Peamount were in unforgiving form as they got their 2022 Women's National League campaign started with a comprehensive 6-0 win over the league’s newest side Sligo Rovers.
Both Stephanie Roche and Aine O’Gorman netted a brace, with Erin McLaughlin and Dora Gorman also getting on the scoresheet.
It was a momentous occasion for Sligo Rovers, as it was the club’s first ever game in the senior Women’s National League.
Historic, indeed, but the Bit O’Red started their first ever campaign with one of the toughest encounters possible - an away trip to three time champions Peamount who lost out on a fourth title on the final day of the 2021 season as Shelbourne just pipped them to it.
Still reeling from that hurt, and keen to make amends, the Peas were up against a Bit O’Red side who were somewhat of an unknown entity, although injuries to the experienced former Wexford and Castlebar Celtic player Emma Hansberry, and the talented 17-year-old Emma Doherty meant Rovers’ case took a bit of a blow during the week.
Although Rovers will be pleased with how they started, they had to withstand wave after wave of attack from their more experienced counterparts and eventually were broken down.
Dora Gorman put the Peas ahead on 21 minutes with a fine finish, while McLaughlin made it 2-0 on the half hour mark following poor defending from the Bit O’Red.
Roche made it 3-0when she got on the end of Gorman’s cross, before she netted her second on the brink of half-time.
Leading 4-0 at the break, the Peas were cruising.
Rovers, although working hard, were struggling to contend with the experience of Peas, and went further behind on the hour mark courtesy of an incredible finish from O’Gorman, who netted her second on 81 minutes.
Rovers tried to get forward more in the dying stages with sub Paula McGrory feeding off scraps up top.
But, it was a comprehensive win for the Peas who will undoubtedly have their eyes on league glory this season, getting their season started the way they would have wanted.
For Rovers, it was a baptism of fire but an experience they will learn from.
Peamount United: Niamh Reid-Burke, Lauryn O’Callaghan, Tiegan Ruddy, Dora Gorman, Chloe Molony (Sarah Duke, 73), Sadhbh Doyle, Alannah McEvoy (Tara O’Hanlon, 65)Stephanie Roche (Michelle Doonan, 81), Aine O’Gorman, Karen Duggan, Erin McLaughlin.
Sligo Rovers: Kristen Sample, Ruth Monaghan, Orna O’Dowd, Amy Hyndman (Ciara Henry, 84), Gemma McGuinness, Lauren Boles, Aoife Brennan (Paula McGrory, 65), Amy Roddy, Katie Melly, Fiona Doherty (Fiona Doherty, 76), Helen Monaghan (Erin Coyle, 65)
Elsewhere, champions Shelbourne accounted for Bohemians, Pearl Slattery grabbing the only goal fifteen minutes from time.
After capturing the league title in such dramatic circumstances last season, champions Shelbourne started the defence of their WNL crown at home to Bohemians. @Corktod reports from Tolka Park. pic.twitter.com/Irq1axIZ05— RTÉ Soccer (@RTEsoccer) March 5, 2022
Galway WFC dispatched Cork City WFC, Nicole McNamara, Aoibhinn Costello and Julie-Ann Russell grabbing the goals for the visitors in a 3-0 win.
DLR Waves demolished Treaty United 5-0, Lynn Craven putting them in front just before half-time.
The floodgates opened in the second period, Kerri Letmon scoring shortly after the restart, Avril Brierley adding a third on the hour mark, before Joy Ralph plundered a brace in the final 10 minutes.
At Athlone Town Stadium, Wexford Youths came from a goal down to pip hosts Athlone Town 2-1 with both Youths' goals arriving in the final 15 minutes.
Emily Corbet gave the hosts the lead just before the break but Ellen Molloy scored a great free-kick in the 75th minute and in the 80th minute, debutant Jess Lawler nodded the ball home from a corner.