tallaght Stadium last Sunday night.

It wasn’t to be for Quinn as Athlone got rewarded for a brilliant performance.  

It remains an inspirational tail and speaking before the final she said she hopes her story can inspire.

 “The best thing you can do for anyone in this world is help in some sort of way.

“If what I have done, can give anybody even the incentive to go back and even just do a bit of running and even start looking after themselves. It doesn’t even have to be football, it can be anything in order to get them moving again or give themselves some self-confidence.”

“I would love for girls and lads to be able to look at it, and it’s not impossible, and to be able to think you are not too old or past your time. If you work hard on something, you can make whatever you want it to be. You just have to prioritise a little bit and know what you want to do.”

Alex Kavanagh of Shelbourne is consoled by team-mates Kerri Letmon, left, and Jemma Quinn, right, after the Women’s Cup final at Tallaght Stadium. Photo: Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

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