Shelbourne were trying to pass their way out from the back. Peamount United were trying to squeeze them in. And out of nowhere came a player at full speed, sliding in to win a tackle and send a statement of 'you're going nowhere'.

That was Niamh Farrelly. She had drifted forward from her centre-back position to intervene as her game intelligence spotted an opportunity to pin Shels back inside their own half. It was typical of the Dubliner of make such a telling contribution in a big game.

The Women's National League title was on the line and heartbeats were higher than normal. Yet this is how Farrelly always plays - giving it everything. Whether she is operating in midfield or defence she is ready to step up and fight for her team.

Although there is so much more to Farrelly than crunching tackles. She is one of the best players in the League at linking play and getting her team on the move. It can be a long-range pass or a five-yard ball, but nearly every time it is the right decision.

However, the best thing about her game is how she reads it. Farrelly can anticipate danger and use her athleticism to get ahead of her opponent before the ball even reaches the intended area. She knows when to move, how to move and when not to commit. Usually that sort of game-intelligence comes with many years of experience, but she is a quick learner and has already added it to her arsenal.

Peamount have certainly been able to get the best out of Farrelly this season as they have retained the League and still have the FAI Women's Senior Cup Final to come. However, there is a lot more for her to achieve. She can get even better and more consistent, which is exciting and frightening at the same time.

Back involved in the Republic of Ireland Women's National Team squad, she will be keen to add to her two senior caps. There are currently more experienced players ahead of her in the pecking order but that has not stopped Vera Pauw from keeping a close eye on her progress.

Eventually Farrelly will make that breakthrough. She might feel ready for it now, but patience is required. When called upon she must deliver and judging by her performances this season that will not be a problem.