WOMEN’S PREMIER DIVISION PREVIEW
PEAMOUNT UTD V SLIGO ROVERS
SATURDAY 11th NOVEMBER 4.30PM
Sligo Rovers return to the venue where they took that tentative first step up to the senior grade for the first time in March 2022 when they travel to PRL Park in west Dublin to tackle the 2023 Women’s Premier Division (WPD) champions Peamount Utd in the final game of the season on Saturday, 4.30pm, live on TG4, writes Conall Collier
For Sligo Rovers manager Steve Feeney, this will be his last game in charge of the team as he is stepping down after two years at the helm due to work and family reasons.
While the result is irrelevant in terms of silverware, both teams will want to deliver a performance in front of the TG4 cameras with the live action a fitting tribute to the achievement this season of Peamount Utd manager James O’Callaghan, his backroom team and the players.
All the attention is focused on Peamount Utd and the trophy presentation will take place after the game.
However, this is a big opportunity for the Sligo Rovers players, and one they will relish, going into yet another game as underdogs.
Players like Lauren Boles, Leah Kelly, Eimear Lafferty and Amy Roddy all contributed handsomely to last week’s victory against DLR Waves while goalscorers Casey Howe and Jodie Loughrey will be eager to hit the target again as will Emma Doherty.
The objective will be to sign off with a battling performance and build on the momentum of the last few weeks where they established a three-game unbeaten home record in the WPD.
On the last visit to Dublin those battling qualities were evident when they went to the home of the 2022 champions, Shelbourne, and were unlucky to concede a goal in added time as the Dublin side salvaged a 2-1 victory.
All that was despite finishing with 10 players after Emma Handberry picked up a second yellow card.
Last weekend Sligo Rovers recorded a 2-1 home win against DLR Waves and those battling qualities were evident in the second-half as the players stood strong and were able to grind out a result that earlier this season might have eluded them.
And what of the Peamount Utd threat on Saturday?
Last weekend Galway Utd inflicted a 3-0 defeat on the champions and Peamount will certainly want to avoid a repeat of that performance in front of what should be a large crowd.
Avril Brierley and Freya Healy both had good chances for Peamount against Galway, but it was one of those days when nothing went favourably for the Dublin women.
Peamount also lost goalkeeper Niamh Coombes in the opening half and she was replaced by Niamh Reid-Burke
In mitigation, Peamount hadn’t played since they clinched the title on Saturday 14th October with a 2-0 away win against Wexford in a game where Ellen Dolan was the stand out player with a brace of second-half goals that clinched the title.
Manager James O’Callaghan, a former player with Sligo Rovers some 30 years ago, will be looking forward to the occasion on Saturday and the players will be aiming to set the record straight seven days on from that reversal at Eamonn Deacy Park.
For Sligo Rovers, the players will be eager to make a statement to highlight the progress they have made since that opening day of the 2022 season when Peamount enjoyed a 6-0 victory.
WPD FORMGUIDE – LAST FOUR GAMES
Sligo Rovers 2, DLR Waves 1; Galway 3, Peamount Utd 0.
Shelbourne 2, Sligo Rovers 1; Wexford 0, Peamount Utd 2.
Sligo Rovers 3, Cork City 3; Peamount Utd 3, Treaty 1.
Sligo Rovers 4, Bohemian FC 1; Peamount Utd 5, Cork City 0.