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TG4 Kylie Murphy's hat-trick kept Youths in control of their title hopes.
Wexford Youths retain their slight advantage as WNL title thriller continues
Youths, Shels, Peamount and Athlone all still in title contention following wins on Saturday.

THE THRILLING TITLE race in the Women’s National League is set to continue into the penultimate weekend of the season after all four title contenders won on Saturday.

League leaders Wexford Youths retain their one-point advantage at the top after Kylie Murphy’s hat-trick helped them to 5-2 win over Sligo Rovers.

Murphy headed the hosts into the lead on 31 minutes before Ciara Rossiter doubled their lead 10 minutes later, but Sligo pulled one back before the break through Emma Doherty’s speculative effort from distance which looped over goalkeeper Maeve Williams.

Murphy scored her second of the afternoon on 59 minutes, but Youths’ two-goal cushion lasted only two minutes before Doherty headed home from a corner to make it 3-2.

It took two quick-fire goals — Murphy’s third, and then Rossiter’s second — to finally settle matters and leave Youths needing just four points from their final two games against rivals Peamount and Shelbourne to claim the title.

Shels remain poised to pounce on any slip-up, though, thanks to their 2-1 win away to DLR Waves.

All of the goals came in a thrilling opening 16 minutes which saw Megan Smyth-Lynch sidefoot Shels into the lead in the eighth minute before Jessie Stapleton doubled their advantage five minutes later.

Kate Mooney quickly pulled one back for Waves, taking full advantage when Shels keeper  Amanda Budden spilled a cross at her near post, but Noel King’s side did enough for the win which keeps them a point behind Youths.

Ireland hero Aine O’Gorman rounded out a week she’ll never forget with a double as third-placed Peamount beat Cork City 5-0 at Turners Cross.

O’Gorman stole in unmarked to volley Peamount into the lead seven minutes before half time, but it wasn’t until the 71st minute and her second goal that the visitors gave themselves a bit of breathing space.

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Stephanie Roche grabbed Peamount’s third almost immediately from the restart before Alannah McEvoy and Jess Fitzgerald rounded out a convincing win.

With two games to play, the Peas remain three points behind Youths, two behind Shels, and ahead of Athlone Town only by virtue of their far superior goal difference.

Athlone did what they could to bridge that gap with a 7-0 win against Treaty United, Emily Corbet scoring five in a magnificent individual performance with Scarlett Herron adding the other two.

Saturday’s later kick-off saw Galway come from a goal down to beat Bohemians 2-1 thanks to goals from Ellerose O’Flaherty and Jenna Slattery.

Women’s National League results

  • Wexford Youths 5-2 Sligo Rovers
  • DLR Waves 1-2 Shelbourne 
  • Cork City 0-5 Peamount United
  • Treaty United 0-7 Athlone Town
  • Bohemians 1-2 Galway
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