Date Time League Season
5 June 2021 2:00 pm LOI Women's Premier Division 2021

Match Report

Shels sublime against Athlone

Shelbourne scored five to see off Athlone at Tolka Park this afternoon in the SSE Airtricity Women’s National League.

Jamie Finn’s strike into an open goal in the tenth minute got Shels underway in a tie which they were totally dominant.

The home side failed to score again in the first but goals from Ciara Grant, Saoirse Noonan, Rebecca Cooke and Abbie Larkin in the second half ensured the home side strolled to an easy win over a lacklustre Athlone.

Shelbourne were in control from the outset, dominating possession while pressing Athlone high to force turnovers.

The pressure soon told when they forced a mistake from the Athlone defence and goalkeeper Ria McPhilbin had to leave her goal to gather, but passed to Shels’ Jamie Finn. Finn only had eyes for the empty Athlone goal and hit from outside the box to score the game’s opener.

Shelbourne continued to torment Athlone for the rest of the half but failed to score again. Runs from Jessica Ziu on the right flank proved particularly threatening to the Midlander’s defence but missed chances meant Athlone went into the break just a single goal down.  

The second half played out much like the first only that Shelbourne were this time able to capitalise on the chances they created.

An excellent double save from McPhilbin in the 53rd minute denied Saoirse Noonan and then Jessica Ziu before Mia Dodd’s rebound was cleared off the line by an Athlone defender but constant pressure by Shels soon showed on the scoresheet.

A superb pass from Noelle Murray played in Ciara Grant to strike the ball into the right corner of the Athlone net for Shels to double their lead in the 62nd.

Now playing with confidence, Shels scored again ten minutes later when striker Saoirse Noonan played around McPhilbin after another great assist from Noelle Murray.

With the game decided, Shelbourne made several substitutes who went on to increase their lead. Rebecca Cooke scored in the 87th on her return from the USA while Abbie Larkin got Shel’s fifth and final goal in the 90th minute on her debut.

Katelyn Keogh and Rosin Molloy were the better performers for Athlone but the side created very little even when Shels keeper Amanda Budden was replaced by Sophie Lenehan for the second half, the visitors were often totally out of the game for long spells.

  • 93'

    Full Time at Tolka Park. Shelbourne 5-0 Athlone Town

  • 90'

    Abbie Larkin scores on her debut as Shels go 5-0 the better at Tolka Park

  • 90'

    3 minutes injury time to be played

  • 87'

    Rebecca Cooke scores on her return to Shels. Hit left of the keeper to nestle in the back of the Athlone net for Shels to go 4-0 up.

  • 85'

    Katelyn Keogh links up with Roisin Molloy in the Shels box but her shot is blocked by the Shelbourne defence

  • 83'

    Rachel Baynes comes on for Jessica Ziu

  • 83'

    Ziu subbed off also

  • 83'

    Abbie Larkin comes on to make her Shels debut

  • 83'

    Goal scorer Saoirse Noonan comes off

  • 82'

    Shels still with the lions share of the ball as they continue to launch attacks into the Athlone half

  • 78'

    Leah Doyle replaces Graham

  • 78'

    Rachel Graham comes off also

  • 78'

    Rebecca Cooke replaces Murray on her return from the USA.

  • 78'

    Noelle Murray is subbed off

  • 78'

    Mcphilbin saves easily from a Shels shot hit directly at her.

  • 73'

    Saoirse Noonan finds herself one on one and plays it around the Athlone keeper to score for Shels third goal. Excellent setup by Noelle Murray

  • 72'

    Brennan subbed off for Athlone

  • 65'

    Noelle Murray fluffs the ball in front of goal after a good setup by Saoirse Noonan in the Athlone box. Shels looking confident on the ball after second goal.

  • 62'

    Ciara Grant doubles Shels lead. Super ball by Noelle Murray that bypasses the Athlone defence which Grant hits into the right corner.

  • 59'

    Mia Dodds shot goes just left and wide of the Athlone goal after Saoirse Noonan one on one effort is batted away excellently by Athlone keeper Mcphilips.

  • 57'

    Katelyn Keogh gets a shot off in the box but fails to score. Big opportunity for Athlone to equalise.

  • 56'

    Athlone looking a more competitive side in the second half but loose passes in the final third means their attacks come to nothing.

  • 53'

    A great double save from Ria Mcphilbin, saving first from Saoirse Noonan and again on the rebound from Jessica Ziu. Dodds follow up shot is cleared off the line from an Athlone defender.

  • 52'

    Saoirse Noonan fires wide from a Noelle Murray corner

  • 49'

    Grants shot looks to have caught out the Athlone goalkeeper but goes left and wide

  • 48'

    Ziu runs solo at the Athlone defence, pushed left and her shot hit at the Athlone keeper

  • 45'

    Lenehan replaces Budden in goal

  • 45'

    Shels keeper Amanda Budden subbed off for the second half following a collision with an Athlone attacker in the first.

  • 45'

    Athlone Town get the second half under way

  • 48'

    Jamie Finns goal in the tenth minute for Shelbourne is all that stands between the sides despite Shels total domination for most of the half. The home sides high pressure game has allowed little breathing room for Athlone, although they had began to see more of the ball in the Shels half just before the break. Shelbourne 1-0 Athlone Town at Tolka Park.

  • 47'

    Half time at Tolka Park. Shelbourne 1 - 0 Athlone Town

  • 44'

    A member of the Athlone management team sent to the stands by the referee for more protests.

  • 42'

    A couple of attacks by Athlone come to nothing. Keogh has been the Midlanders biggest threat on the right wing, wins a corner but hit away by the Athlone defence. Athlone shout for a penalty in the next attack as Pearl Slattery appears to handle the ball in intervening in an Athlone attack.

  • 40'

    Noelle Murray’s free kick hit at the near post, beats the Athlone wall but fails to deceive the keeper.

  • 39'

    Yellow card for the Athlone bench for protests to the referee.

  • 38'

    Jessica Zius ball to Noelle Murray falls just short and collected by the Athlone keeper

  • 34'

    A shot by Ciara Grant goes left and wide after some neat interplay by Shelbourne in attack.

  • 31'

    Athlone finding it difficult to hold the ball and bypass the Shels midfield so far. Shelbourne constantly attacking but could be creating more from possession.

  • 26'

    Saoirse Noonan goes for the overhead kick but the ball bounces off the Athlone defence. Comes after ball bounces around Athlone box after a Noelle Murray corner.

  • 23'

    A shot from Jessica Ziu goes right at the Athlone keeper

  • 20'

    Jessie Stapletons header goes right and wide after a set piece delivery from Noelle Murray.

  • 18'

    Mia Dodds shot comes off the Athlone crossbar from outside the box.

  • 17'

    Another tame shot by Saoirse Noonan hit at the Athlone keeper after Ziu sets her up outside the box.

  • 15'

    Jessica Ziu providing a constant threat to for Shels on the right wing against this Athlone defence.

  • 12'

    Saoirse Noonan skilfully controls a ball from Dodd into the Athlone box but her shot rolls into the hands of the Athlone keeper. Athlone under serious pressure and struggling to put together passes.

  • 10'

    Jamie Finn scores for Shelbourne. Shels press forces Athlone keeper out of goal to misplace a pass to Finn. Finn shoots and scores into open goal from outside the box.

  • 9'

    Pearl Slatterys header from another Murray corner just wide. Shels pressing Athlone high and forcing turnovers.

  • 8'

    Jessie Stapletons header from a Noelle Murray corner just off target. Shels in total control in the early stages of this game.

  • 1'

    Saoirse Noonan gets things under way for Shelbourne.

  • Good conditions for football at Tolka today. Kick off coming up.

  • Athlone have confirmed Leah Brady is out for the rest of the season after her injury against Bohs last week. Team news to follow.

  • Starting XI for Shelbourne : Budden, Gargan, Stapleton, Slattery, Grant, Finn, Ziu, Graham, Murray, Noonan, Dodd SUBS: Lenehen, Baynes, Doyle, White, Larkin, O’Connell, Cooke

  • The two sides last met on match day one of this season, when goals from Pearl Slattery and Alex Kavanagh saw Shelbourne past Athlone at Lissywollen in poor conditions.

  • Hello and welcome to Shelbourne v Athlone Town at Tolka Park in the Womens National League. Second place Shelbourne will be hoping to keep their league challenge alive with a win today after a disappointing draw against Wexford last week. Anything less than a win for Athlone will put the side at risk of dropping into the bottom two table positions.


1Amanda Budden 16 Goalkeeper
2Jessica Gargan Defender
3Jessie Stapleton Defender
4Pearl Slattery Defender
5Jamie Finn Midfielder 10'
7Jessica Ziu Midfielder
8Rachel Graham Defender
10Noelle Murray Forward
11Saoirse Noonan Forward 73'
12Ciara Grant Midfielder 62'
13Mia Dodd Defender
16Sophie Lenehan 1 Goalkeeper
19Leah Doyle Defender
17Rebecca Cooke Midfielder
17Rachel Baynes Defender
18Abbie Larkin Midfielder 90'
21Taylor White Forward
22Ella O’Connell Midfielder

Athlone Town

3Emma Donohoe Defender
8Kayla Brady Midfielder
17Aife Haran Midfielder
10Kellie Brennan Forward
7Kayleigh Shine Defender
9Katelyn Keogh Forward
50Ria McPhilbin Goalkeeper
6Muireann Devaney Forward
14Roisin Molloy Midfielder
11Laurie Ryan Midfielder
22Melissa O’Kane Defender


Past Meetings

(Series 7)
1 - 0
LOI Men's First Division
Tolka Park

Shelbourne v Athlone Town

(Series 1)
0 - 2
LOI Women's Premier Division
Athlone Town Stadium

Athlone Town v Shelbourne

(Quarter Final)
4 - 1
Athlone Town Stadium

Athlone Town v Shelbourne

(Series 4)
0 - 3
LOI Women's Premier Division
Athlone Town Stadium

Athlone Town v Shelbourne


Tolka Park
Tolka Park (Shelbourne FC), Drumcondra South A ED, Dublin, County Dublin, Leinster, Ireland

Jack Joy is a journalism student at Dublin City University