Wednesday 18 January 2017

Kiernan treble helps Shels to settle old scores in final

Shelbourne 5 Wexford Youths 0

John Fallon

Published 07/11/2016 | 02:30

6 November 2016; Leanne Kiernan of Shelbourne Ladies celebrates after scoring her side's fifth goal during the Continental Tyres FAI Women's Senior Cup Final game between Shelbourne Ladies and Wexford Youths at Aviva Stadium in Lansdowne Road, Dublin. Photo by David Maher/Sportsfile
6 November 2016; Leanne Kiernan of Shelbourne Ladies celebrates after scoring her side's fifth goal during the Continental Tyres FAI Women's Senior Cup Final game between Shelbourne Ladies and Wexford Youths at Aviva Stadium in Lansdowne Road, Dublin. Photo by David Maher/Sportsfile

While hat-trick hero Leanne Kiernan will remember yesterday's success for a long time, a few of Shelbourne's stalwarts have reason to stow away the memory too.

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Twelve months ago, Wexford Youths not only halted the four-in-a-row ambitions of a side previously known as Raheny United but kick-started their double-winning campaign.

Gloria Douglas of Shelbourne Ladies in action against Jess Glesson of Wexford Youths. Photo by Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile
Gloria Douglas of Shelbourne Ladies in action against Jess Glesson of Wexford Youths. Photo by Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile

Shelbourne's status as the force of women's football in the country vanished and the questions about their ability to react soon arose. Most of the players were back on the pitch for the rematch, augmented by a sprinkling of youngsters like 17-year-old Kiernan, and the league leaders quashed any myths of their demise.

"Last year's defeat was horrible, especially losing the final in the worst possible way on a penalty shoot-out," admitted Noelle Murray, who recovered from missing a spot-kick to deliver the breakthrough goal on 31 minutes.

Three first-half goals set the league leaders on track to regain the trophy. Despite Sophie Lenehan saving Murray's tame 16th-minute penalty, the Wexford goalkeeper was unable to deal with deep free-kick on 31 minutes which resulted in the same Shels player volleying the stray ball beyond her. Kiernan's pace unhinged Wexford's defence, firstly by drifting in from the right wing onto a through-ball by Gloria Douglas three minutes later to skip past Lenehan and tap home the second.

A similar move in first-half stoppage-time, with Murray supplying the pass, allowed the teen to ghost in and stroke the ball home from 10 yards.

Shelbourne Ladies celebrate with the cup. Photo by David Maher/Sportsfile
Shelbourne Ladies celebrate with the cup. Photo by David Maher/Sportsfile

Douglas was rewarded with a 64th-minute goal from a header which dropped over the line after smacking off the crossbar while Kiernan converted a penalty 12 minutes from the end.

Wexford Youths - Lenehan, Conlon, Gleeson, O'Riordan, Webb, Hansberry, Frawley, Sinnott (C), Douglas, Delahunty (Snell 85), Walsh (Hutchinson 67).
Shelbourne Ladies - McQuillan, Cooke, Walsh, Slattery (C), Kavanagh, Graham (Craven 83), Kiernan (Watters 83), Murray, Killeen, Higgins, Douglas.
REF - D Nolan

Irish Independent

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