Peamount United will go into the break with a commanding lead at the top of the Women’s National League regardless of Saturday’s outcome against bottom-of-the-table Kilkenny United (kick-off 6.30pm).
Eleanor Ryan Doyle’s first-half strike made it 11 wins from 11 for James O’Callaghan’s side in the league as they extended their lead over second-placed Wexford Youths to eight points last week.
The Peas had already beaten Wexford 2-1 at home in April, thanks to Ryan Doyle’s brace, and the Irish colleges star was the difference-maker at Ferrycarrig Park.
Ryan Doyle’s spectacular volley ten minutes before the break proved to be the game’s only goal, although Peamount survived a late scare as Katrina Parrock hit the bar.
“I thought in the first half we were the better side,” O’Callaghan told extratime.ie following the win over Wexford.
“Defensively, we were solid and we were creating a few chances going forward. There was a good tempo to our play. In the second half, Wexford came at us a bit more.
“It was fairly 50/50, but they had a couple of chances near the end which, I’d say, nine times out of ten would have gone in. We got a bit of luck and it didn’t go in.”
What should be a routine victory over Kilkenny will leave the Peas a minimum of eight points clear with nine games remaining, but O’Callaghan isn’t getting ahead of himself.
“We’re delighted with our performances so far in the league. We’re in a nice position at the moment.
“I know it’s a cliché, but I’m reluctant to look too far forward with it. I think it’s dangerous if we start looking into the future too much. We’ll just focus on our next game, simple as that.
“There’s a couple of players out injured so the break is actually coming at a good time for us. There’s only 20 players in the squad and there’s a couple of players out injured.”
Saturday’s game may prove to be Amber Barrett’s last game for the club after she confirmed her move to German Bundesliga side Koln on a two-year professional deal.
Two teams with vastly contrasting fortunes clash on Saturday evening as Peamount, who have won all their league games this season, host Kilkenny, who have lost all theirs.
Karl Lynch’s side have yet to pick up a single point this season but have at least improved their defensive record, with just 40 goals conceded in 10 games to date, down from 94 in 21 last year.
More worrying is their goals for tally of just four, two of which came in a 3-2 defeat away to Galway three weeks ago.
Last week saw Kilkenny comfortably beaten 3-0 by Galway at the Watershed, with Lynsey McKee adding two after Aoife Brennan had given the visitors a 1-0 half-time lead.
The club this week confirmed the short-term signing of former Home Farm striker Emma Campbell, who is currently studying in the United States at Cumberland University.
The sides’ only meeting so far this season saw Peamount run out 7-0 winners with both Aine O’Gorman and Amber Barrett scoring braces.
Peamount United 5 – 0 Kilkenny United