League Preview: Shamrock Rovers -v- Galway United


There is no tougher test than Galway United… yet like most teams in the SSE Airtricity Women’s Premier Division, the women in maroon and white still want to beat Shamrock Rovers - and badly.

It is a testament to the success of the club and the calibre of the Rovers women that, despite a string of disappointing results and an alien league position, the Dublin 24 outfit remain the benchmark against which other clubs measure themselves.

Despite feeling the sting of defeat to rivals Peamount United and Rebels Cork City, such knowledge must be somewhat of a sweet salve for Collie O’Neill’s side.

In assessing their recent performances, The Hoops have dominated possession and created chances aplenty across both league and cup fixtures.

It has been the final third that O’Neill’s side have struggled with. A season of margins - consequential ones at that.

Yet you get the sense that there remains a core belief within the group and that each fixture starts on a clean slate.

After an eventful loss against Cork City, The Hoops regrouped and displayed real finesse and flair in attack at Seaview in their 2-2 draw against Crusaders to qualify for the quarter finals of the Avenir Sports All Island Cup.

Lia O’Learys blistering performance on the left lane will not have gone unnoticed by Galway United's analysts while serial starter for The Hoops, the tenacious and powerful Melissa O’Kane, is unlikely to have been overlooked by manager Phil Trill.

Joy Ralph, Amanda Budden, Aine O’Gorman, Stephanie Zambra, Jessica Hennessy, Katie O’Reilly… (the list goes on.)

On their day, Shamrock Rovers can overrun any eleven in this league.

Therefore, despite the current optics, there is no greater test for the Tribeswomen - and no better occasion for the Tallaght tricksters to show their mettle.


It’s tough at the top, but Galway United, the goalslingers of the west, make it look like child’s play.

The galvanised Galwegians have netted 18 goals across their six league games played and are buoyed by a support that is in its ascendency at Eamonn Deacy Park.

At the other end of the pitch, United have conceded only two goals - a testament to their tight-knit backline consisting of the tenacious Eve Dossen and astute Jamie Erickson, while Maria O Sullivan’s acrobatics against Athlone Town were another example of the pedigree Phil Trill has at his disposal between United's sticks.

Galway native Aoibheann Costello could too prove to be a real headache for the Dublin 24 outfit.

The athletic and roving full-back played fifteen times across the league and the Avenir Sports All-Island Cup in 2023 and has continued to shine in the new campaign, earning Player of the Month honours for April.

Costello provided the assist for Aislinn Meaney's equaliser in last weekend's cup battle against The Town.

With a poise beyond her nineteen years, the hard working defender (Costello ranked number one in the country for counter presses per 90 last season) placed the ball into the bottom right-hand corner in her sides 4-0 thrashing of DLR Waves and could have a real impact on the Tallaght turf.

The numbers don’t lie. Galway United are a force to be reckoned with. Of that, there can be no doubt.


Referee: Aaron O’Dowd



Shamrock Rovers 2 - 1 Galway United



The Hoops were victorious the last time the women from the west travelled to Tallaght stadium.

Skipper Aine O’Gorman (who netted a brace in Rover's draw against Crusaders FC last weekend) found the target along with Abbie Larkin, while Gemma McGuinness netted one back for the visitors.

At Eamonn Deacy Park, both sides shared the spoils in a 1-1 draw, Gemma McGuinness once again converting against The Hoops with Jaime Thompson equalising with five minutes left to play.

McGuinness and Larkin have since journeyed to pastures new, yet both sides have a wealth of talent that is guaranteed to make this fixture an entertaining and competitive encounter.

Galway United were held to a scoreless draw against reigning champions Peamount United at the tail end of April and were unable to get the upper hand on a midlands side brimming with confidence last weekend.

New to pole position, the women in maroon and white will undoubtedly want to lay down the gauntlet at Tallaght and thereby make a statement of intent to the chasing pack.

A convincing win against Shamrock Rovers would surely cement their arrival as title contenders in the league, while for The Hoops, a win over the league leaders would undoubtedly lift their confidence for the remainder of the campaign.

All eyes now look to the televised game in Tallaght.


Shamrock Rovers

Injured: Savannah McCarthy.

Doubtful: N/A. 

Suspended: N/A.


Galway United

Injured: N/A.

Doubtful: N/A.

Suspended: N/A.