Galway WFC's unbeaten run came to an end when they were defeated by Shelbourne 3-2 in their Women’s National League clash in the AUL on Saturday afternoon.
They had headed to Dublin on a six-game unbeaten run, which Billy Clery's side had stitched together ironically after a 3-0 defeat to their Dublin opponents back in June, and once again they were foiled.
Clery was suspended for the game, having been sent to the stands in their FAI Cup win over the DLR Waves, so assistant manager Maz Sweeney took control of affairs. Galway, who were down to the bare bones squad, gave a debut to youngster Kelsey Munroe at left back.
Despite a couple of half chances early on from Aoife Thompson and Chloe Singleton, it was the hosts who took the game to the visitors, but efforts from Chloe Mustaki, Alex Kavanagh and Emily Whelan were comfortably saved by goalkeeper Abbie Roynayne.
However, it Galway managed to take the lead on 27 minutes when Irish U19 International Chloe Singleton pounced on a mistake in the Shelbourne defence to shoot past Shelbourne keeper Rachael Kelly.
After the goal Shelbourne stepped it up and striker Emily Whelan was a constant threat to the Galway defence, running off the shoulder at will, but Roynayne was equal to anything that came her way.
Chances were also carved at the other end with Meadbh De Burca and American striker McKenna Doyle going close to double the lead, but it was 0-1 for Galway at half time.
Shelbourne, however, were rewarded for their endeavor when Noelle Murray struck a superb goal from 35 yards to beat the impressive Roynayne in the Galway goal.
Galway never let up, and only for a brilliant last-gasp tackle from substitute McLaughlin to deny Singleton, who had gone on a mazy run at the heart of the Shels' midfield, it would have been 2-1 for United.
Luckily for Galway thet second goal came on 70 minutes after McKenna Doyle was pushed over in the box, and De Burca slotted home the resulting penalty.
With 10 minutes remaining, and with Galway wilting, Shelbourne got back into the game. Jamie Finn was played in, one-on-one with Roynayne, and she managed to flick the ball over the advancing keeper to equalise.
With time almost up, Galway striker McKenna Doyle suffered an ankle injury before the last kick of the game. And from a free kick, Shelbourne's Rebecca Cooke, another second-half substitute, got her head to head to the ball first to head home.
It was a cruel blow for Galway who had played superbly throughout, They must now pick themselves up quickly as they head back to the capital on Wednesday evening to face DLR Waves.
Assistant manager Sweeney said Galway's effort certainly could not be faulted.
"They put it up to them. They’re an excellent side, they’ve internationals all over the park, a lot of young quick players. At times we could have scored to go 3-1 up, we had a lot of good breaks.
"It was a decent game of football, both teams tried to play, and the game opened up as it went on. It’s just the result is difficult to take.”
Galway: Abbie Roynayne, Aoife Walsh, Shauna Fox, Keara Cormican (C ), Mèabh De Búrca, Chloe Singleton ( Leah Brady ), Sadbh Doyle (Tina Hughes ), Sinead Donovan, Kelsey Munroe, Aoife Thompson, McKenna Doyle.
Shelbourne: Rachael Kelly, Pearl Slattery (C ), Jamie Finn, Alex Kavanagh, Jessica Ziu, Alannah McEvoy, Noelle Murray, Emily Whelan, Kate Mooney, Jenny McDade, Chloe Mustaki.