United keep the ball rolling in tense Tallaght affair

A famous win in Tallaght has legitimised the credentials of Galway United Women as title contenders.

Phil Trill’s side held out for a 1-0 win against Shamrock Rovers courtesy of a first half finish from defender Eve Dossen. They negotiated some tricky moments thereafter, not least when Irish international Áine O’Gorman blazed over from close range.

The goal in the 39th minute was illustrative of the quality and danger of the side. Lynsey McKey swung in a trademark dangerous delivery from a corner, after which Julie-Ann Russell was close to scoring but Rovers scrambled clear. Therese Kinnevey picked up the loose ball before coolly slipping it to Jamie Erickson. The centre-half played a one-two with McKey and delivered an expert pass to her defensive partner Eve Dossen, who turned it in on the half-volley.

Joy Ralph and Scarlett Herron were close for Rovers either side of the goal, on top of O’ Gorman’s big miss. United did not sit back either and had chances to seal it in the second half. Trickery from Jenna Slattery allowed Aoibheann Costello to get a great shot off from 20 yards that nearly curled in. Aislinn Meaney had a big say coming off the bench and she nearly sealed it late on after a strong run, but she too was denied by Amanda Budden.

Overall, it was a mature performance to maintain their grip on top. It has inspired excitement and confidence in the fanbase where there is no more equivocation - United are going for the ultimate prize. With 35 percent of the games played, they are unbeaten and sit top with a frightening goal difference of plus-17.

They won’t have it all their own way, however. Shelbourne are only a point behind but with a game more played. They too are undefeated and have won four in the league on the bounce. Their latest was an emphatic dismantling of Cork City, who themselves had improved since their hammering in Headford by United.

Athlone Town, with whom a burgeoning rivalry is developing, have also won four-in-a-row in the league. The remarkable form of the top three has already cut pre-season fancies such as Shamrock Rovers and Wexford adrift.

It is the latter that United will face next. Their form has been patchy to say the least but they come into the game on the back of a creditable win against Treaty United. They have plenty of talent within their ranks, Ciara Rossiter, Ellen Molloy, Abby Tuthill and Abbie Brophy amongst others have an exceptional pedigree and will not be taken lightly.

Perhaps unfortunately for a side who stretched their unbeaten run to 11, that fixture will take place a week from Saturday, as there is an international break this week. Nonetheless, the anticipation for a massive game is already building.

 

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