Battling Wexford pipped by Cork
Cork 3-10 Wexford 2-11
Despite a battling performance, full of heart and determination, Wexford fell to Cork in their opening fixture in the All-Ireland Under-16 camogie championship in Carrigtwohill on Sunday.
The Slaneysiders were playing their first match in the competition, while their hosts had the benefit of a game against Clare under their belts already and that added action stood to the Leesiders.
Wexford hadn't played a competitive fixture since the middle of April but they set about their task with plenty of intent. Oulart-The Ballagh youngster Anais Curran opened her side's account from a placed ball.
There was just five minutes on the clock when St. Martin's clubwoman Ciara O'Connor found the net for the Slaneysiders but they failed to build on their impressive start. Fiona Keating netted at the other end to get the hosts going, and Sally McCarthy levelled the scores.
After Ciara O'Connor cancelled out another McCarthy free, the Rebelettes got on a bit of a roll, racking up four points in a row. Anais Curran got another one back on the stroke of half-time to leave just a goal between the sides at the change of ends (1-6 to 1-3).
Wexford really came to life early in the second-half. Curran added another trio of points before Ciara O'Connor levelled the scores for the third time at 1-7 each. The hosts were rocked midway through the half when Curran netted to give her side a surprise lead.
When Kate Kirwan flighted over a minor, Wexford still led by two (2-8 to 1-9), yet Cork responded with two quick goals and a point to suddenly spring five clear. Curran (two) and Kate Foley scored injury-time points but it wasn't enough to deny the hosts.
In the end, despite it being against quality opposition, Wexford will feel as if this game was there for the taking. However, if they can learn from this loss there's no reason why they can't close out the win the next time an opportunity arises.
Next up for Wexford is a home game against Tipperary scheduled for Sunday afternoon at a venue and time to be confirmed. With games against Waterford, who are unbeaten, and Clare still to come, a win will be vital for the Slaneysiders' hopes of reaching the last four.
Wexford: Aoife Mahon; Doireann Cullen, Shauna O'Leary, Eimear O'Connor; Róisín Parker, Amy Cahill, Laura Doran; Ciara Walsh, Kate Kirwan (0-1); Ciara O'Connor (1-2), Anais Curran (1-7, 0-4 frees, 0-1 '45), Megan Cullen; Lauren Murphy, Emma Dempsey, Amy O'Leary. Subs. - Kate Foley (0-1) for Murphy, Leanne Rowe for S. O'Leary, Aisling Alouf for Cullen, also Sophie Roche, Amy Mitten, Siobhán Sinnott, Eimear Byrne, Aoife Dempsey, Amy Cousins, Lorna Fortune, Molly Somers, Eva Mooney, Elena Kenny, Tara Doyle, Katie Smyth.