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Success continues for Shelbourne Ladies as penalty drama sees Reds retain League Cup

Spot-kicks saw Mark Leavy’s side secure their fourth piece of silverware in the last two seasons.

Pearl Slattery, Roma McLaughlin and Jaime Finn celebrate with The Continental Tyres WNL League Cup Pearl Slattery, Roma McLaughlin and Jaime Finn celebrate with the WNL League Cup. Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

ONLY A DRAMATIC penalty shoot-out could separate Shelbourne Ladies and Peamount United on Saturday night, with goalkeeper Amanda McQuillan proving the hero as the Reds secured the Women’s National League Cup for a second year running.

Leanne Kiernan gave Shelbourne an early lead with a chance inside the box following a Roma McLoughlin free-kick, however Heather Payne brought the sides level after rounding goalkeeper McQuillan before 15 minutes.

Jamie Finn had a header cleared off the line at 1-1, while Peamount too had a goal ruled out for offside in a tense and fraught affair which saw substitute Sarah McKevitt sent off in extra time for the Peas.

Ultimately spot kicks would decide the victor.

Shelbourne celebrate winning The Continental Tyres WNL League Cup on penalties Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

After successful attempts from all of Amber Barrett, Claire Kinsella, Chloe Moloney and Eleanor Ryan-Doyle for the league champions, goalkeeper and Ireland international McQuillan stood the test to put the shoot-out at match point.

She saved from Niamh Barnes before Rachel Graham slotted home the decisive kick.

Rachal Graham is mobbed by her teammates after scoring the winning penalty Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

“It’s a great moment for us,” said Shelbourne captain Pearl Slattery afterwards.

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“All of those nights of training really came off for us and we’re delighted with the result.

“It was a great game of football but I do think, over the 120 minutes, we did deserve it and to come out on top after penalties is great.

Shelbourne celebrate winning The Continental Tyres WNL League Cup Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

“We got an early lead and put them under pressure straight away but we gave away a disappointing goal and they came back at us. In the end, we showed character and it’s great to come away with a medal.”

Mark Leavy’s side secured a historic treble last season, winning the WNL Cup, Women’s National League title and Women’s FAI Cup in 2016.

The side also came within one win of qualifying for the Women’s Uefa Champions League last month, going unbeaten in their qualification group for Europe’s elite club competition.

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