Champions Peamount United share top spot with Shelbourne after overcoming their Dublin rivals with an impressive 2-1 victory.
Peamount had to work hard for their eighth league win in this fixture, which has seen 53 goals netted in 15 previous league encounters before Saturday’s game kicked off.
Eleanor Ryan-Doyle got them started with an early goal, which was more about Shelbourne’s defensive mix-up than the forward’s finishing ability.
Shels goalkeeper Amanda Budden did make amends when denying Ryan-Doyle with a brilliant penalty save but she was caught off-guard by Áine O’Gorman when she curled in a stunning left-footed finish.
The Reds never gave up and had a goal ruled out for offside before Ciara Grant did eventually pull one back but it was too late to inspire a fightback.
Elsewhere, Bohemians maintained their unbeaten start by converting a late penalty at the Oscar Traynor Centre in their 3-3 draw with Cork City.
Chloe Darby smashed the all-important spot-kick into the back of the net to earn a point for Seán Byrne’s side, one they fully deserved in this back-and-forth encounter.
Bohs took the lead through Erica Burke before Lauren Egbuloniu netted twice for Cork to shoot them into the lead. Substitute Aoife Robinson finished well to level matters again.
Cork thought that they had won it when Laura Shine fired in but the concession of a penalty – which Darby duly converted – let them down and Bohs back in at the same time.
Meanwhile, Katie Malone scored a late winner for DLR Waves in their 2-1 victory over Galway WFC to secure their first win of the season.
Waves’ fighting spirit paid off when a superb cross from defender Aoife Brophy was not dealt with by Galway goalkeeper Maja Zajc and Malone was in the right place to hook in from close range. They opened the scoring when Kate Mooney rose highest in the penalty to head in a perfect delivery from Jessica Gleeson.
Galway did respond, through top goalscorer Rachel Kearns with her fifth goal in three games, but her header wasn’t enough for the visitors, who will feel that they could have contributed more to this contest.
Elsewhere, Wexford Youths also enjoyed their first win of the season, as Tom Elmes made a couple of changes to his starting line-up for their 7-1 rout of Treaty United yesterday.
Fresh from earning her third and fourth Republic of Ireland caps, Ellen Molloy scored four times to show just how clinical she can be if given any space around the penalty area.
Ciara Rossiter netted inside 10 minutes and Treaty responded almost straight away with a fine header from Aoife Cronin. But Wexford simply shifted up a gear to take control of the game.
Sinéad Taylor, one of those changes, smashed in a volley before Molloy made it 3-1 with a sweet finish.
Then Kylie Murphy converted a penalty before Molloy added three more, a fine solo effort being the best of the bunch.
WOMEN’S NATIONAL LEAGUE
P W D L Pts
Shelbourne 3 2 0 1 6
Peamount 2 2 0 0 6
Wexford Yths 3 1 1 1 4
Bohemians 3 1 1 1 4
Galway 3 1 1 1 4
DLR Waves 2 1 1 0 4
Cork City 3 0 2 1 2
Athlone 2 0 1 1 1
Treaty Utd 3 0 1 2 1
Bohemians 3 Cork City 3; DLR Waves 2 Galway WFC 1; Peamount United 2 Shelbourne 1; Treaty United 1 Wexford Youths 7
Saturday: Wexford Youths v Athlone Town, Ferrycarrig Park, 6.30; Bohemians v Peamount United, Oscar Traynor, 2.0; Galway v FC Treaty United, Eamonn Deacy Park, 4.0; Cork City v DLR Waves, Turners Cross, 2.0