The next seven days could all but secure European football for Shamrock Rovers in 2018.Sun, Sep 24 2017
Champions Shelbourne Ladies host top-of-the-table Peamount United in a clash of Dublin heavyweights at Morton Stadium on Saturday night (kick-off 7pm).
Shels will be looking to force their way back into contention following an indifferent start to the season that saw them pick up just three points from their opening four games.
One of those winless games was a 2-2 draw with Peamount at Greenogue that was later declared a walkover 3-0 win for the Peas after Shels were deemed to have fielded an ineligible player.
Mark Leavy's side have turned that form around, however, and put together a four-game winning streak leading into the break, including a league cup win over Wexford Youths.
And they'll be confident of extending that run to five as they host the league leaders, knowing any sort of win will sea them leapfrog the Peas and possibly even top the table.
Peamount returned to the top of the table with a 9-0 victory over struggling Kilkenny United in the last round of league fixtures before the break, over a month ago.
In a topsy-turvy season that has seen the Peas, Wexford Youths and UCD Waves occupy top position at various times, they sit top with every side bar Wexford having played the others once.
Nevertheless, three teams sit within three points of the Peas and one of them is Shelbourne, and with just one goal separating the sides a draw minimum is needed to keep the Peas in top spot.
This meeting sees the league's two biggest-scorers meet, with Shelbourne's 24 goals in seven games comparing favourably with Peamount's 21, so goals are likely to follow.
One the other hand, Peamount have the league's best defensive record with just six goals – an average of one per game excluding the walkover – conceded so far, four fewer than Shels.
All the stats point to the potential of this game to be one of the highlights of the league season.
The sides have met once this season, as the sides played out a 2-2 draw at Greenogue, only for Peamount to be later awarded a 3-0 win as Shels fielded an ineligible player.
Shelbourne have had the upper hand in this fixture in recent times and they won both meetings last season, a 4-1 hammering in Morton followed by a 2-1 away win on the final day.
Shelbourne Ladies N/A; Draw N/A; Peamount United N/A.
Shelbourne Ladies 3 – 2 Peamount United