FAI Women's Cup Final Report: Athlone Town 2 - 2 Shelbourne (4 - 3 on penalties)
Athlone Town have claimed the FAI Women’s Cup for the very first time after overcoming Shelbourne 4-3 on penalties at Tallaght Stadium on Sunday evening.
Ciaran Kilduff’s side took the lead through Dana Scheriff before Jemma Quinn forced extra-time with a late goal.
Quin scored again in extra-time but Athlone Town fought back to take the game to penalties with Gillian Keenan getting on the scoresheet.
Athlone Town went close in the third minute when Madison Gibson floated a ball in from a corner-kick, Chloe Singleton headed the ball down at goal with Kellie Brennan flicking the ball on – it fell to Jessi Lynn Rossman but she blazed the ball across the goal mouth.
Gibson fancied her chances minutes later when she stormed forward to the edge of the Shelbourne box – the forward struck a long range effort but goalkeeper Amanda McQuillan took the ball into her chest.
Athlone captain Laurie Ryan unlocked the defence with a great long ball into the path of Gibson in the 19th minute, the midfielder struck another shot on goal, but McQuillan again made the save for the Reds.
Shelbourne got in on goal in the 25th minute when Hannah Healy stripped the ball off Jesi Lynn Rossman, the midfielder raced into the box before pulling the ball back for Noelle Murray with Athlone’s Kellie Brennan getting back in the nick of time to deflect her shot behind.
Dana Scheriff put Athlone in front in the 33rd minute when Singleton crossed a low ball into the box, it clipped a Shelbourne defender and clipped the upright before coming back into the path of the Town striker who fired the ball into the net for the lead.
Singleton went close again on the hour mark when Gibson found the midfielder’s head with another floated corner-kick, there was good contact on the header as the midfielder rose highest in the box but McQuillan got down well to make the save.
The Reds very nearly equalised during a goal mouth scramble caused by an Alex Kavanagh free-kick in the 65th minute – the ball slipped out of goalkeeper Katie Keane’s grasp and found the path of Murray who fired the ball over the bar to Athlone’s relief.
Shelbourne hit the back of the net in the 74th minute with Jemma Quinn finding the net just ten minutes after the striker came off the bench. Maggie Pierce floated a ball in from the right flank with Keane failing to handle the ball in the Athlone goal – Quinn was on hand to take control and put the ball in the net.
Gibson went close to putting Athlone back in front in the 85th minute with a great solo effort and a shot from the edge of the box, the ball clipping the top of the crossbar and going over.
Quinn came close for Shelbourne early in injury time when the striker got the ball on the edge of the box – she turned quickly while under pressure from the Athlone defence before releasing the shot but Keane made a great diving save to deny the goal.
Shelbourne scored their second goal in the 103rd minute when Pearl Slattery timed her run into the box perfectly to avoid the offside trap and accept a long ball from Murray – the Reds captain pulled the ball back for Quinn who drove the ball into the bottom corner from the edge of the box for her second goal of the game.
Athlone fought back with five minutes left in extra-time when the ball was played in to Muireann Devaney at the edge of the box from right, she floated the ball over the defence and into the area with substitute Gillian Keenan beating her marker to claim the ball before firing the ball past McQuillan for the equaliser.
Gibson struck the woodwork with Athlone’s first penalty with Shelbourne taking the lead in the shoot-through Slattery’s spot kick.
Athlone scored their following four penalties but McQuillan fired over with Shelbourne’s second penalty, it was all over when Alex Kavanagh agonisingly struck the crossbar with the last kick of the shoot-out sending the FAI Cup to the midlands for the first time ever.
Athlone Town WFC: Katie Keane; Shauna Brennan (Kate Slevin 70), Jesi Lynne Rossman, Kayleigh Shine; Kellie Brennan, Lauren Karabin (Muireann Devaney 58), Roisin Molloy (Gillian Keenan 98), Laurie Ryan (Isabel Ryan 106), Chloe Singleton; Madison Gibson, Dana Scheriff.
Subs not used: Katherine Hess, Mary Philips, Antea Guvo, Lucy-Jayne Grant, Carly Wetzel.
Booked: Shauna Brennan (54), Dana Scheriff (79).
Shelbourne W: Amanda McQuillan; Leah F Doyle (Rebecca Devereux 98), Keeva Keenan, Maggie Pierce, Pearl Slattery; Rachel Graham (Nadine Clare 76), Hannah Healy, Alex Kavanagh, Noelle Murray, Megan Smyth-Lynch (Kerri Letmon 45); Christie Gray (Jemma Quinn 63).
Subs not used: Courtney Maguire, Taylor White, Morgan Rees, Leah Riley, Catherine Greversen.
Booked: Megan Smyth-Lynch (34), Christie Gray (41), Amanda McQuillan (79).
Referee: Marc Lynch.
extratime.com Player of the Match: Chloe Singleton (Athlone Town)