Under-16 crew ransacked by goal-hungry Tipp

Championship Special: Tipperary 5-9 Wexford 0-10

Jason Goodison

A goal-hungry Tipperary ransacked Wexford in the opening half of their All-Ireland Under-16 'A' camogie championship encounter in Innovate Wexford Park on Sunday to overtake their south-east rivals and send them to the foot of the Group B table.

In truth, there wasn't as much between the sides as the score difference would suggest in the first-half, with both registering the same number of scores (5-3 to 0-8). Tipperary simply attacked with greater ruthlessness and defended better when they had to.

The visitors began as they meant to go on, rippling the net within 20 seconds of the throw-in after Grace O'Toole raced through.

While Wexford gained some momentum from two quick Anais Curran points, O'Toole answered back with her second goal, this time batting past Aoife Mahon.

That was the story of the game, as Wexford would reel Tipperary back into touching distance, only for the visitors to waltz up the other end and make it look too easy.

The third goal came soon after from Emer McGrath who finished low after a positive forward run to make it 3-0 to 0-2 after just six minutes.

Wexford added four of the next five points, a treble from Curran and one from Megan Cullen, before Rose Anna O'Donnell goaled to keep the Premier county in control.

O'Donnell was involved again four minutes later, her handpass supplying O'Toole who rounded Mahon and made no mistake in sealing her first-half hat-trick.

Curran pointed from distance before the break, but it did little to make the mountain Wexford were facing in the second-half any less steep.

The Model girls had a good go at it but it was always going to be a long way back. Curran pointed as Wexford set up camp in Tipperary's half.

Their tactics were clear in this 15-minute spell - foul any Wexford player who gets within range to have a shot at goal.

As a result Wexford had a raft of frees all around the 21-metre line, but constant efforts at goal were blocked by the stern Tipperary defence.

While one did manage to sneak through into the net, a Kate Smyth shot, it was controversially disallowed by referee Gavin Donegan.

McGrath scored Tipperary's first point of the half in the 48th minute, before two more quick minors, one from McGrath and one from Karin Blair, killed Wexford's momentum.

Tipperary finished the game off with more points, another from McGrath with Sarah Hennessy scoring a brace from the bench.

Wexford will face table-toppers Waterford next, on Sunday, July 30, as they await their first championship win. 

Wexford: Aoife Mahon; Leanne Rowe, Eimear O'Connor, Doireann Cullen; Amy Mitten, Amy Cahill, Laura Doran; Ciara Walsh, Emma Dempsey; Ciara O'Connor (capt.), Anais Curran (0-8, 5 frees), Megan Cullen (0-1); Katie Smyth, Lauren Murphy, Aisling Alouf. Subs. - Amy O'Leary for Dempsey (27), Siobhán Sinnott for Mitten (27), Eimear Byrne for D. Cullen (31), Tara Doyle for E. O'Connor (44), Kate Foley for Murphy (53), also Sophie Roche, Shauna O'Leary, Amy Cousins, Lorna Fortune, Aoife Dempsey, Mollie Somers, Elana Kenny.

Tipperary: Ella Carey; Bonnie Conroy, Gemma Fox (capt.), Lauren Ryan; Emer Heffernan, Saoirse Ryan, Laura Heffernan; Mary Flaherty, Sinéad Ryan; Karin Blair (0-1), Rachel O'Dwyer, Clodagh McIntyre (0-1); Emer McGrath (1-5, 0-4 frees), Rose Anna O'Donnell (1-0), Grace O'Toole (3-0). Subs. - Hanna Finnerty for Flaherty (47), Sarah Hennessy (0-2) for O'Donnell (55), Laura Shinners for Ryan (61).

Referee: Gavin Donegan (Dublin).

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