Lowly finishes for girls at Gaynor Cup in Limerick
Despite only losing two of their games all weekend, the Wexford Under-16 squad finished in a disappointing 16th place in the Gaynor Cup in Limerick despite an excellent start against Cork, one of the tournament favourites.
Wexford produced their best performance of the event on Thursday when they played out a scoreless draw against Cork, and it looked like a result that would have them well in contention for a high group placing.
However, Friday morning saw a well-organised and physically-strong Longford side race into a 3-0 lead before Laura Butler pulled one back, but it was too little, too late as Longford went on to score again for a 4-1 win.
That afternoon, Wexford played North Tipperary and will feel unlucky not to have taken all three points as they had a goal disallowed for an alleged tug of a defender's jersey. North Tipp worked hard to keep the Wexford girls at bay to secure an unlikely point in a scoreless draw.
Saturday morning, Mayo were the opposition and Wexford got the ideal start when Shannon McGovern found the net after just five minutes. Mayo worked hard to get back into the game and snatched an equaliser just before half-time and the game ended 1-1, leaving Wexford in fourth position in the group and in the semi-final of the Bowl competition.
That was played on Saturday afternoon against Clare and Wexford got off to the worst possible start when conceding after just a minute. For the remainder of the game, it was all Wexford as they attacked in numbers, going close on several occasions as the Clare goal led a charmed life.
Unfortunately, despite a very strong finish, Wexford were unable to break down the hard-working Banner county and lost out to that early goal. The final game of the weekend saw a tired Wexford take on Sligo/Leitrim in a positional play-off and after a scoreless game, the westerners edged the result 4-3 on penalties, leaving Wexford in a disappointing 16th place.
This was a tournament where a bit of luck could have seen a much higher finish for the Wexford side, while injuries became a major factor as the weekend wore on. Well done to all the management, support team and players on their efforts in what was a very busy five days.
Under-16 squad: Aine Behan (Bunclody A.F.C.), Amie Dreelan (Tombrack United), Becky Connaughton (Tombrack United), Eimear Gabbett (St. Leonards), Breda Cushen (Tombrack United), Caitlin Nash (Cloughbawn A.F.C.), Fiona Ryan (St. Leonards), Gemma Corrigan (Curracloe United), Emma Clarke (Forth Celtic), Hollie Sinnott (Forth Celtic), Jenny Canning (New Ross Town), Katie O'Toole (Tombrack United), Kira Bates-Crosbie (Fastnet Rovers), Laura Butler (Cloughbawn A.F.C.), Molly Crowdle (New Ross Town), Shannon McGovern (Tombrack United), Niamh McHugh (Cloughbawn A.F.C.), Niamh Tormey (Forth Celtic), Ruth Hendrick (Wexford Celtic), Sarah Siggins (Forth Celtic).
Manager: Mick Bennett. Coaches: Mike Rafferty, Sadbh McCarthy, Aine Murphy.
The Wexford Under-14 squad were drawn in a very difficult group and opened their campaign on Thursday against Galway who went into this tournament as one of the favourites.
They showed that the tag was well deserved as they proved too strong for the Wexford girls and ran out comfortable 3-0 winners.
Wexford put in a much better performance the next day when they came up against Kildare and both sides had to settle for a point each in an entertaining scoreless draw.
This result saw Wexford qualify for the Plate competition where they came up against near neighbours Waterford. No goals saw the game to extra-time where Seren Ward, Lucy Kemple and Súin Murdiff all scored their spot-kicks in a 3-2 win, with 'keeper Lauren Roche also playing her part.
This put the girls into a semi-final meeting with Cork and after an even start, Cork broke the deadlock midway through the first-half with the only goal to progress to the final while Wexford would play Longford in their final placing game.
Goals from Lauren McLoughlin and Holly Jenkinson gave Wexford a 2-0 win in this tie which saw them finish 17th overall despite playing some good football over the four days. Well done to managers, coaches, minders and players for their hard work and efforts in this tournament.
Under-14 squad: Aimee Bates-Crosbie (Kilmore United), Amy Robertson (Courtown Hibs), Caoimhe Cowman (Shelburne F.C.), Aideen Foley-Saunders (Seaview United), Aoife Burke (All Blacks), Holly Jenkinson (Arklow Town), Jennah Molloy (St. Leonards), Ciara Rees (All Blacks), Emma Lynch (Courtown Hibs), Lauren McLoughlin (Forth Celtic), Lauren Roche (St. Leonards), Holly Meehan (St. Joseph's), Jean Kavanagh-Doyle (Courtown Hibs), Lucy Kemple (Carnew F.C.), Shauna McGovern (Tombrack United), Keira Payne (Wexford Youths), Seren Ward (All Blacks), Sarah Carroll (Forth Celtic), Súin Murdiff (Gorey Rangers), Louiza Donnelly (Forth Celtic).
Manager: Philip McGrath. Coaches: James Quinn, Paula Foley-Saunders, Leanne O'Reilly.
The league A.G.M. will take place in the I.F.A. Centre, Enniscorthy, on July 26 at 8 p.m.
All clubs are obliged to attend and if you have any nominations or motions, they should be sent to the league Secretary in the next few days.