Shelbourne retain SSE Airtricity Women's National League

Shelbourne retain SSE Airtricity Women's National League

The 2022 SSE Airtricity Women's National League came to its conclusion as Shelbourne were crowned Champions after beating Wexford Youths 4-0 at Ferrycarrig Park.

Wexford Youths 0-4 Shelbourne
It's a second league title in a row for Shelbourne as they overcame Wexford Youths at Ferrycarrig Park to be crowned champions.

It was a close contest with understandably an intense atmosphere at Ferrycarrig. Wexford had chances to go ahead in the first half, one being from Ciara Rossiter but her shot just went over the bar.

Just before the break it was Shelbourne who broke the deadlock. Alex Kavanagh took the strike on that was saved by Maeve Williams in the Youths goal, but Jessie Stapleton was there for The Reds to get the rebound.

In the second half the reigning champions took control. Abbie Larkin sent a great cross into the box and Alex Kavanagh was able to head it past Williams.

Another pinpoint Larkin cross found Megan Smyth-Lynch in the 73rd minute and Smyth-Lynch made no mistake in front of goal to make it 3-0.

In the 75th minute, Larkin and Smyth-Lynch worked well together on the left-hand side and Larkin got in behind the Wexford defence. She went for power and struck the ball home to make it 4-0 for The Reds.

A powerful performance from the reigning champions to pick up the Women's National League title for the second year in a row. As for Wexford, they can be proud of their performances that got them to this position, but it just wasn't their day.

Bohemians 1-2 Athlone Town
It was Athlone Town who settled the quickest in their game with Bohemians on Saturday evening, but it was the home side that nearly took the lead after 18 minutes. Ciara Maher delivered a free kick into the Athlone area where Lisa Murphy looped a header back across goal, narrowly missing the far post.

Needing to win to have any hope of snatching the League title, Athlone soon took control of the game with Roisin Molloy acting as their architect in chief, tormenting the Bohs defence down the right flank.

She provided the cross which led to Emily Corbet firing narrowly over from Maddison Gibson’s cushioned pass, and another which gave Gillian Keenan a clear header that she could only direct straight at Rachael Kelly. Kate Slevin also came close for Athlone, hitting the Bohs crossbar just after the half hour, but the teams went for their half-time break scoreless.

Athlone broke the deadlock just a few minutes into the second half when Emily Corbet headed home Gillian Keenan’s cross and it looked like they would push on from there but Bohemians dug in and worked an equaliser on 64 minutes, Kira Bates-Crosbie driving in at the back post to head home Ann Marie Byrne’s cross.

Athlone might have scored more with Molloy striking the bar, Keenan sending the follow up high over the bar and Maddie Gibson shooting just over. But even a third would not have been enough to lift the league crown with Shelbourne beating Wexford down south.

Galway WFC 0-6 Peamount United
Galway WFC were hoping to go out with a bang in their last game in the Women's National League before merging with Galway United, but it was Peamount United who stole the show at Eamonn Deacy Park.

It was Dearbhaile Beirne who got things rolling for The Peas on 13 minutes with a lovely placed finish into the left side of the goal. Captain Aine O'Gorman got The Peas second with a looping header in the 24th minute.

Only a few minutes after, a free-kick move straight from the training ground was finished off by Sadhbh Doyle to make it 3-0. The Peas had a penalty just before half-time which O'Gorman slotted home to make it 4-0 going into the break.

O'Gorman got her hat-trick in the 57th minute, slotting home a one-on-one attack. O'Gorman officially finished as the league's top scorer for 2022 with 22 goals.

An emphatic Peas win was cemented by youngster Tara O'Hanlon, who dribbled through the Galway defence from the halfway line, passed to O'Gorman, received the ball back at the edge of the box and struck a powerful shot into the Galway net. It just wasn't to be for Galway for their last game in the Women's National League.

Treaty United 0-3 Cork City
Still searching for their first win of the season, it was Treaty United who created the first chance after just three minutes play at Markets Field on Saturday afternoon. Cara Griffin’s free kick found the run of Kelsey Wing and her shot forced Cork keeper, Abby McCarthy, into a sharp goal-line stop.

Thereafter it was City who made the running and Treaty did well to keep the visitors scoreless from a flurry of chances. And it looked as if they had weathered the storm and might head into the break scoreless when City broke the deadlock on 41 minutes.

Eva Mangan’s free was headed into the danger area by a Treaty defender and Aoife Cronin drilled the ball past Trish Fennelly Hunt from close range.

City went further ahead when Eva Mangan finished well on 55 minutes and, despite going down to ten just after the hour when Lauren Walsh received a second yellow, they added a third on 66 minutes when Cronin chipped Hunt from the edge of the Treaty box.

That was enough for City to claim their sixth win of the campaign and to see Treaty play out their season with just two draws to show for their efforts.

Sligo Rovers 1-5 DLR Waves
With DLR Waves needing a win away at Sligo Rovers to give them a shot at a top half finish they started their final game of the season on the front foot. And their attacking approach was rewarded after just nine minutes when Katie Malone looped the ball in from a tight angle having been played in by Kate Mooney.

And the Waves went on to dominate the opening half with Kerri Letmon superb down the right and the central pairing of Malone and Mooney always looking dangerous. Indeed, they almost extended their lead when Letmon scored from a ridiculously tight angle just before the break, but the ball was judged to have gone out of play.

The second goal did come, however, just three minutes into the second half when Mooney applied a neat finish past Amy Mahon having been played in by Sophie Watters. And Mooney, having been taken down when through on goal, got her second of the day from the penalty spot just before the hour.

Mooney completed her hat-trick on 67 minutes, blasting home a loose ball, and 10 minutes later substitute Amber Cosgrove made it five for the visitors with the goal of the game, a rocket of a finish which clattered off the underside of the Sligo bar on its way to the net.

Lauren Boles pulled one back for Sligo in the dying stages of the game, a fitting final salvo in a debut season that has seen the Sligo women perform well despite running out of steam in the latter third.

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