Saoirse Noonan was on target for Shelbourne tonight (file pic). Laszlo Geczo/INPHO
top of the table

Champions Shelbourne secure vital three points in Wexford

Saoirse Noonan and Keeva Keenan scored the Reds’ goals in the first half.

Wexford Youths 0

Shelbourne 2

FIRST-HALF GOALS FROM Saoirse Noonan and Keevan Keenan saw Shelbourne come away from their trip to the south east with a 2-0 victory and a vital three points.

It just took five minutes for the deadlock to be broken courtesy of Noonan. Shelbourne started the game at an almighty pace and with serious intent from the off.

Everything in the early stages was going down the right wing through Jess Gargan and on five minutes, Gargan’s dangerous cross into the box was met with a sweet volley from Noonan. A deserved lead for the visitors.

The same pattern of play continued in the minutes after the goal with Shelbourne zipping the ball across the pitch in search of their second in the opening 10 minutes.

As the first half progressed, Wexford did begin to grow into the game more but were struggling to build anything of note outside of their own half with the pressure Shelbourne were applying.

Shelbourne continued to press and exert their dominance. Rachel Graham and Jessie Stapleton worked tirelessly and very effectively in midfield to keep the threat of Ellen Molloy and Kylie Murphy to a minimum throughout.

On the half-hour mark, Shelbourne doubled their lead through Keeva Keenan. Just moments earlier, Della Doherty did brilliantly close to her own goal to nick the ball off Noelle Murray and avert the danger.

Keenan had the ball in the net in a matter of minutes with the constant pressing paying off for Noel King’s side once more. Keenan picked the ball up on the edge of the box after silky footwork from Ziu before lifting a shot up and over Williams into the roof of the net.

On the stroke of half time, we caught a glimpse of what Wexford are capable of if given the space. Molloy danced her way through midfield before finding Murphy with a perfectly-weighted through ball. Murphy couldn’t get her usual power behind her effort allowing Budden to collect.

Wexford, despite not creating too many clear-cut opportunities close to goal, did grow into the game more in the second half.

Ciara Rossiter was excellent in the second half, threatening from the right for Wexford, but despite a big effort, Stephen Quinn’s team could not create the space or chances to really test Budden in the Shelbourne goal.

The evergreen Murray almost made it three for Shelbourne with 15 minutes remaining. The midfielder, who put in a huge shift up top, showed brilliant feet to weave her way past Sinnott and on towards goal. The striker directed her effort across goal but Williams was positioned well and sharp enough to recover.

Shelbourne saw out the game and head back to Dublin with a very important three points as the result puts them level at the top with Peamount.

Wexford Youths: Maeve Williams; Orlaith Conlon, Della Doherty, Meabh Russell; Teegan Lynch (Emma Donohoe 72), Kylie Murphy, Nicola Sinnott, Aoibheann Clancy, Ellen Molloy; Becky Watkins, Ciara Rossiter

Shelbourne: Amanda Budden; Chloe Mustaki, Pearl Slattery, Jessica Gargan, Jessie Stapleton; Shane Fox, Rachel Graham, Jess Ziu, Keevan Keenan (Abbie Larkin 76); Saoirse Noonan (Megan Smyth – Lynch 87), Noelle Murray (Gemma Quinn 90).


Elsewhere in the WNL tonight, Athlone Town were 1-0 winners over DLR Waves at the UCD Bowl after an unfortunate Niamh Prior own goal, while Eva Mangan and Lauren Singleton were both on the double as Cork City left Treaty United with a massive three points.

  • DLR Waves 0-1 Athlone Town
  • Treaty United 0-4 Cork City.


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