Women’s Premier Division round up on a weekend where the home teams dominated

Aoibheann Clancy got on the scoresheet for Youths

Aoibheann Clancy got on the scoresheet for Youths Credit: Martin Doherty (ETPhotos)

It was not a weekend to be on the road in the SSE Airtricity Women’s Premier Division with all five away teams being beaten and managing not so much as a single goal between them.

Shelbourne started the weekend six points behind league leaders Peamount United, in second place, but they didn’t have a league game, being otherwise engaged in Lithuania, demolishing Cardiff City 3-0 in their 3rd place play-off in their Champion’s League qualifying group.

This allowed Shamrock Rovers the opportunity to draw level on points with the Reds if they won against Sligo Rovers in Tallaght. Win they did, and somewhat comfortably at that. Áine O’Gorman scored twice in the first half and Lia O’Leary added a third on the hour. Scarlett Herron removed any remaining doubt with her first goal for the Hoops since joining from Athlone in July.

The result leaves Sligo without a league win since mid-May - when they overcame fellow strugglers Cork City in the shadow of Benbulben - and with only one goal scored in their last four league outings.

Meanwhile, further out the N7, Peamount won their 14th game of the season and stretched their lead at the top to nine points, albeit with Shels and the Hoops having a game in hand.

Ellen Dolan has been James O’Callaghan’s choice to replace striker Kate Mooney, who signed for English Championship side Lewes a fortnight ago. And Dolan celebrated her second game up top with a hat-trick as the Peas demolished bottom side Cork City 5-0.

Avril Brierley also hit the net for Peamount while Sadhbh Doyle also scored, firing in a belter from 20 yards to leave Cork City still searching for their first league win after 16 attempts.

Wexford finally seem to be getting their mojo back after an uncertain 2023 campaign. The underwhelming nature of the Youths’ performances were perhaps encapsulated in the early summer when they followed up a home draw with Cork City with a 5-0 hammering at the hands of Shelbourne.

This weekend, however, they were more like themselves, blasting four past Treaty United for no reply, making this the third week in a row that they had hit the net four times. They were without striker Rianna Jarrett for the second week running but that proved no handicap with captain Kylie Murphy standing in at centre forward and bagging two goals after a penalty from Aoibheann Clancy and a clinical finish from Ciara Rossiter had given them a 2-0 half-time lead.

Athlone Town were another team to record a sizeable win, defeating Bohemians 5-0 in Lissywoolen. The Town sent out a much changed side with Madison Gibson starting up top and Katie Slevin taking over at right back. New manager Ciarán Kilduff also started a new midfield pairing of Lauren Karabin and Carly Mae Wetzel, as well as giving a full league debut to Isabel Ryan on the right side of the attack.

Ryan had already impressed with her control and pace before opening the scoring with an opportunistic strike at the back post on 17 minutes. Gillian Keenan added a second before half-time.

After the break Gibson drilled in a penalty before Dana Scheriff came off the bench to add two more, making it a day to forget for Bohemians who have now won only one of their last six league games.

Finally, the TG4 cameras were at Eamonn Deacy Park to see Galway United beat DLR Waves 2-0. The first goal aroused considerable confusion, the ball being bobbled over the line after a scramble among a posse of players from both sides. Some outlets have credited it to Isabella Beletic but, after several viewings, it appears to have been an own goal off an unfortunate Mia Chambers.

Eve Dossen made sure of the points for Galway with a thumping header from a Lynsey McKey corner, her second goal of the season.

And so, just five league weekends remain. Peamount are closing in what would be their fourth league title and their first since 2020. Both Shelbourne and Shamrock Rovers are still in with a shout but the suspicion is that they are now battling for second place.

At the bottom Cork City will be desperate to secure at least one league win having shown such fine form in the summer’s All-Island Avenir Cup. But Sligo Rovers - just two points above them and having a difficult second season - will be equally determined to stay above them.