Athlone Town win 2023 Sports Direct Women's FAI Cup
In front of 3,526 spectators, both teams provided an entertaining game that finished 2-2 after extra-time and had to be decided by a penalty shoot-out.
Athlone clinched it 4-3 on spot-kicks with Dana Scheriff, Chloe Singleton, Kayleigh Shine and Jesi Rossman all converting when the pressure was on The Midlanders. This is their second piece of silverware this season following on from their President's Cup triumph over the same opponent.
There was not much between these teams at all. In fact, it took until the 33rd minute before the deadlock was broken when Scheriff scored from close range to follow on from recently winning the EVOKE.ie Golden Boot for top goalscorer in the SSE Airtricity Women's Premier Division.
It looked to be Athlone's game until substitute Jemma Quinn scored on 75 minutes to give Shelbourne some hope. Game On!
Nothing could be settled in 90 minutes so the game went to extra-time and Quinn looked to have won it with a wonder strike from distance. But Gillian Keenan hit back for Athlone with a well-taken goal.
Into the shoot-out, it was Shelbourne who took the advantage when Madison Gibson failed to score but after Pearl Slattery and Scheriff both were successful, Shels missed through goalkeeper Amanda McQuillan.
Then it was a case of who would miss next and unfortunately that was Reds midfielder Alex Kavanagh after Athlone had scored each of their penalties. It was a cruel way to lose it for the holders, but on the flip side a sweet way for Athlone to win the Cup for the first time in their history.
Athlone Town: Katie Keane; Kellie Brennan, Kayleigh Shine, Jesi Rossman, Shauna Brennan (Kate Slevin 71); Laurie Ryan (Isabel Ryan 105), Lauren Karabin (Muireann Devaney 58); Roisin Molloy (Gillian Keenan 98), Chloe Singleton, Madison Gibson; Dana Scheriff.
Shelbourne: Amanda McQuillan; Keeva Keenan, Maggie Pierce, Pearl Slattery, Leah Doyle (Rebecca Devereux 99); Alex Kavanagh, Rachel Graham (Nadine Clare 76), Hannah Healy; Megan Smyth-Lynch (Kerri Letmon 45), Noelle Murray, Christie Gray (Jemma Quinn 64).
Referee: Marc Lynch.
Sports Direct Player of the Match: Chloe Singleton (Athlone Town).