WNL Preview: Peamount United vs Shelbourne – Fourth entertain league leaders on Saturday

Dublin , Ireland - 7 May 2022; Jessie Stapleton of Shelbourne, second from left, celebrates after scoring her side's first goal during the SSE...

WNL leaders Shelbourne face Peamount United in a battle between two of the division’s top four sides during today’s 5pm kick-off from PRL Park. Despite their inconsistency, can the hosts breach a backline that have seldom conceded this season, 15 matches into the campaign?

Will Shels extend their lead atop the standings? 

Dublin , Ireland - 5 March 2022; Noelle Murray of Shelbourne in action against Abbie Brophy of Bohemians during the SSE Airtricity Women's National...

Shelbourne’s top goalscorer Noelle Murray (right) in action against Bohemians, earlier this season

WNL — Shelbourne vs. Peamount United
Kick-off: 5pm

Having begun the month with a frustrating 1-1 draw away at DLR Waves on July 4, James O’Callaghan’s Peamount returned to their high-scoring ways with a remarkable 16-0 thrashing of non-league side Finglas United in round one of this season’s FAI Women’s Cup last weekend.

Alannah McEvoy scored four, while Aine O’Gorman and substitute Lauren Kelly netted a hat-trick each during a cup contest which quickly resembled a training session before half-time.

That shouldn’t come as a surprise, as O’Gorman leads the league’s goalscoring charts with 16 goals in 15 appearances.

McEvoy (6) and Kelly (4) boast more modest numbers by comparison, but they collectively share the creative responsibilities – five players in the top 25 for goals scored leaguewide is impressive.

Defensively, they could be much better (17 conceded in 15 games). That’s a significant reason as to why they’re sitting fourth, ten points off the leaders, heading into this latest matchday.

Dublin , Ireland - 4 July 2022; Dearbhaile Beirne of Peamount United, left, celebrates with teammate Erin McLaughlin after scoring her side's...

Dearbhaile Beirne (left) wheels away to celebrate her stoppage-time equaliser against DLR Waves

They needed a stoppage-time header by Dearbhaile Beirne to salvage a point away in last week’s 1-1 draw, and either seem to cruise past lesser opposition or struggle – there’s no in-between.

As far as cup commitments were concerned, Shelbourne received a bye into the second-round but were in similar goalscoring form on MD15 with a 10-0 win against bottom side Treaty United.

Noelle Murray increased her tally to nine goals for the season with a four-goal haul, while Jemma Quinn netted a hat-trick too.

With a free week over, Noel King’s players should be well rested and warned against complacency, having edged a 1-0 result through Jessie Stapleton’s winner in the reverse fixture.

Will this matchup prove more of the same, or can the Peas take their goalscoring opportunities and breach a backline who’ve only conceded three goals so far this season?

Picture source: Getty Images

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