Peamount United have one hand on the Só Hotels Women’s National League trophy after moving eight points clear at the top of the table following an impressive win over champions Wexford Youths in Ferrycarrig Park.

Eleanor Ryan-Doyle grabbed the all-important goal 11 minutes before the break after a dominant first-half display and they navigated the second 45 minutes in a thoroughly professional manner to deservedly take home the points.

Peamount had the perfect record of ten wins from ten league outings going into the game but they would have made the journey down the N11 expecting this to be their toughest test.

However, the confidence that a winning streak brings was clearly evident from the way they took the game to the champions from the off.

The Dubliners began with a real swagger and created the first opening in the fifth minute when Megan Smyth-Lynch slid the ball through to Amber Barrett, but the striker shot across the face of goal from a tight angle.

Claire Walsh was next to threaten, whipping a free-kick narrowly wide of the right post with 15 minutes on the clock and five minutes later Barrett curled an ambitious effort over the crossbar.

Within seconds they had almost made the breakthrough when Niamh Farrelly picked out Eleanor Ryan-Doyle with a beautifully-flighted pass and her first-time effort came back of the right post.

They were at it again in the 27th minute with the ever-dangerous Barrett forcing goalkeeper Sophie Lenehan to tip round the post with a well-struck effort from the edge of the area and moments later Barrett was again in the thick of the action when she met Farrelly's cross but shot straight at the netminder.

The visitors got the goal their efforts deserved in the 34th minute and it was worth the wait. Eleanor Ryan-Doyle took the ball down brilliantly on the edge of the area and let fly on the half volley. Lenehan managed to get a hand to it but the shot had too much power and nestled in the back of the net.

Peamount continued to go for the jugular and five minutes after taking the lead Aine O'Gorman saw her effort deflect wide after being fed by Farrelly and Megan Smyth-Lynch was next to make a few hearts to skip a beat among the home contingent, curling a free-kick inches wide of the left upright.

They continued to pick holes in the Youths defence and Farrelly found the head of Eleanor Ryan-Doyle three minutes before the break, but her effort lacked the power to trouble Lenehan.

Wexford had to wait until the final minute of the half for their first effort of note, when Rianna Jarrett fired a 25-yard free-kick off target which illustrated the dominance of the Dubliners in opening 45 minutes.

Wexford came out with a bit more fire in their bellies after the interval, forcing four corners within minutes of the restart, and they created their first real opening eight minutes in when Jarrett pulled the ball back from the byline to Lauren Kelly, but she dragged her shot wide.

Seconds earlier Peamount had threatened to double their advantage, with Amber Barrett twice denied by blocks in quick succession.

The second-half was a much more even affair with few clear-cut chances, although Aisling Frawley got on the end of a Katrina Parrock cross in the 73rd minute but headed well off target.

Frawley had another sight of goal four minutes later when she warmed the gloves of Naoisha McAloon, the first time the netminder was called into action to make a save, albeit a comfortable one.

She had to make another stop five minutes before the end and again it was of the routine variety as she comfortably gathered a Jarrett free-kick.

Peamount survived a real scare seconds before the end of regulation time when McAloon had to claw the ball from under the bar to prevent an own goal, while Edel Kennedy followed up to rattle the crossbar.

In injury time, Barrett drilled an effort just wide but it mattered little as Peamount kept a clean sheet and with it a priceless three points.

Wexford Youths: Sophie Lenehan, Nicola Sinnott, Lauren Dwyer, Orlaith Conlon, Becky Cassin (Ciara Rossiter 56), Aisling Frawley, Kylie Murphy (C), Edel Kennedy, Blessing Kingsley (Vanessa Ogbonna 77), Lauren Kelly (Katrina Parrock 63), Rianna Jarrett.

Peamount United: Naoisha McAloon, Lauren O'Callaghan, Louise Corrigan, Claire Walsh, Dearbhille Beirne, Aine O'Gorman (C), Karen Duggan, Niamh Farrelly, Megan Smyth-Lynch (Jade Reddy 86), Eleanor Ryan-Doyle, Amber Barrett (Chloe Moloney 90+4).

Referee: Brian Fenlon.

Photo: Mick O'Shea

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