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Irish internationals shine as Peamount and Shels record huge wins and history made at Dalymount Park

Phase Two of the Women’s National League kicked off today.

Jessica Ziu hit a hat-trick.
Jessica Ziu hit a hat-trick.
Image: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

SHELBOURNE AND PEAMOUNT United recorded important wins as Phase Two of the Women’s National League [WNL] kicked off today, the Dubliners recording away wins at Wexford Youths and Galway respectively.

Ireland youngster Jessica Ziu’s hat-trick was decisive as Shels beat Wexford 5-2 at Ferrycarrig Park, with Noelle Murray bagging the other two goals from the penalty spot.

It was an entertaining encounter from early doors, with Ziu opening the scoring with a rocket of a finish just five minutes in. But by 13 minutes, it was 1-1 after Ciara Rossiter produced a stunning finish herself at the other end. 

By half time, Shelbourne were 3-1 up after Ziu’s second and former Glasgow City midfielder Murray’s first from the spot.

Wexford captain Kylie Murphy reduced the deficit in the 64th minute, before Murray slotted home again five minutes later. And the ever-impressive Ziu put the icing on the cake and completed her hat-trick in the 90th minute to seal a massive three points for the Reds on the road.

Meanwhile, reigning champions and league leaders Peamount left Eamonn Deacy Park with an extremely valuable three points after goals in each half from Irish international Áine O’Gorman and Lucy McCartan.

24 minutes in, O’Gorman broke the deadlock in an evenly-matched tie, which saw Peas and international goalkeeper Niamh Reid Burke kept busy as the Tribeswomen threatened repeatedly.

But the shot-stopper impressed — as did her opposition counterpart Amanda Budden, to her credit — and McCartan struck in the 79th minute to bag the points and open this second phase on a high.

After the original league format being played up to now, the table has been separated into two sections. The top five teams basically form one group, and the bottom four another. They play each other once, and points carry over from phase one.

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James O’Callaghan’s Peamount sit top of the table on 24 points, with Shelbourne just behind on 22. Next in line is Wexford Youths, who have a game in hand, and Cork, who had a week off, on 15, and Galway on 14.

In the bottom half today, there was history made at Dalymount Park as the famous Dublin venue hosted its first ever WNL clash — and its first women’s football match since an underage meeting of Ireland and Greece in 2004.

League newcomers Bohemians and DLR Waves played out a 0-0 draw in an evenly-matched tie, with both sides heading home with a hard-fought point.

Elsewhere, fellow newcomers Athlone Town FC lifted themselves off the bottom as they recorded an impressive win, coming out on top of five-goal thriller away to Treaty United.

The visitors opened the scoring just three minutes in after Kellie Brennan scored a sliding goal, before Treaty responded brightly as they hunted for an equaliser. Despite their efforts, Athlone doubled their lead in the 43rd minute through Leah Brady.

But just before the break, the hosts pulled one back as Cayla Davis was quickest to react.

In the 59th minute, Katelyn Keogh grabbed Athlone’s third of the day to make it 3-1. And while Gillian Keenan found the back of the net for the hosts in the 75th minute, it proved nothing but a consolation goal as the Midlanders saw out an impressive victory.

Results

  • Bohemian FC 0-0 DLR Waves
  • Treaty United 2-3 Athlone Town FC
  • Galway United 0-2 Peamount United
  • Wexford Youths 2-5 Shelbourne FC

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Emma Duffy

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