Inters fail the Meath test
Wexford were no match for a rampant Meath side in the Leinster Intermediate camogie championship semi-final at O'Kennedy Park, New Ross, on Sunday.
Meath 4-11 Wexford 1-8
The confidence of the Slaneysiders was up a little after seeing off Dublin in the quarter-finals the previous weekend, but the Royal county proved a stiffer test altogether as a pair of goals from star player Jane Dolan ensured the visitors won though to face Carlow in the decider.
There wasn't a whole lot to like about the hosts in the first-half as Meath built a commanding lead. After Dolan opened the scoring, Amy Gaffney and Sinéad Hackett added points to ease their county into a 0-3 to nil lead.
It was all too easy for Dolan when she cut in from the left untouched and stroked past Rebecca Doran to the Wexford net in the sixth minute.
By the start of the second quarter Meath led by 1-6 to nil but Wexford finally opened their account when Aideen Brennan converted a free that Leah Walsh won.
Meath goaled again when Katie Hackett's long ball was batted down by Doran, only for Aoife Minogue to force the sliothar home.
They had another chance from a penalty moments later but a combination of the 'keeper and Doireann Kavanagh cleared Dolan's powerful shot.
Margaret Byrne raced away and shot high, arcing towards the net, but stopper Emily Mangan tipped over to ensure her side led by 2-7 to 0-2 at the interval. That lead increased further with three Dolan frees within three minutes of the re-start.
Yet Wexford were much improved after the interval. Oonagh Doyle, who was excellent in the second-half, popped over her first score before adding a free.
Walsh flashed over the crossbar from Brennan's handpass but Meath quickly added Katie Hackett's point and a Dolan goal from a dead-ball.
After Byrne scored her second point, Aoife McGuire drilled home goal number four in the 48th minute (4-11 to 0-6).
A late revival saw Wexford add a pair of Doyle points and a McMahon goal but it was too little, too late, and the Slaneysiders still have plenty of work to do ahead of their championship opener against Tipperary on June 25.
Wexford: Rebecca Doran; Nancy Dunphy, Leanne Foley, Farren Byrne; Michelle Harding, Katie O'Connor, Doireann Kavanagh; Michelle Martin, Leah Walsh (0-1); Joanne Dillon, Ellen Roche, Oonagh Doyle (0-4, 2 frees); Aideen Brennan (0-1), Deirdre McMahon (capt., 1-0), Margaret Byrne (0-2). Subs. - Niamh Walsh for Dillon (48), Rachel Kelly for O'Connor (51), Jemma Doyle for Doran (60), Sarah Eustace for M. Byrne (60).
Meath: Emily Mangan; Fiona O'Neill, Claire Coffey, Ellen Burke; Aine Keogh, Cheyanne O'Brien, Louise Donoghue; Kristina Troy, Máire Keogh; Katie Hackett (0-1), Aoife Maguire (capt., 1-0), Amy Gaffney (0-1); Sinéad Hackett (0-1), Jane Dolan (2-7, 1-7 frees), Aoife Minogue (1-1). Subs. - Fia O'Brien for A. Keogh (45), Maggie Randle for S. Hackett (49), Máire Kirby for Troy (49), Emma Coffey for Burke (50), Megan Thynne for Dolan (55), Nadine Doyle for Gaffney, temp. (60+1).
Referee: Paul Ryan (Kildare).