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Everything You Need To Know About The Women's National League Title Showdown

Everything You Need To Know About The Women's National League Title Showdown
By John Dodge
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It feels fitting that the biggest ever year for women’s football comes down to a winner takes all game to decide the 2022 Women’s National League title. Wexford Youths v Shelbourne is live on TG4 on Saturday and it’s the biggest domestic game in years.

Last season Shelbourne won it on the final day when Peamount United slipped up but this year they go into the final day on top of the table. In true Irish football style though, the league title may even go to a club not involved in a winner takes all game. Athlone Town aren’t out of it yet and a draw in the big game, coupled with a win for Athlone over Bohemians in Dalymount will see a play off for the title.

So here’s the scenarios:

  1. Shelbourne beat Wexford. Shelbourne are champions
  2. Wexford beat Shelbourne. Wexford are champions
  3. Wexford and Shelbourne draw AND Athlone beat Bohemians. Shels and Athlone go into a play off.
  4. Wexford and Shels draw AND Athlone don’t beat Bohs. Shelbourne are champions

Wexford Youths v Shelbourne in 2022

In the opening game between the teams this year, Shels beat Wexford 2-0 in Ferrycarrig Park. Wexford gained a measure of revenge winning 1-0 in Tolka Park when the sides met in June. At the time it was only the 3rd goal conceded by Shels who were on course to walk away with the league title. Thankfully for neutrals, it didn’t turn out that way

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Shels have won five of their last seven games including their last three. Back to back losses in September against Peamount and Athlone put them up against it and the three wins since haven’t exactly been dominant. They have showed character though to climb back to the top of the table though.

Wexford Youths had won 7 in a row being playing Athlone Town in the cup last month. The midlanders won 3-0 and followed it up the following week with a 2-1 win in the league. Youths beat Sligo 5-2 but last week only managed a 1-1 draw away to Peamount. One win in their last four is not the form of champions to be. The injury to young superstar Ellen Molloy is not coincidental

And Athlone?

Athlone Town may be the story of the season.  Last year they finished 7th of 9 clubs with only 4 wins in 24 games.  2022 has seen them beat both title rivals and reach the FAI Cup final for the first time in their short history.  They go searching for their 18th league win in 27 games against Bohemians. By every definition, it's been a remarkable season. if they win that game, and the big game ends in a draw, Athlone will be level with Shelbourne in every head to head way. The teams will then play off for the league title with Wexford youths finishing in third place.

So there's going to be lots of nerves on show in the final set of games. A win for Shelbourne or home side Wexford Youths wins them the title. A draw and the door is open for Athlone. it should be a cracker with the games kicking off at 5:20 with live coverage from Wexford on TG4.

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