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Tuesday 31 January 2023 Dublin: 8°C
# top finisher
Irish involvement aplenty in Glasgow derby as 'big-game player' Shine back with a bang
The Cork striker scored the winner against Celtic today.

CLARE SHINE SCORED what would be Glasgow City’s winner in today’s 2-1 derby victory over Celtic in the Scottish Women’s Premier League.

The Cork striker was one of several Republic of Ireland internationals involved in the fixture, with Dubliner Eileen Gleeson the City manager.

Shine and Claire Walsh – the former Peamount star was also excellent – lined out for Glasgow, while Tyler Toland and Izzy Atkinson featured for the Hoops. Niamh Farrelly and Aoife Colvill are also on the books at City, but were absent from the matchday squad.

Shine’s goal on the stroke of half time was decisive for the league leaders and long-time champions at Petershill Park, adding to Priscila Chinchilla’s opener before Charlie Wellings hit back in the second half.

The Irishwoman timed her back-post run perfectly to get on the end of Hayley Lauder’s free-kick and rifle home. It came as her first goal after recovering from Covid-19, returning to the starting XI with an industrious 67-minute showing after being held in reserve last week.

And Gleeson was full of praise for her countrywoman in her post-match media duties, agreeing with the interviewer’s suggestion that Shine is a “big-game player”.

“It was huge, it was the winning goal as it turned out,” Gleeson, Vera Pauw’s former assistant manager, said.

“Shiney knows the game very well. She was out, she was ill, we’re building her back up and thankfully we reaped the benefits today with that second goal.”

“A huge three points,” Gleeson added. “We knew we needed to come away with three points to stay in the title race and, of course, Champions League football as well. The consequences of dropping points were huge for us today.

“In terms of performance, I think we could be much better. We probably lacked composure. But in terms of character, grit and determination, it was ugly but we got the win. To grind it out, it was tough and the girls really did put in a shift.”

Defender Megan Foley, meanwhile, hailed Gleeson’s impact since her arrival at the club in late 2021.

“It’s good,” she said. “I think what she’s brought into the club, she’s always drilling in that intensity all the time. I think you can see that from the past couple of games, the good run and the wins. Tonight we probably didn’t show as much intensity as we’d have wanted to, but it’s been good since she’s been in and she’s done really well with us.”

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On today’s encounter, Foley added: “I think it was a really hard match, really hard to fight for that win. We didn’t play our best but I think as a team we defended really well at the end. There was a lot of pressure on us to win that game, it was a must-win, and we done that, we got the three points.”

City retain a narrow lead at the top of the table – they have 53 points, Rangers have 52 and the Hoops are next in line with 42 – as their bid for a 15th title in-a-row continues.

With a productive few weeks in the rear-view mirror, Gleeson says it’s all about what’s next.

“I’m delighted, but there’s still a long way to go – seven games from now. The girls are tired, fatigue is building up, it’s been a pretty busy schedule so hopefully with no mid-week game we can get fresh again and be ready for Partick Thistle next Sunday.”

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