Wexford ladies get off to a flyer
Wexford Youths began their season with a thoroughly deserved 3- 1 win over UCD Waves in their Women's National League Shield Group A game on Saturday afternoon in Ferrycarrig Park.
Wexford Youths 3 UCD Waves 1
Two goals from substitute Claire O'Riordan and one from Linda Douglas paved the way for a comfortable win over their Dublin rivals.
The league champions started the game very quickly and could have been a goal up inside 60 seconds when Aisling Frawley played a ball over the top and into the path of Emma Hansbery whose dangerous whipped cross flashed across the goalmouth. An early warning for UCD.
However, it was a warning that the Waves failed to heed. In the third minute a long Ciara Rossiter throw found Frawley in behind UCD's defence, Frawley delivered a carbon copy of Hansbery's cross from two minutes prior but this time waiting on the back post was Linda Douglas who tapped into the gaping net. A dream start for the home side.
As the game began to settle into its rhythm after the electric start, Youths began to dominate and Rossiter had a free-kick well saved at the near post just before the 20th minute. Crisp passing from Wexford almost resulted in a second goal ten minutes later but Frawley's attempt was smashed wide left. Wexford's only regret come half-time would be that they hadn't scored more.
The Belfield women, who struggled throughout to break down an organised and resolute Wexford defence, had their first real opportunity of the game five minutes into the second-half, Orlagh Nolan linked up with Aine O'Gorman whose shot from the edge of the box was pulled wide.
Despite UCD's positive start to the second-half, It was the Wexford women who got the games all-important second goal on the hour mark.
Claire O'Riordan latched onto a long Kylie Murphy ball, shrugged off pressure from two Dublin defenders and slotted the ball into the bottom left corner of the net.
Ten minutes later, O'Riordan got another.
Linda Douglas on the right swung a dangerous cross in towards the back post.
O'Riordan rose highest and nodded the ball past Monica McGuirk in the UCD goal, effectively putting the game to bed with 20 minutes remaining.
With the game in the bag, Wexford's foot came off the peddle slightly and the Waves began to enjoy a more prosperous spell. Ciara Grant saw her free-kick saved superbly by Mary Rose Kelly and Rossiter was to the rescue minutes later when she headed clear off of her own goal line from a Julie Ann Russell corner.
In injury time, the Dublin side did finally breach Kelly's goal. Eleanor Ryan Doyle picked up the ball and hit a shot from distance which took a wicked deflection of Youths defender Ruth Fahy and past Kelly between the sticks.
Wexford Youths Women will play Peamount United in their second game of the season.
Wexford Youths: Mary Rose Kelly, Nicola Sinnott, Ruth Fahy, Ciara Rossiter, Edel Kennedy, Kylie Murphy (capt.), Becky Cassin, Linda Douglas, Aisling Frawley, Emma Hansbery, Carol Breen. Subs: Claire O'Riordan for Cassin (55), Aoibinn Webb for Douglas (75), Orlaith Conlon for Frawley (89). Also, Tamara Furlong, Rachel Hutchinson, Shauna Wall, Meghan Whitty.
UCD Waves: Monica McGuirk, Rebekah Carroll, Karen Duggan, Ciara Grant, Alison O'Brien, Dora Gorman, Julie Ann Russell, Eleanor Ryan Doyle, Aine O'Gorman, Orlagh Nolan, Niamh Prior. Subs: Chloe Mustaki for Gorman (25, inj.), Emma Reilly for Nolan (78). Also, Susan Hackett, Sarah Clune, Jetta Berril.
Referee: Michelle O'Neill (Wexford).