Gaynor girls deserved a bit more for their efforts
Just how cruel a game soccer can be was shown last weekend as the Wexford Under-16 schoolgirls finished thirteenth in the Gaynor Cup despite the fact they lost just one game out of five played over the weekend.
Drawn in a tough group, it was always going to be a difficult task but they got off to a decent start on Friday evening when they played out a scoreless draw with one of the tournament favourites, Galway.
Saturday morning saw Wexford take on one of the stronger schoolgirl leagues when up against Cork and, once again, the girls were well in control but failed to put away their chances.
Cork took the lead against the run of play early in the second-half but Wexford bounced back quickly and were on level terms when Amy Wilson found the net five minutes later.
Wexford pressed hard in search of a winner but were unable to find the net, and the game ended 1-1 to leave several permutations on who might qualify as we headed into the final set of group games.
This game was against North East Counties, who also needed the three points to have any hope of qualifying, and they started strongly as they took an early lead before Wexford got back on level terms through Britney Conroy.
However, in the second-half, Wexford struggled in front of goal and could not take control while a hard-working N.E.C. side pushed forward when they got the opportunity and two goals saw them run out unlikely 3-1 winners.
This result saw Cork emerge as victors of the group with N.E.C. runners-up, Galway third and Wexford unbelievably bottom of the group showing the difference one result can make.
On Sunday morning Wexford took on Donegal and in a tight game,
Amy Wilson scored a goal late on for a deserved 1-0 victory. The final game of the weekend saw Wexford take on near neighbours Kilkenny, and they got the ideal start when Kate Hendrick gave them a first-half lead.
Kilkenny levelled early in the second-half but Wexford took control and went back in front when goalkeeper Sophie Lenehan's goal kick was deflected to the net. Aoife Devereux made it 3-1 shortly after and Amy Wilson rounded off the weekend with a goal for a 4-1 victory. Wexford will be disappointed to finish 13th, but an inability to take chances in vital games probably cost them dearly and it is difficult when a team loses only one game and finds themselves bottom of the group.
Well done to Laura Heffernan and her management colleagues on having the team prepared, and thanks to all who looked after the players over the weekend.
Squad: Sadbh McCarthy (Curracloe United), Sophie Lenehan (Killenagh Wanderers), Alannah Anglim (North End United), Natasha Byrne-Rossiter (Curracloe United), Suzie Byrne (Cloughbawn A.F.C.), Niamh Browne (St. Leonards F.C.), Megan Cahill (Killenagh Wanderers), Britney Conroy (Bunclody A.F.C.), Aoife Codd (Cloughbawn A.F.C.), Aoife Devereux (Cloughbawn A.F.C.), Siobhán Doolan (Curracloe United), Leah Furlong (Cloughbawn A.F.C.), Kate Hendrick (Bunclody A.F.C.) , Danielle Hanney (Gorey Rangers), Eimeir Mernagh (Cloughbawn A.F.C.), Kate Murphy (Cloughbawn A.F.C.), Chloe Mythen (Bridge Rovers), Rachel Scannell (Curracloe United), Lauren Roche (North End United), Amy Wilson (Gorey Rangers).
Manager: Laura Heffernan; coaches: Dave O'Shea, Michael Bennett, Rianna Jarrett.