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Five-star Shelbourne take big step towards league crown after huge win over Galway

Isibeal Atkinson scored a brace at Tolka Park as the hosts won 5-0.

wnl Isibeal Atkinson scored a brace for Shels. Source: WNL/SPORTSFILE.

Shelbourne 5-0 Galway WFC

FIVE-STAR SHELBOURNE ENJOYED a massive win over Galway at Tolka Park this afternoon to take a significant step towards lifting the Women’s National League [WNL] title for 2020.

With reigning champions and title contenders Peamount United focusing on Women’s FAI Cup final action this weekend after their mid-week European adventure, Shels grabbed the chance to extend their lead atop the league table with both hands.

While the lead is now a commanding one, facing Galway today certainly came as a challenge, and the Reds were on the backfoot early on after conceding a penalty in the fourth minute. 

Goalkeeper Rachael Kelly produced an excellent save to keep it scoreless, however, and five minutes later, the hosts made it 1-0 at the other end through Jess Gargan.

Isibeal Atkinson doubled that lead in the 31st minute with a superb effort from outside the box and on the stroke of half time, former Irish international and Donegal county footballer Ciara Grant went from provider to scorer — she set up Gargan’s opener — to put the Reds three up after nailing the rebound of a saved penalty.

Shelbourne’s dominance continued in the second half and rising star duo Jessica Ziu and Atkinson (penalty) put the icing on the win with goals in the 80th and 83rd minutes respectively.

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Shels are now one win away from lifting the silverware, and it will ultimately come down to decisive meeting with Peamount on 21 November. Peas face Cork City next week in the interim. 

James O’Callaghan’s side trail by four points, though have two games in hand, while they face Wexford Youths away after that Shels showdown.

DLR Waves 0-0 Athlone Town

Elsewhere in the league today, DLR Waves and league newcomers Athlone Town played out a scoreless draw at the UCD Bowl. With both sides in the bottom half of the table for Phase Two, this was an evenly-matched tie with both now on seven points a-piece.

Focus now turns to the FAI Cup tomorrow where Peamount and Wexford Youths face off in a mouthwatering semi-final showdown, a repeat of the 2018 and 2019 finals, both of which Wexford won. 

Cork City and Treaty United do battle in the other last four clash, with the winners advancing to the Tallaght Stadium decider on 12 December (it will be broadcast live on RTÉ as a standalone event for the first time).

Tomorrow’s fixtures

 

  • Cork City v Treaty United, Bishopstown Stadium, 2pm
  • Wexford Youths v Peamount United, Ferrycarrig Park, 2pm.

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Emma Duffy

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