Athlone Town win dramatic FAI Women's Cup final
Athlone Town 2, Shelbourne 2 (Athlone win 4-3 on pens aet)
Athlone Town are the Sports Direct FAI Women's Cup champions after a dramatic and topsy-turvy decider in Tallaght Stadium this evening.
Athlone came through a nailbiting penalty shoot out to secure a famous victory, after an enthralling cup final had ended 2-2 after extra time.
Penalties from Dana Scheriff, Chloe Singleton (who was the official Player of the Match), Kayleigh Shine and Jesi Rossman were enough to give Athlone a 4-3 shoot out win, when the unfortunate Alex Kavanagh struck the bar with Shelbourne's fifth penalty.
Athlone had opened brightly and were the better team in the opening half and deservedly went in to the dressing rooms at half time in front, courtesy of a Scheriff goal. The American was alert to prod home a rebound off the post when Singleton's cross was sliced onto the post by the Shelbourne defender Margaret Pierece.
Shels, though, proved a bigger challenge after the break and grew more into the game as the half progressed. Substitute Jemma Quinn brought the game to extra time with a second half equaliser on 74 minutes when she swept home after Athlone keeper Katie Keane had palmed out a Kerri Letmon cross.
Shels seemed to be closing in on back-to-back cup successes for the Dubliners at Athlone's expense when Quinn put her side in front late in the first period of extra time when a superb finish from the edge of the box after being teed up by Pearl Slattery.
This Athlone side though are a determined bunch and they began to build up a head of steam late on and found a dramatic equaliser when substitute Gillan Keenan fired home at the back post from a right wing cross with just minutes remaining.
Cue penalties – and eventual glory, when Kavanagh failed to convert Shels' last penalty.
Athlone Town: Katie Keane; Kayleigh Shine, Shauna Brennan (Kate Slevin 70), Jesi Rossman, Dana Scheriff, Chloe Singleton, Kellie Brennan, Laurie Ryan, Lauren Karabin (Muireann Devaney 58), Roisin Molloy (Gillian Keenan 98), Madison Gibson.
Subs: Muireann Devaney for Karabin (58), Kate Slevin for S. Brennan (70), Gillian Keenan for Molloy (98) Isobel Ryan for Ryan (105)
Shelbourne: Amanda McQuillan; Keeva Keenan, Pearl Slattery, Leah Doyle, Alex Kavanagh, Rachel Graham, Noelle Murray, Megan Smyth-Lynch, Hannah Healy, Margaret Pierce, Christie Gray.
Subs: Kerri Letmon for Smyth-Lynch (45); Jemma Quinn for Gray (64); Nadine Clare for Graham (76); Rebecca Devereux for Doyle (99)
More to follow