Driven Wexford stay in the hunt
Recovery puts paid to Tipp
A driven Wexford side scored eleven second-half points to overturn an interval deficit and stay in contention for a semi-final place in the Irish Daily Star National Camogie League Division 1 in Blackwater on Sunday.
Wexford 1-15 Tipperary 2-7
The hosts trailed by 2-5 to 1-4 after a first period in which they were, by and large, second best to a hungry Tipperary team. However, with the midfield duo of Bríd Gordon and Aine Lacey clicking, and the half-forward line finding space and creating chances, the game changed dramatically in Wexford's favour.
Katrina Parrock was welcomed back into the fold but, other than the St. Ibar's/Shelmalier star, it was pretty much the same squad that beat Offaly and lost to Limerick that was available to manager Colm McGee and his selectors.
That continuity, which is often a good thing, might have explained the nervous start after the previous week's reverse. Tipperary themselves have had a rough beginning to the year with three consecutive losses coming into the game, but they started brightly with an early Cáit Devane '45.
Things got worse for Wexford when Devane and Sarah Fryday combined to force Laura Brennan into a save, but Megan Ryan was alert to the breaking ball and tapped the rebound into the net.
Lisa Bolger played a one-two with Marie Morrissey and the Rathnure forward popped over her side's first score in the sixth minute, but the Premier girls responded in kind at the other end through Ereena Fryday.
Eimear O'Connor fed Linda Bolger for her only score in the eleventh minute, but again Tipperary responded, this time through Sarah Fryday. O'Connor was again provider when Morrissey grabbed her second point to make it 1-3 to 0-3 at the end of the opening quarter.
Wexford had a let-off in the 16th minute when Ryan hit the side-netting, but the visitors' full-forward didn't make any mistake two minutes later when Brennan's save from Sarah Fryday's shot landed perfectly for her again.
Another Devane point gave Tipperary their largest lead (2-4 to 0-3), but when Eimear O'Connor picked up possession, drove at the defence, used Deirdre McMahon as a decoy and drilled to Orla McEnity's net, Wexford had the fillip they desperately needed.
The sides traded frees through Linda Bolger and Devane to leave four between them at the break, but a more focused Wexford emerged after the re-start and four Linda Bolger points in the first six minutes levelled the scores (1-8 to 2-5).
A soft over-carrying free against Bridget Curran resulted in Tipperary regaining the lead through Devane but a pair of Bríd Gordon frees, the second from over halfway after a foul on Linda Bolger, gave Wexford their first lead in the 40th minute.
Katrina Parrock broke her hurl, was given another belonging to someone else from the hurley stack and immediately pointed before looking for her own spare. Eimear O'Connor then became the next successful free-taker with a fine score from the left sideline.
Sarah Fryday pointed in the 50th minute, her side's second and final score of the half to move back within two (1-12 to 2-7). Linda Bolger's sixth point re-established the Slaneysiders' three-point advantage with eight minutes remaining.
Jackie Quigley had an effort saved by McEniry as Wexford pressed but it was another O'Connor free that gave them the breathing room they needed with four minutes left (1-14 to 2-7).
Linda Bolger's final score left her side five points ahead with two minutes left but Wexford got a little lucky moments later when a quick build-up involving Shauna Quirke, Devane and Sarah Fryday ended with Aoife Moloughney driving a shot into the side-netting.
The win for Wexford means a victory in their final game of the campaign will give them a place in the last four. That match is away to Galway in two weeks with a potential semi-final scheduled for April 19.
Wexford: Laura Brennan; Brídín Doyle, Síona Nolan, Marie Claire Morrissey; Marguerite Doyle, Louise O'Leary (capt.), Bridget Curran; Aine Lacey, Bríd Gordon (0-2 frees); Linda Bolger (0-7, 3 frees, 1 '45), Eimear O'Connor (1-2, 0-2 frees), Lisa Bolger (0-1); Marie Morrissey (0-2), Jackie Quigley, Deirdre McMahon. Sub. - Katrina Parrock (0-1) for McMahon (27).
Tipperary: Orla McEnity; Teresa Ryan, Louise McLoughlin, Ciannait Walsh; Gemma Grace, Ann Eviston, Clodagh Quirke; Joanne Ryan, Julie Ann Bourke; Erena Fryday (0-1), Cáit Devane (capt., 0-4, 2 frees), Caoimhe Maher; Sarah Fryday (0-2), Megan Ryan (2-0), Andrea Loughnane. Subs. - Shauna Quirke for Loughnane (42), Liz Power for C. Quirke (48), Aoife Moloughney for E. Fryday (48), Mairéad Teehan for Ryan (52), Aoife McGrath for Eviston (56).
Referee: John Dolan (Clare).