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Dublin: 7 °C Friday 5 June, 2020
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Here we go, the biggest day in the domestic women’s football calendar with all eyes on the Aviva Stadium. 

Wexford Youths and Peamount United go head-to-head once again in this year’s final. Wexford are, of course, defending their title, but all the momentum is with Peamount, who were crowned league champions last weekend. 

Kick-off is 12.05pm, updates here and it’s live on RTÉ Two.

The sun is shining, the teams have just come out onto the pitch and are ready to be greeted by President Michael D Higgins. The atmosphere is well and truly building with just a few minutes to go.

Some pre-match reading from both camps as we run through the formalities…

‘It’s not just about football. We try to create that family atmosphere where the team can rely on each other’

‘They’ll be sitting just behind me in the dugout. I wouldn’t want to enjoy these experiences without them’

‘All we feel is proud of her… she’s capable of bigger and better things’

‘It was definitely one of the hardest things I’ve ever done… the ring is on now so I’m not so bad!’

‘It is bittersweet for me but I’m their biggest fan and so proud of every single one of them’

KICK-OFF: And it’s Peamount who get us underway.

2 mins: Nothing major to report just yet, as both sides settle into proceedings and rid themselves of the big-match nerves. Wexford may have bedded in slightly quicker with Ireland star Rianna Jarrett looking sharp.

3 mins: Wexford Youths 1-0 Peamount United 

And just like that, Wexford go 1-0 up through Lauren Kelly. Dream start for the holders.

Kelly waltzed through the Peas defence there, before finishing well into the bottom corner to put the holders one up.

7 mins: To their credit, Peas bit back accordingly from a corner at the other end, but Niamh Farrelly’s header from Megan Smyth-Lynch’s corner sails over the bar. Youths want more, Jarrett is threatening.

11 mins: The 2019 league champions are finding their feet now after that early setback. Captain and former Ireland star Aine O’Gorman goes on a brilliant run through the middle, and finds Smyth-Lynch out wide, but her cross is gathered up by Youths keeper Dolland.

13 mins: Eleanor Ryan-Doyle is really coming into this now and giving Peamount a lift when she gets on the ball. She wins a corner, which Smyth-Lynch sends in from the right. Nothing comes off it however, despite a few weak penalty calls for handball. There looked to be nothing, though, as referee Sarah Dyas waves play on.

20 mins: We’ve had attacks at both ends, but nothing too promising. A nice battle developing between Jarrett and recently-retired international Karen Duggan. Bit of bite in the challenges going in.

30 mins: The boos from Peamount fans ring out and Edel Kennedy and Smyth-Lynch collide around the middle, the former appearing to stamp on Smyth-Lynch.

32 mins: Peamount United 1-1 Wexford Youths 

And we’re level! Some finish from Karen Duggan.

33 mins: Wexford Youths 2-1 Peamount United

Another one! Kelly on the double as she puts her side back in front. 

36 mins: Wexford Youths 2-1 Peamount United

Just as things were getting a little on the dull side, two goals have spiced the contest right up.

First, Peamount levelled matters through Duggan. A brilliant turn before the Peas star found the top corner. And then an equally excellent goal at the other end mere seconds later doubled the excitement as Reid-Burke’s fingertips couldn’t stop Kelly’s stunning effort.

38 mins: O’Gorman, from just inside the box on the left, has a pop and it rattles the crossbar.

42 mins: Ciara Rossiter intercepts a weak pass down the left, before linking up with Jarrett and the Ireland striker hits the side net. Will we see another goal before half time?

One minute of extra-time here. It’s Wexford Youths 2-1 Peamount, by the way, as the score won’t show correctly up top.

SECOND HALF: The leaders get us underway once again, Jarrett getting the ball moving.

49 mins: A decent start to the second half as O’Gorman leads the Peamount charge. They have the most promising opening to the later period, but Dolland keeps a threatening attack out. Wexford, happily in the lead, immediately sit deep again with Jarrett up top as they look to spring her on the break

52 minutes: Peamount United 2-2 Wexford Youths 

And we’re level again after another superb finish — that’s from Eleanor Ryan Doyle.

54 mins: What about that for a goal from Ryan-Doyle. After the immense Peamount pressure, it was inevitable. She catches Dolland off her line and it’s another great goal here at the Aviva.

Also, a Peamount sub: Naima Chemaou replaces Lucy McCartan.

60 mins:  Wexford sub: Rossiter is replaced by McKenna Davidson. 

A delay there with Aising Frawley getting treatment on a facial injury. Looks like she just had a nose bleed and she’s back on now. Peamount had a chance in the interim, but the header went over the bar.

64 mins: Wexford Youth 3-2 Peamount United 

Goal for Youths and it’s their skipper, Kylie Murphy who puts them back in front.

The fifth goal of the afternoon from Murphy is another lovely one, she finishes off a nice team move after being played through the middle by Jarrett. No problem as the 31-year-old slots home.

67 mins: Peamount change in defence as Niamh Barnes replaces Lauryn O’Callaghan.

69 mins: Claire Walsh’s effort is brilliantly saved by Dolland as Peamount go in search of that vital equaliser.

70 mins: Jarrett, at the other end, goes on a brilliant dancing run down the right, takes a decent shot but her effort is kept out by Reid-Burke.

71 mins: Wexford are now piling on the pressure as they look to put the game to bed. Reid-Burke fumbles the ball in the box when she maybe should have gathered it into her arms, Davidson takes advantage of the mishap but Peamount keep it out.

76 mins: It’s Wexford, who are 3-2 up, who are pushing hardest here. It looks like we may have another goal, it’s a question of which end it comes at.

81 mins: Into the final 10 minutes here, and we’ve had efforts at both ends. The most promising of those was definitely the latest: Dolland produces a brilliant save to keep Ryan-Doyle’s half-volleyed effort out.

83 mins: So, so unlucky as Jarrett hammers an effort off the post. She’s been a joy to watch all afternoon, the crowd’s reaction every time she gets on the ball says it all.

84 mins: Sub for Youths: Blessing Kingsley replaces Frawley.

88 mins: Wexford’s two-goal hero Kelly is named Player of the Match.

90 mins: Four minutes added on. Still 3-2 Wexford.

Clock is running down here, and yet, it’s Wexford who look more likely of the two to score another.

About the author:

Emma Duffy

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