Raheny United 0 - 1 Peamount UnitedSun, Apr 08 2012
Jenny Critchley's third-minute strike gave Peamount a massive win over Raheny today, as latest episode in the title race saga ended with Peas top of the table.
Critchley, who was a late replacement for Jenny Ferrari in the starting lineup, gave Peamount an early lead. She latched on to Stephanie Roche's neat through ball and slotted the ball simply past Lynn Bradley.
Peamount tried to boss the game with Caroline Thorpe and Dora Gorman in the middle of the park, but they couldn't stop Raheny breaking through. Chloe Mustaki had to clear off the line after Rebecca Creagh headed at goal from a corner.
Mary Waldron kept up the pressure by shooting over not long later. She then set up Creagh again on 25 minutes, but this time her shot was deflected wide and out for a corner.
For a match with so much riding on it, it was perhaps natural that Peamount tried to slow the pace down. Stephanie Roche looked like a stabilising influence in her more withdrawn role, and Eileen Gleeson's side were able to keep control of possession.
Raheny began to press higher up the pitch in the second half. Katie McCabe had the best chance after an hour when she was put through by a Mary Waldron flick. The mercurial striker could only hit the side netting, however.
Gradually Peamount came back into the game, with Sara Lawlor and Louise Quinn going close. Raheny's passing and first touch consistently let them down as promising attacking moves broke down.
They tried to turn the screw on the visitors with the introduction of Sandra Mulhall with just over fifteen minutes left. Siobhan Killeen was in space in the Peas box after 78 minutes, but opted to cross instead of shoot and the move came to nothing.
Raheny suffered from over-passing in their moves, with Peamount's defensive players closing them down quickly. With five minutes left the northsiders were presented with another golden opportunity, as Sandra Mulhall just couldn't get on the end of a cross in front of goal.
Stephanie Roche could have extended the Peas lead with moments left but shot wide. Megan Campbell's free two minutes into added time at the end of the match was the last chance for Raheny to get something from the match, but noone was able to latch onto it and Peamount claimed a big win.
With just two games left, Peas now lead their city rivals by a point at the top of the table- with only Cork and Shamrock Rovers standing between them and the trophy.
Raheny United: Lynn Bradley; Elaine Murray, Megan Campbell, Seana Cooke, Rebecca Walsh [Christina Byrne HT]; Ciara Grant, Rachel Graham, Rebecca Creagh; Mary Waldron [Sandra Mulhall '73], Siobhan Killeen, Katie McCabe.
Subs Not Used: Nicole Cranny, Shauna Newman, Joan Daly, Catherine Cronin, Kate Flood.
Peamount United: Linda Meehan (c); Melissa Haughton, Chloe Mustaki, Karen Duggan, Susan Byrne; Dora Gorman, Wendy McGlone, Caroline Thorpe [Caroline Healy '81], Jenny Critchley [Louise Quinn '52]; Stephanie Roche, Sara Lawlor.
Subs Not Used: Emily Cahill, Emma Donohoe, Clare Kinsella, Ruth Comerford, Jenny Ferrari.
Referee: Paula Brady.
Extratime.ie Player of the Game: Caroline Thorpe.
Niall Farrell is our correspondent at Tolka Park, covering the goings-on at Shelbourne. You can visit Niall's website for further information and contact details- niallf.net.