(Credit: Billy Galligan)
Only an Amazonian display of acrobatics and bravery from Shamrock Rovers substitute goalkeeper Michelle Watson in the second half kept the scoreline modest as Peamount United romped to an impressive victory on a cold, wet and windy afternoon at Tallaght Stadium.
Peas manager Eileen Gleeson has seen her team slip off the pace in the league over recent weeks with defeats to DLR Waves and Raheny United in El Clásico, but there was no danger of a third today as they put the result to bed early.
Peamount proved themselves more snipers than pea shooters from the off, with Sara Lawlor putting them one up after just six minutes before midfield general Louise Quinn scored to double the lead moments later.
Sara Lawlor made it three and her second before the hosts notched their solitary goal, Lisa Murphy scoring from the edge of the box after being fed by Grainne Walsh.
There was further pain to come for the Hoops before the half-time whistle. An Aine O’Gorman corner found the head of Louise Quinn, who powered home with the header to make it 4-1.
Rovers’ Sisyphean struggle continued after the break but super sub Michelle Watson was able to keep Peamount to a single goal as they lay siege to her area as if Helen resided within.
Watson pulled off a string of saves after her introduction, at one point channeling Greg Louganis as she dived to her left to push away a Sara Lawlor header.
But even Watson’s inspired performance could not derail the green machine. Lawlor eventually made it five and secured her hattrick with 76 minutes on the clock, picking up a Stephanie Roche cross, turning in the box and finishing low in the corner.
Further stops from Watson late in the game, notably from Roche and Julie-Ann Russell efforts, ensured that Shamrock Rovers’ painful 10-2 defeat to Peamount earlier in the season was not repeated.
Hoops boss John Walsh will have plenty to think about but, on a day that saw both other games in the league called off due to adverse weather conditions, Eileen Gleeson will be happy to see her team back on track with an impressive victory.
Shamrock Rovers: Sarah Devlin (Michelle Watson, 46); Grainne Walsh, Carol Conlon (Niamh Nolan, 65), Joanne Ennis, Rebecca Carroll; Jessica Dillon (Emma Murphy, 77), Paula Doran, Margaret Doyle, Aoife Moloney; Lisa Murphy, Orlagh Nolan
Subs not used: Sharon Owens, Aisling Cusack, Zara Dillon
Peamount United: Monica McGuirk; Amy McLoughlin, Karen Duggan, Ruth Comerford, Emily Cahill; Aine O’Gorman, Louise Quinn, Jenny Ferrari, Solene Barbance (Julie-Ann Russell, 53); Stephanie Roche, Sara Lawlor
Subs not used: Emma Donohue, Susan Byrne, Claire Kinsella
Attendance: 60 (estimate)
Extratime.ie player of the match: Michelle Watson.