O’Gorman-inspired Peamount crowned WNL champions again

By Stephen Leonard

PEAMOUNT United were tonight crowned Women's National League champions after they fought back from a goal down to beat Shelbourne 3-1 in Greenogue.

In what was a winner-takes-all encounter, the defending champions shipped an Emily Whelan goal almost immediately after the second half tip-off, but responded brilliantly.

Peamount United celebrate winning the Womens National League for the second year in succession 1

Peamount United celebrate winning the Women's National League for the second year in succession (Image: Paddy Barrett)

Aine O'Gorman may have endured a tough period in recent weeks after an own goal in the Republic of Ireland's loss to Ukraine and a missed penalty in Peamount's shootout defeat against Glasgow in the Champions League, but tonight is one she will cherish for a long time.

The Peamount captain led the line superbly and hauled her side back on to level terms with a sublime free kick before making it a brace that effectively secured the title for James O’Callaghan’s side

In between O’Gorman’s double, Karen Duggan had headed the homeside in front for the first time when she met a perfectly-placed corner kick in by substitute Megan Smyth-Lynch.

It was a composed and resilient second half display that befitted the champions who have now completed the first part in a possible double this season with a date against Cork City in the FAI Cup Final also on the horizon.

Shelbourne goalkeeper Rachel Kelly cannot stop Aine OGormans perfectly placed free kick 1

Shelbourne goalkeeper Rachel Kelly cannot stop Aine O'Gorman's perfectly placed free kick (Image: Paddy Barrett)

Delighted with his side’s gritty showing tonight, Peamount manager O’Callaghan told The Echo “It was a really tough game tonight.

“In the first half we didn’t start the way we had planned and in the first 20 minutes Shelbourne were the better team.

Karen Duggan heads Peamount in front 1

Karen Duggan heads Peamount in front (Image: Paddy Barrett)

“But we came into the game then and we were fairly confident at half time, but to concede the goal the way we did in the first ten seconds of the second half was poor because our defence has been brilliant all season.

“But we didn’t panic and in fairness to the girls, they showed their experience. They got the ball down and started moving it around really good.

“We got the free kick and Aine O’Gorman buried it. She’s been brilliant all season and we just kicked on from there.

Peamount United captain Aine OGorman and Alannah McEvoy with the Womens National League trophy 1

Peamount United captain Aine O'Gorman and Alannah McEvoy with the Women's National League trophy. (Image: Paddy Barrett)

“Shelbourne are a phenomenal side. They’re a really fast and technically gifted side.

“So to go down 1-0 going into the second half, it was a tough ask for our girls, but they’ve been phenomenal all season. Their work rate has been brilliant and they’re really hungry for success.

“We have a match now against Wexford and it probably gives us a chance to rest a few players who maybe have niggles in preparation for the cup match against Cork.

“This will be our third cup final in a row and it’s a great achievement in itself, but we’ve lost the last two finals so hopefully third time lucky.”

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