Castlebar Celtic 0 - 9 Peamount UnitedMon, Apr 16 2012
Peamount, with the help of other results, have taken a big step to winning the Women's National League after another emphatic victory in Castlebar on Sunday afternoon. With Raheny being held to a draw at Wexford Youths, Peamount now hold a three point lead at the top with just one game remaining, a draw next Sunday will seal the league title.
The champions elect were in front as early as the 6th minute when Susan Byrne headed in Grace Murray's cross after the latter earlier cross had been cleared. The game was still tight in the immediate aftermath of the opener, and Emma Hansbury could have levelled only to see her effort rise just above the crossbar.
Peamount soon started asserting dominance particularly through Dora Gorman in the middle of the field and the always dangerous Sara Lawlor up front who caused havoc every time the ball went over the last defender's shoulder. On 20 minutes Peamount doubled their lead with a stylish goal. Chloe Mustaki broke down the right from a Gorman pass and crossed to the near post where Stephanie Roche was at hand to finish coolly with the outside of the right to turn the ball in at the near post.
Celtic, who were trying to reignite their push for third place didn't lie down however and still pushed to register a goal in the first half. Aileen Gilroy went close with a volley that had Linda Meehan scrambling in the United goal. Susie Cunningham had a good chance to pull one back but shot high and wide, and five minutes later the same player had a goal disallowed for an offside decision that looked especially tight.
The tie was then decided in a crazy two minutes at the other end as Lawlor got on the scoresheet and Roche got in for her second of the game. Directly from the free kick following the offside decision the ball made its way over the top where Lawlor was on hand to use her blistering pace and finished into the bottom corner when one on one with Ashling Concannon. A minute later and Roche burst in from the left and hit a rasping drive that Concannon did well to palm out but Roche was on hand to fire the rebound emphatically into top corner from six yards.
Peamount could smell blood come the resumption of proceedings. Lawlor had a good shot go just over immediately after the restart and Louise Quinn really should have done better when she had a free header at the back post before Concannon saved from Roche.
Finally the pressure told after 53 minutes with Roche getting her hat- trick. When Mustaki was felled on the edge of the box Roche stepped up and guided a wonderful strike into the top corner directly under angle to the gasps of the crowd.
Lawlor got her second when she reacted quickest to a goalmouth scramble to poke home extending the lead to 6-0 after just 55 minutes.
Claire Kinsella soon made her way into the fray from the bench in place of Susan Byrne and paid immediate dividends. Lawlor again was the nuisance in the Celtic area and her cross was turned in by Kinsella from close range.
Mustaki got her name on the scoresheet when her cool finish from the edge of the area nestled in the corner before Louise Quinn saw her cross evade everyone in the last minute and end up in the net surprising everyone, not least herself.
Celtic will be disappointed with their final home game being such a resounding loss but they can take positives from the first half into their final game away to Raheny.
If Peamount United and Raheny United finish on the same points, a play-off match will take place. Goal difference does not count.
Castlebar Celtic Women: Ashling Concannon; Carol Hegarty, Teresa Fahy, Maria Harrington, Jenny Byrne; Rachel King, Aileen Gilroy, Lauren Boles, Emma Hansbury; Emma Mullin, Susie Cunningham.
Subs: Grainne Barett for Maria Harrington.
Peamount United: Linda Meehan; Melissa Houghton, Grace Murray, Karen Duggan, Susan Byrne; Dora Gormon, Chloe Mustaki, Louise Quinn, Caroline Thorpe; Stephanie Roche, Sara Lawlor.
Referee: Martin Regan