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All to play for: We take a closer look at two Dublin teams competing in this year’s Women’s National League

BOHEMIANS

In what was their first home game in the League, Bohemians suffered an early set-back against Galway WFC when goalkeeper Courtney Maguire was sent off on her debut.

The Gypsies managed to make to the interval by holding Galway, but the visitors broke the deadlock after 52 minutes when striker Aoife Thompson fired in from close range.

Bohemians hit back straight away with Bronagh Kane netting her first goal for the club. Galway responded by making a triple substitution and began to press higher up the pitch.

Shauna Fox headed them back in front before substitute Ellie Rose O’Flaherty nodded in a cross from Shauna Brennan and Thompson finished things off with her second of the game.

But for a club soaked in tradition and history, it feels like an overdue welcome for Bohemians to the Women’s National League as they launch into their debut season.

In Sean Byrne, the club have someone who has been there and done it. The Dubliner guided Raheny United to the title in 2013/14 and remains one of the best coaches working in Irish football right now.

Byrne will be under no illusion as to the difficulty of the task of forging a winning mentality amongst a group of players who, largely, are still trying to figure each other out. It will take time for them to become a team.

However, the additions of Sinead O’Farrelly and Shauna Newman – two players who featured under Byrne at Raheny – should lift the squad. Add to that the hunger of players like Bronagh Kane, Niamh Kenna and Keelin McEntee, and you have the makings of a good group.

There are some younger players, such as Aisling Spillane and Courtney Maguire, who will be desperate to prove that they can play consistently in this League, while others, like Sophie Watters, simply want to remind people of what they can do.

Key Player: Niamh Kenna.

One To Watch: Aisling Spillane.

Manager: Sean Byrne

 

 

PEAMOUNT UNITED

Peamount United vice-captain Eleanor Ryan-Doyle

League champions Peamount continued their excellent start to the new season with a second win, which brings their tally to eight goals scored, none conceded and six points collected.

Stephanie Roche got them going after just three minutes before she turned provider for team-mate Aine O’Gorman to extend their lead and then Eleanor Ryan-Doyle slotted in to make it 3-0 before half-time.

Cork played some nice football in patches but found it difficult to keep up with the pace and power of their opponents. The introduction of debutants Laura Shine and Leah Murphy indicates that they are building for the long-term.

The home team piled the pressure on in the last 15 minutes, in a period that saw Louise Masterson sent off for Peamount, but they could not find the goal that their effort deserved.

Twice in their history, Peamount United have won the Women’s National League title. But they have yet to retain it the following season. Their aim for this term is to change that.

James O’Callaghan has assembled a superb roster of players with multiple top-class options for each position. In fact, it could be argued that he is capable of selecting two starting line-ups who could take on any team in the League.

The Peas won’t be taking anything for granted though as they fully understand that staying ahead of the chasing pack is all about players putting in consistent performances. And that is why Republic of Ireland WNT internationals Claire Walsh, Niamh Farrelly and Aine O’Gorman will be so important.

By bringing in Alannah McEvoy, the champions have added to their strike force with a promising talent. While the return to the League of veteran goal scorer Stephanie Roche gives them an extra edge as she is a proven game-winner.

Peamount should be strong in all areas of the pitch and O’Callaghan will be working on making them tough to break down, because once they get possession of the ball they should have enough players capable of punishing their opponents.

Key Player: Niamh Farrelly

One To Watch: Sadhbh Doyle

Manager: James O’Callaghan

 

 

 

 

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