Report: Shelbourne take WNL points

Shelbourne took the Women’s National League points with a 2-0 win against Sligo Rovers at Tolka Park to stay in the title-race with one game remaining

Sligo Rovers were on the backfoot for most of what was a must-win encounter for the hosts and they scored early and late to seal the victory in an encounter they dominated.

Abbie Larkin had Shelbourne in front after only three minutes when she finished to the net from a Jess Gargan cross.

Shelbourne dominated the remainder of the half and had plenty of chances, with Noelle Murray going close and Sligo ‘keeper Amy Mahon making a number of saves.

Amy Boyle-Carr had a half-chance for Sligo Rovers in the 39th minute when she tested Amanda Budden while at the other end Murray should have increased Shelbourne’s lead when she waltzed into the penalty area and blazed over the bar.

Shelbourne had to settle for a 1-0 interval lead, but resumed smartly and Larkin headed a good chance over the bar soon after the restart.

Amy Boyle-Carr created another good chance in the 55th minute when she ran almost the full length of the pitch before firing narrowly wide.

However, the pattern remained with Shelbourne continuing to dominate without hitting the target.

Megan Smyth-Lynch had a chance midway through the half, but once again Amy Mahon saved.

The hosts continued to labour in their efforts for a second goal and Larkin was yellow-carded for a challenge on Lauren Boles.

Then Alex Kavanagh was cautioned for her reaction after referee Declan Toland awarded a free to the Bit O’Red in the 73rd minute.

Shelbourne continued to squander chances with Murray off target in the 80th minute, but Larkin eventually added a second goal in the 81st minute.

Shelbourne – Amanda Budden; Jess Gargan, Jessie Stapleton, Pearl Slattery, Shauna Fox, Alex Kavanagh, Abbie Larkin, Noelle Murray, Megan Smyth-Lynch, Keeva Keenan, Leah Doyle.

Subs – Rachael Graham for Kavanagh 78 mins, Jemma Quinn for Murray and Heather O’Reilly for Keenan both 85m, Emma Starr for Smyth-Lynch 88m.

Sligo Rovers – Amy Mahon; Leah Kelly, Aife Haran, Amy Roddy, Sarah Kiernan, Lauren Boles, Gemma McGuinness, Paula McGrory, Katie Melly, Emma Doherty, Amy Boyle-Carr.

Subs – Kerri O’Hara for Kelly 78 mins, Amy Hyndman for Boyle-Carr and Fiona Doherty forMelly both 85m, Laura McLellan for McGrory and Aoife Brennan for E Doherty both 87m.

Referee – Declan Toland.
Assistant-referees – Alan Dunne, Fintan Butler,
Fourth official – Sarah Dyas.

Report: Conall Collier

Photo: Sportsfile