5 Key takeaways from the Shelbourne vs Athlone WFAI cup final

5 Key takeaways from the Shelbourne vs Athlone WFAI cup final
Alanna Cunnane
Alanna Cunnane

What the WFAI Cup Final might lacked in an abundance of technical goals, it made up for in bite, determination and a complete destruction of the script at Tallaght Stadium, as Athlone Town lifted the cup versus Shelbourne in a 2-2 thriller that only penalties could conclude.

Here’s 5 key takeaways from the game.


1. Meek turnout at the WFAI cup final

3,526 people attended today’s showpiece event, a drop of 1,547 from last year’s figure of 5,073.

At times you could hear the players themselves talking on the pitch, and in between the chants from the two supporters groups, it was often eerily quiet throughout.

Poor promotion, clash with underage games, the time of the year and the weather could all be called into question with regards to the reasoning behind that, but it was definitely a substandard setting for one of the standout matches of the LOI calendar.


2.Chloe Singleton is a baller

It may seem like a lifetime ago, but Chloe Singleton only signed for Athlone at the start of this season, and boy has she been a revelation for them.

The slick midfielder illustrated that once again in today’s fixture, involved in several pivotal moments in both defence and attack, covering almost every blade of grass too.

Linking up with Roisin Molloy, Laurie Ryan and Dana Scheriff to pull the strings for her team, she really did go all out in a bid to drag Athlone to their first taste of FAI Cup silverware in 99 years.

3.(New) old rivalries die hard in the WFAI cup final

It was tense from the word go between these too, with the feud they’ve built up over the last few years on display for all to see.

Heavy tackles, yellow cards galore and a kick to the face of Athlone’s goalkeeper, Katie Keane (formerly of Shelbourne) all included, there was no love lost surely.

Having faced off in last year’s Cup Final, this year’s President’s Cup Final and throughout the league too, they’ve fostered a competitive spirit between themselves as of late, which will be once again renewed given today’s exchanges.

4.Jemma Quinn is a gamechanger

Jemma Quinn wasn’t 10 minutes on the pitch when she hit the back of the net for Shelbourne, equalising a game which their midlands opponents had led 1-0 for the 73 minutes prior.

After Athlone’s net minder Keane spilled the ball on the end of a Maggie Peirce cross, Quinn was there and ready to pounce, shocking Shels into life with only 15 minutes left on the clock.

The in extra time she struck again, powering home the ball before wheeling off to celebrate in true Chloe Kelly Euro 2022 final fashion.

Shels may not have come away with the win, but those moments mark a lovely bookend to her inspirational story in which she came back to football last year following a nine year hiatus.

5. These two love going the distance

If the President’s Cup final was anything to go by, fans should have known that when it comes to do or die football Shelbourne and Athlone is always a closely contested contest.

On that occasion it was Athlone who emerged victorious after penalties, and that experience may well have stood to them in pursuit of this victory.

Keenan secured the chance at spot-kicks late into the second half of extra time and Sheriff, Singleton, Shine and Rossman all tucked away their penalties, clinching their team the coveted title of WFAI Cup champions.

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