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Fifth played sixth this evening as Shelbourne Ladies hosted Galway WFC at Morton Stadium and a Roma McLoughlin masterclass saw Shelbourne run rampant in a 5-1 victory.

A spate of draws this season has halted the reigning Champions title defence but the hosts came flying out of the traps and took the lead after just three minutes. Some excellent twinkle toes in the middle of the park from Roma McLoughlin, opened up some space, and from roughly 25 yards out hit a belting effort that sailed over Tina Hughes, giving the keeper no chance. Dream start for the home side.

The wide players for Shels were causing all sorts of difficulty for the Galway full backs with their pace, and in particular Siobhan Killeen on the right who tormented Alina Cheatham.

Shels should have doubled their lead just after the half hour mark when Niamh Prior got to the end line after a great run but her cut back to Fiona Donnelly was excellently saved by Hughes to keep her team in the game.

A very entertaining first half came to an end in spectacular fashion, when Shels winger Killeen raced free down the right following a long ball over the top. She showed excellent composure and produced a moment of magic even Messi would have been proud of, and delightfully dinked the ball over Hughes as she approached.

The visitors, now with nothing to lose, started the second half brightly and managed to pull one back with just five minutes played. A looped cross from the right just in between allowed Sinead Taylor to break the offside trap and, under pressure from McQuillan, deftly controlled the ball past the keeper and slotted home.

Shels coped well with the waves of pressure that followed and restored their two goal cushion 15 minutes later from a swift counter with McLoughlin and Killeen involved. The latter broke free again down the right channell and laid the ball inside for Kate Mooney to smash home.

The game was put beyond any doubt after some more neat and tidy play around the box from Shelbourne. Left winger Prior did well to shift the ball out of her feet and drill low and hard across goal to make it 4-1. And McLoughlin put the icing on the cake with her second of the game moments later breaking the offside trap and slotting home past the unlucky Hughes, who couldn’t be blamed for any goal.

Galway can be proud of their efforts and showed some great spirit throughout but ultimately it was the host’s quality that told in the end, running out deserved 5-1 winners.

Shelbourne Ladies:16. Amanda McQuillan, 2. Seana Cooke, 4. Pearl Slattery (c), 10. Roma McLoughlin, 11. Siobhan Killeen, 12. Jamie Finn, 13. Courtney Higgins (5. Tiegan Ruddy), 14. Niamh Prior, 15. Fiona Donnelly (8. Rachel Graham), 17. Kate Mooney, 19. Lynn Craven (18. Chloe McNamee)

Subs: 1. Niamh Reid Burke, 5. Tiegan Ruddy, 6. Alex Kavanagh, 7. Leanne Kiernan, 8. Rachel Graham, 18. Chloe McNamee

Galway WFC: 20. Tina Hughes, 2. Aoife Walsh (14. Rachel Baynes), 5. Alina Cheatham, 4. Shauna Fox, 3. Jenny Byrne, 6. Meabh De Burca (c), 19. Tessa Mullins, 7. Lisa Casserly, 8. Sadbh Doyle, 16. Sinead Taylor (18. Jenny Chambers), 10. Lynsey McKey (13. Grainne Barrett)

Subs: 1. Louise Creaven, 11. Therese Hartley, 14. Rachel Baynes, 9. Shannagh Jackson, 13. Grainne Barrett, 12. Megan Carroll, 18. Jenny Chambers

Player of the game: Roma McLoughlin

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