|Top two set to clash in Week 8 Fixtures|
IN THE penultimate round of games in Series 1, the top billing belongs to the clash of Dublin rivals Shelbourne and Peamount United.
Arguably the fiercest derby in the Women’s National League – stretching back to the first season in 2011 when it was Raheny United before their merger with Shelbourne – this is always an exciting game.
There is an added edge to it this Saturday, however, as the two clubs are separated by a single point at the top of the table, so victory for either side could have a baring on the title race.
Peamount are the current champions, Shelbourne are the current League leaders. It’s all to play for in Tolka Park.
Three Key Battles
Here are three match-ups that could ultimately decide this contest…
Isibeal Atkinson v Aine O’Gorman
Two of the best performers so far this season, the duo will be aiming to outwit each other in order to drive their team forward. Atkinson has been adapting to the left-back position – and has done brilliantly – but this will be her toughest test yet. O’Gorman, who is joint top goalscorer in the League, tends to attack down the right side and cut inside to devastating effect. This battle will be all about Atkinson stopping O’Gorman before she can set off on her runs.
Ciara Grant v Karen Duggan
Two midfielders who once competed for a starting spot in the Republic of Ireland Women’s National Team – and still could do – Grant and Duggan are similar in many ways. They bring the best out in those around them, only tend to score memorable goals, but have such a positive influence in both attack & defence. This will be like a game of Chess with both waiting for the other to make a move before attempting to land a telling blow.
Jessica Ziu v Dearbhaile Beirne
Speed will be on show in this match-up as both players are at their best when zipping forward down their respective flanks. Ziu likes to drift into central areas, but when she stands a full-back up in a one-on-one situation she is more often than not going to whizz by her. This is something that Beirne will need to be prepared for as her role so far this season has been to support Peamount’s attacks by providing width on their left side.
Week 8 Fixtures
Saturday, September 26
Athlone Town v DLR Waves
Athlone Town Stadium
Referee: Vicki McEnery
Galway WFC v Treaty United
Eamonn Deacy Park
Referee: Bartley Folan
Shelbourne v Peamount United
Referee: Ciaran Redmond
Wexford Youths v Cork City
Referee: Claire Purcell