Determined Wexford side see off Wicklow
Wexford travelled to Aughrim Sunday in the finest of conditions in the Leinster Intermediate Championship on Sunday.
Wicklow were faced with a difficult task having lost Jackie Kinch recently to travels and their cause was not helped with an injury doubt to Laurie Ahern before throw in. After coming through a late test, the Cabinteely Foxrock clubwoman took her place on the edge of the square with minutes to spare. Despite this boost, it was Wexford who hit the ground running.
A 20 yard unchallenged run by midfielder Niamh Moore resulted in the Kilmore woman bury the ball into the roof of the net from 14 yards leaving Wicklow goalkeeper Kim Connors no chance and giving the model county a dream start.
Wexford set up very defensively very early in this game with the two wing forwards dropping to half back when they weren’t in possession of the ball and the wing backs dropping in as sweepers. It was the fitness and speed of these two lines which was the difference maker in this game very early on.
Wing forward Kellie Kennedy was extremely impressive in the first half and covered a lot of the Wickow ground getting her and hand in on turnovers and chipping in with a point of her own. Wexford upped the tempo for a ten minute blitz midway through the first half mainly stemming from interceptions from their swamped defence and swift counter attacking.
Centre forward Fiona Rochford scored Wexford’s second goal on the eleventh minute which was almost a carbon copy of their first goal. Points from Catriona Murray, Clara Donnolly, Alisha Cullen and Maeve Quill extended the Wexford lead to 10 points. Amy Ryan’s long range goal and a Georgina Canavan free brought Wicklow to within 6 as the half time whistle sounded.
Kim Connors produced the first of four second half saves to keep her team in the game early in the second half which helped lift Wicklow as points from Laura Hogan, Maria Kealy and Canavan reduced the gap to three. However, six minutes of mayhem resulted in Wexford again pulling away. Fiona Rochford at centre forward and Clara Donnelly in midfield seemed to be almost telepathic in their play and both players were involved in every positive move from here on for Wexford and helped push the side to a 2.15 to 1.10 lead with ten to go.
Wicklow however, never dropped their heads. A delightful cross field ball from Amy Murphy to Katie Miley seen the attacker swivel and bury the ball to the top corner from 20 yards with five remaining. Unfortunately, for the Garden County, a dogged Wexford rearguard expertly stewarded by Marissa Cullen withheld every attack. Georgina Canavan added a free in injury time to bring the gap to three but Catriona Murray closed out the scoring to stem the Wicklow comeback emerging victorious 2.16 to 2.12.
Wicklow: Kim Connors, Emily Mulhall, Sarah Jane Winders, Aine Byrne, Lorna Fusciardi, Sarah Miley, Rose Fagan, Amy Ryan (1-1), Helena Dowling, Georgina Canavan (0-3), Laura Hogan (0-3), Molly Cullen, Amy Murphy, Laurie Ahern (0-1), Niamh O’Brien (0-3). Subs Maria Kealy (0-1) for Laurie Ahern, Katie Miley (1-0) for Amy Ryan and Annie Conroy for Niamh O’Brien
Wexford: Natasha Walsh, Ciara Corrigan, Marissa Cullen, Georgina Herne, Beth Cardiff, Roisin Murphy, Margarite Doyle, Clara Donnelly (0-2), Niamh Moore (1-2), Ellen O’Brien (0-1), Fiona Rochford (1-4), Kellie Kennedy (0-1), Alisha Cullen, Catriona Murray (0-3), Maeve Quill (0-1). Subs: Siobhan Clarke for Alisha Cullen, Triona Shortt for Maeve Quill and Caoimhe Denton for Margarite Doyle.