Date Time League Season
21 August 2021 2:00 pm LOI Women's Premier Division 2021

Match Report

Shels impress in Athlone

Noel King’s Shelbourne went top of the league as they saw off relegation threatened Athlone Town 4-0 at Tolka Park.

First half goals from Emily Whelan and Alex Kavanagh put the Shels in a commanding position, before Leah Doyle and Saoirse Noonan extended the home sides lead in the second half.

The Dublin based side are two points clear of title rivals Peamount United, who have a game in hand on them after their Champions League involvement this weekend.

It was far from a vintage performance from Shels who will have to play much better when they face their title rivals in the coming weeks.

Conditions were very poor as torrential rain came down during the second half which really effected the quality of the contest.

Shelbourne dominated the game from the off and took the lead after 15 minutes through Emily Whelan’s seventh goal of the season.

The striker had an audacious effort from 30 yards out tipped by goalkeeper Abbiegayle Ronayne into her own net.

Ciara Grant went through one on one and rounded Ronayne but the keeper impeded the attacker for a penalty.

Noonan stepped up but missed the penalty as her spot kick failed to find the corner and Ronayne saved.

Just two minutes later, Shelbourne had another penalty after Jamie Finn was brought down by a clumsy challenge from Kayleigh Shine.

Alex Kavanagh stepped up to take it this time and placed the ball right in the corner to give the home side a deserved two-goal advantage.

Shelbourne sealed the win midway through the second half as Finn’s through ball picked out Doyle whose delicate touch caught out substitute keeper Coombes to make it 3-0.

The home side won a third penalty as Coombes’ mistimed slide tackle brought down Noonan.

The clubs leading goal scorer’s second penalty of the day was again missed as this time Coombes guessed the right way.

But just a minute later, Noonan got on the scoresheet to make up for her penalty misses with a cool finish from close range after being picked out by a good ball by Shauna Fox.

  • 93'

    Full time: Shelbourne 4-0 Athlone Town

  • 90'

    The fourth official has indicated there will be a minimum of three additional minutes played at the end of the second half.

  • 89'

    GOAL! Noonan finally gets on the scoresheet after a superb cross by Shauna Fox is calmly slotted into the corner to make up for her penalty misses.

  • 88'

    Noonan again misses from the spot as Coombes palms the ball away as she guessed which way correctly.

  • 86'

    A third penalty to Shelbourne as Coombes mistimes his slide tackle and takes out Noonan.

  • 85'

    The rain has finally stopped much to the players relief.

  • 82'

    Shelbourne sub: Emily Whelan is replaced by Ella O'Connell and Jamie Finn is replaced by Abbie Larkin.

  • 80'

    Corner to Athlone.

  • 79'

    Appeals for a penalty as Slattery makes a strong challenge on Molloy but the referee waves away the soft appeal.

  • 74'

    Molloy's cross across the face of goal misses everyone and lands in a puddle on the pitch in the corner.

  • 72'

    The weather is definitely playing it's part as the quality of the match has dropped significantly.

  • 67'

    The rain is relentless and the only concern is how much rain this turf can hold?

  • 64'

    GOAL! Jamie Finn's through ball finds Leah Doyle who catches the keeper off guard with a delicate touch to beat Coombes at her near post.

  • 62'

    Coombes is okay to continue and play resumes.

  • 62'

    A break in play as Coombes is down receiving treatment.

  • 59'

    Noonan plays a delicate pass through to Jamie Finn who goes through one on one but the attacker misses the target by aiming at the goalkeepers near post.

  • 56'

    Fantastic delivery into the box but Niamh Coombes tips the ball away.

  • 56'

    Corner to Shelbourne.

  • 55'

    Ciara Grant has a shot on goal but a brilliant block by Chloe Flynn prevents the danger. Better from Shels.

  • 53'

    The visitors have certainly been the better side since the start of the half and continue to threaten to get back into the contest.

  • 52'

    Good build up play allows Corbett to have a first time shot on goal that forces a good save from Budden.

  • 48'

    The danger is cleared by Pearl Slattery and Shelbourne look to relinquish the visitors early pressure.

  • 48'

    Molloy makes a mazy run into the box and last ditch defending puts the ball out for a corner kick.

  • 47'

    The weather has taken a turn for the worst as the rain is tipping it down at Tolka Park.

  • 46'

    We're back underway.

  • 46'

    Athlone sub: Abbiegayle Ronayne is replaced by Niamh Coombes

  • 47'

    Half time: Shelbourne 2-0 Athlone Town

  • 45'

    The fourth official has indicated there will be a minimum of two additional minutes.

  • 40'

    Play has resumed as the referee is okay to continue.

  • 40'

    A break in play as the referee is down injured after rolling his ankle on the slippy surface.

  • 39'

    Kelly Brennan goes through on goal as again Budden's distribution is poor but Brennan's shot is poor and again Athlone fail to capitalise.

  • 37'

    Amanda Budden makes a poor clearance that is pounced on by Muireann Devaney but her shot fails to seriously threaten the Shelbourne goal.

  • 35'

    Lucy Jane Grant makes a vital interception to prevent the visitors going further behind.

  • 35'

    Ciara Grant heads the danger clear and Shels break on the counterattack..

  • 34'

    Athlone respond by earning their first corner kick of the match.

  • 33'

    GOAL! Alex Kavanagh scores a brilliant penalty as she places the ball right in the corner to give the home side a deserved two-goal lead.

  • 32'

    Another penalty for Shelbourne! Jamie Finn is brought down by Kayleigh Shine and her clumsy challenge costs her a booking.

  • 32'

    Despite the penalty miss, it remains one way traffic here.

  • 30'

    Saoirse Noonan misses the penalty as her poor spot kick fails to find the corner and Ronanyne makes a good save to prevent the deficit from increasing.

  • 29'

    Penalty to Shelbourne! Ciara Grant goes through on goal and rounds the keeper but is impeded by Ronanyne.

  • 26'

    Athlone sub: The injured Laurie Grant is replaced by Lucy Jane Grant

  • 24'

    A break in play as an Athlone player is down receiving treatment.

  • 23'

    Halfway through the first half and Shelbourne look in cruise control, dominating the match.

  • 21'

    Noonan controls the ball well and has a shot from distance that fails to trouble Ronanyne.

  • 20'

    Whelan attempts to play in Noonan but her pass is overhit, all Shelbourne here.

  • 15'

    GOAL! Shelbourne take the lead through Emily Whelan as her 30 yard long range effort is poorly dealt with by Abbiegayle Ronayne who tips the ball over her head and into the net.

  • 11'

    The hosts have started very brightly and are playing the vast majority of their football in the opposing final third.

  • 6'

    Jamie Finn cuts the defence open with a lovely ball but Grant's ball doesn't quite find Noonan.

  • 4'

    The corner eventually goes out for a goal kick.

  • 3'

    Emily Whelan cuts inside the box and her shot on goal is well saved and out for the game's first corner kick.

  • 1'

    We're underway.

  • In the previous meeting between the two sides, Shels ran out 5-0 winners courtesy of goals from Jamie Finn, Ciara Grant, Noonan, Seana Cooke and Abbie Larkin.

  • Athlone have endured miserable form having not won in eight matches since their away victory over Galway, which was their only win of the campaign so far.

  • Meanwhile, Athlone are at the summit of the table in ninth position on just eight points registered from 15 games. They are level on points with Bohemians but are bottom due to their inferior goal difference.

  • That crushing defeat against their title rivals was the first they have experienced since April in what was their third game of the campaign. Shels are three points behind league leaders Peamout United but have Wexford Youths hot on their tails just a point behind them.

  • Shels come into the game off the back of a 1-0 away defeat to Wexford Youths which ended an impressive run of seven consecutive wins.

  • Hello and welcome to Final Whistle's coverage of today's Women's National League clash between Shelbourne and Athlone Town.


1Amanda Budden Goalkeeper
3Jessie Stapleton Defender
4Pearl Slattery Defender
5Jamie Finn 18 Midfielder
6Alex Kavanagh Midfielder 33'
8Rachel Graham Defender
9Emily Whelan 22 Forward 15'
11Saoirse Noonan Forward 88'
12Ciara Grant Midfielder
19Leah Doyle Defender 64'
Chloe Mustaki Midfielder
16Sophie Lenehan Goalkeeper
7Jessica Ziu Midfielder
10Noelle Murray Forward
18Abbie Larkin 5 Midfielder
21Taylor White Forward
22Ella O’Connell 9 Midfielder
30Shauna Fox Defender

Athlone Town

1Abbiegayle Ronayne 50 Goalkeeper
10Kellie Brennan Forward
5Chloe Flynn Defender
2Fiona Owens Defender
6Muireann Devaney Midfielder
7Kayleigh Shine Defender
11Laurie Ryan 27 Midfielder
14Roisin Molloy Midfielder
20Jessica Hennessy Midfielder
22Melissa O’Kane Defender
24Shauna Peare
50Niamh Coombes 1 Goalkeeper
17Aife Haran Midfielder
19Laoise Ó hAodha Midfielder
21Emily Corbet Forward
23Ava Dolan Forward
26Aisling Mahony Forward
27Lucy Jayne Grant 11 Forward

Past Meetings

(Series 16)
1 - 3
LOI Men's First Division
Athlone Town Stadium

Athlone Town v Shelbourne

(Series 10)
5 - 0
LOI Women's Premier Division
Tolka Park

Shelbourne v Athlone Town

(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

I am a Sports Journalism & PR graduate from Staffordshire University. During my time at Final Whistle, I have covered the LOI National League, international games and the Women’s National League. Outside of Final Whistle, I am a researcher for World Rugby and a writer for The Rugby Paper.