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League Report: Shamrock Rovers 0 – 2 Peamount United – The home of Irish football

Christine Allen reports from Tallaght Stadium

Shamrock Rovers suffered a 2-0 defeat to last year’s Women’s Premier Division champions Peamount United in a match that simmered from the tip-off.

Erin McLaughlin’s brace earned three points for the visitors, who now sit fourth in the table.

The Hoops have made one change to the team that defeated DLR Waves a fortnight ago, with Shauna Fox replacing Stephanie Zambra.

Eileen Gleeson watched from the West Stand in Dublin 24, along with Irish international Abbie Larkin, who was all smiles after securing promotion to the Women’s Super League with Crystal Palace.

Peamount took to the grass in their sky blue strip while the Hoops lined up in their familiar green and white kit.

Rovers skipper Áine O’Gorman and Peas captain Karen Duggan trotted to the center of the park as the former teammates exchanged handshakes as the toss was decided.

The home team started with four at the back, while the visitors were three on the same line.

Avril Brierley claimed the first goal attempt in the fourth minute, pulling the ball wide and to the left of Amanda Budden’s post.

Duggan tightly marked Shamrock Rovers’ March Player of the Month Joy Ralph in what proved to be a closely fought battle that would last until the Greenhills native made way for Zambra in the 78th minute.

Ralph almost opened the scoring for the home side in the 8th minute when she turned Duggan after a visionary pass from Melissa O’Kane and reacted quickly by driving her foot through the ball in response to a backpedaling Burke.

Peas manager James O’Callaghan, who was watching the turf from the touchline with one knee, had his prayers answered when the ball pinged off the underside of the crossbar and landed harmlessly on his goalkeeper’s back line.

Peamount responded with intense pressure and scored two shots from long range: McLaughlin fired one effort over Budden’s head, while Ellen Dolan cut too far under the ball and sent it over the bar.

The dynamic duo of Lia O’Leary and Ralph almost rejoined the women in green and white. O’Gorman picked up Toni Ceno’s ball in his pockets and passed it to Ralph, who attacked in space along the right flank.

A deflection from Lauryn O’Callaghan did just enough to take Ralph’s ball off course, with the ball bouncing awkwardly as marauding winger O’Leary lined up to shoot.

The Portmarnock native had another chance on goal when she deftly cut inside Jessica Fitzgerald and opted to shoot onto her weaker right foot, her effort flashing wide of Burke’s sticks.

The game continued at a frantic pace. Rovers goalkeeper Budden urged her teammates to ‘calm down’ in the 17th minute, while Collie O’Neill instructed his number 19 Ralph to stay on top.

The Hoops goalkeeper would make several fine saves in both the first and second half but was beaten in the 19th minute when Jetta Berrill connected with McLaughlin whose first touch and finish were untouchable.

As the floodlights came to life and the match neared the end of the first half, McLaughlin made it a brace by curling the ball past both Hennessy and Budden into the top right box.

Stretching her arms out in a ‘so what?’ With a gesture, the 21-year-old beamed as the women in sky blue ran from their respective positions to congratulate her.

Rovers came into the dressing room 2-0 down with Hennessy, O’Kane and Budden thanking them for keeping the score within their reach.

On the restart, 17-year-old Academy talent Katie O’Reilly replaced Scarlett Herron for the home side and soon found her footing in the right channel, cutting inside Rebecca Watkins and winning the physical contest with a force beyond her years.

In the 52nd minute, O’Gorman played a perfectly weighted pass to the Under 17’s Hoops skipper, who quickly read Ralph’s strike in the box and slotted it towards the 19-year-old hitman whose momentum carried the ball inches past the far left hand. after.

The Hoops dominated possession for the remainder of the second half, with O’Gorman looking for another signature smash from the edge of the box, her effort flashing wide and to the right of the post.

As the 70th minute approached, O’Callaghan looked on in dismay, his arms folded, as Collie O’Neill marched along the touchline, quietly considering his next move.

However, the Peas continued to look dangerous as they hit Rovers on the counter.

With five minutes to go they had the chance to decide the match when Fitzgerald played a Michelin star-worthy pass for Freya Healy. McLaughlin took the ball at her feet and fired on the turn, but the Republic of Ireland international was denied by an in-form Budden.

In the 90th minute, with three minutes to play, Hennessy almost grabbed a consolation prize for the home side when she headed the ball forward and deep into the Peamount United six-yard box.

The number five opted to strike instead of rolling the ball to substitute Zambra, who had muscled towards the front post.

Zambra hit the grass in frustration as the Mullingar native hit the ball high and over the bar.

As the final whistle blew, the scoreboard glowed green at Tallaght Stadium, but it was still going to be a day for the women in sky blue.

Shamrock Robbers: Amanda Budden; Shauna Fox, Jessica Hennessy, Scarlett Herron (Katie O’Reilly 46), Melissa O’Kane (Ella Kelly 90); Aoife Kelly, Aine O’Gorman, Lia O’Leary (Shannon Coady 90), Maria Reynolds, Jaime Thompson (Lauren Kelly 78); Joy Ralph (Stephanie Zambra 78).
Subs not used: Summer Lawless, Alannah Prize Winner.
Booked: Jaime Thompson (57).

Peamount United: Niamh Reid Burke; Toni Ceno (Chloe Moloney 63), Karen Duggan, Lauryn O’Callaghan; Jetta Berrill, Ellen Dolan, Jessica Fitzgerald, Freya Healy (Louise Masterson 90), Erin McLaughlin, Becky Watkins; Avril Brierley (Ciara Maher 71).
Subs not used: Niamh Coombes, Niamh Richardson, Lille Noonan, Keelin Dermody, Carla McManus, Alicia Maher.
Booked: Erin McLaughlin (81).

Referee: Ian O’Keefe Player of the match: Erin McLaughlin (Peamount United)