Women’s President’s Cup Preview: Athlone Town -v- Peamount United

Peas skipper Karen Duggan

Peas skipper Karen Duggan Credit: Martin Doherty (ETPhotos)


Athlone Town started and ended last season by lifting silverware, but under different managers. This time last year, Tommy Hewitt led the Town to a President’s Cup win against Shelbourne, the match being decided on penalties after a 2-2 draw.

And in the final game of 2023, Ciaran Kilduff led his new charges to Tallaght Stadium as they also drew 2-2, also against Shelbourne and, again, won after penalties, although this time the occasion was the Women’s FAI Cup final.

Cup specialists, then? Maybe so. And if Kilduff’s Athlone team can continue where they left off last November, then they have every chance of hoisting another trophy into the Midlands sky this coming Saturday, when Peamount United come to town.

Athlone struggled to find their rhythm in the early months of 2023 but when Kilduff took over the reins in mid-season, he reimposed a sense of order. He re-established who should be playing where, and found new positions for some players who were looking a little lost.

Captain Laurie Ryan was given a partner in her holding midfield role with Lauren Karabin dropping in beside her, in an adjustment of formation that also put Chloe Singleton in the No.10 role behind the main striker. And with erstwhile striker Kellie Brennan finding a new purpose at right back, Athlone were looking a lot more like the exciting renegades of 2022.

Over the winter Kilduff has lost midfielder Muireann Devaney, who has gone to Sligo Rovers, and looks to be without last season’s Golden Boot winner Dana Sheriff who plundered 15 league and cup goals, including the opener in the Cup Final.

But Athlone have brought in a few too. Casey Howe comes in after a year with Sligo Rovers, where she scored 10 times in all competitions, though it must be said, five of those came in an 11-0 Cup win over non-league Bonagee United.

Kilduff will also have the services of Kerryanne Brown, who joins from Sion Swifts, and Jenaya Robertson who comes in from Shelbourne. Fiona Owens also returns from a long term injury lay-off.


As reigning league champions, Peamount will travel to Athlone for Saturday’s President’s Cup final full of confidence.

The Peas lost just two league game in 2023 and beat Athlone Town in both of their league encounters, on an aggregate score of 8-4. This average of six goals per game was not reflected when they met in the FAI Cup quarter-finals, however, and a scoreless draw was decided in Athlone’s favour on penalties.

Peamount will be strong favourites to repeat their league success this year, and after striding majestically to the title in 2023, manager James O’Callaghan has strengthened a side that already looked pretty intimidating.

Striker Erica Burke comes in from Bohemians, as does centre back Ciara Maher. Both players have impressive pedigrees and their presence ensures competition for places in key areas of the pitch.

But the main thing to say about Peamount’s transfer business over the winter, is that they lost just one of their title winning side. Left back Tara O’Hanlon has left Greenogue, bound for the gilded halls of The Etihad, and WPL side Manchester City.

Otherwise it will be business as usual for a team that are very much in the habit of winning.

Referee: Ray Matthews


Peamount have won six of their seven league games against Athlone, their only defeat coming in May of 2022 when they lost 1-0 thanks to an Emily Corbet goal.

Athlone Town won four cup games on penalty shootouts in 2023, beating Shelbourne in both the President’s Cup and FAI Cup, and also knocking Galway and Peamount out of the FAI Cup on spot kicks.

The first league meeting of these clubs occurred on 29 August 2020, when the Peas ran out 8-0 winners. Two of the scorers on that day - Dearbhaile Beirne and Louise Masterson are still with Peamount.


Athlone Town 2-3 Peamount United

Athlone Town:

Injured: Ciara Glackin

Doubtful: Chloe Singleton, Madison Gibson, Jenaya Robertson

Suspended: None

Peamount United:

Injured: Unavailable

Doubtful: Unavailable

Suspended: None