Galway hit five goals without reply. Evan Treacy/INPHO

Galway hit five without reply as Peamount denied third straight title

The defending champions surrendered a two-goal lead at PRL Park.

Peamount United 2

Galway WFC 5

Dave Donnelly reports from PRL Park. 

PEAMOUNT UNITED WERE denied a third successive Women’s National League title as they surrendered a two-goal lead to Galway at PRL Park on Saturday night.

The TV cameras were on hand to witness a remarkable comeback from the Tribeswomen, who fired five unanswered goals past a shell-shocked Peas side.

That was enough to see Shelbourne, who had trailed by four points coming into the final two games, clinch the title by a point with a 3-2 win over Wexford Youths at Tolka Park.

Few would have predicted such an outcome before the game, let alone after 20 minutes when Tiegan Ruddy gave the home side a 2-0 lead.

Aine O’Gorman had headed the home side in front after four minutes and Ruddy’s free kick looked to have the Peas on course for a record third straight title.

Peas have routinely put teams to the sword on home soil – Shelbourne won’t need reminding after falling to a 5-0 defeat last month, and that looked set to be the case once more.

Galway weren’t in on the plan, however, and they produced five goals without reply to leave a stunned Peas side, for once, devoid of ideas as they fell to their second defeat of the season.

Emma Starr started the comeback before Lynsey McKee levelled before half time. Shauna Brennan, Julie-Ann Russell and Abbie Callanan added three more after the break.

Peas missed their chance to seal the title a week earlier when they were Eve Badana’s penalty save from Ruddy ensured their tie with DLR Waves ended scoreless in front of the cameras.

Ruddy looked to righted that wrong when her free kick was misjudged by Galway stopper Leah Hayes Coen, and the ball bounced in off her foot to double the home side’s lead.

Aine O’Gorman had provided the perfect start for Peas as she got on the end of a Sadhbh Doyle corner to head home from close range.

lucy-mccartan-dejected-after-the-game Peamount United’s Lucy McCartan dejected after the game. Tom Maher / INPHO Tom Maher / INPHO / INPHO

There was little they could do about either of the goals Galway netted before half time, two finishes of the highest quality from Starr and McKee.

First, American-born playmaker star nonchalantly bent a shot over Niamh Reid-Burke and in off the bar before McKee curled home wonderfully.

A draw would still have been enough for Peamount to force a play-off with Shels on Tuesday but football rarely follows a set script.

Galway took the lead just past the hour as Shauna Brennan’s cross looped over Niamh Reid-Burke and into the far corner.

Peas still had half and hour to turn it around but they fell further behind with 17 minutes to go as they continued to leak chances, and it was a former Pea who did the damage.

Julie-Ann Russell had been a thorn in Peas’ side all night and the 59-times-capped international sent a low shot arrowing past Reid-Burke to make it 4-2.

Russell was the provider for the best of the goals nine minutes from time as she teed up teenager Abbie Callanan to dink home number five.

Peamount United: Niamh Reid-Burke; Lucy McCartan, Chloe Moloney, Tiegan Ruddy, Deirbháile Beirne; Karen Duggan, Dora Gorman, Sadhbh Doyle (Louise Masterson 85); Aine O’Gorman, Alannah McEvoy (Megan Smyth-Lynch 67), Steph Roche (Lauren Kelly 67). 

Galway: Leah Hayes Coen (Karen Connolly 86); Therese Kinnevey, Becky Walsh (Chloe Singleton 86), Savannah McCarthy, Shauna Brennan (Sinead Donnelly 86); Méabh De Burca, Emma Starr, Lynsey McKee; Ellerose O’Flaherty, Julie-Ann Russell, Aoife Thompson (Abbie Callanan 67).

Referee: David Dunne. 

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