Miserable start for Wexford
Antrim 2-9 Wexford 1-2
Wexford got off to a miserable start, slumping to a disappointing loss against hosts Antrim in Division 2 of the Littlewoods National Camogie League at Toomebridge on Sunday.
The Slaneysiders came into the Group 1 game with a squad comprised of several players who have tasted Senior action already this season, plus others who backboned the second string last term.
However, hosts Antrim, who are coming off a few disappointing campaigns, were in no mood to give Wexford time to settle after their long trip to the far side of Belfast. The visitors did open the scoring in the third minute with an Eimear Nolan point.
The saffrons soon netted to take a lead that they would never come close to surrendering. Orlagh O'Hara's goal meant the hosts were ahead by 1-1 to 0-1 before Nolan picked off her second point in the 18th minute, but it quickly went downhill for Martin Carey's side.
Antrim went in at the break leading by 1-4 to 0-2 and then went on to double their first-half tally in the opening 18 minutes of the second period to lead by 2-8 to 0-2 - debutante Siobhán McKillop with the home side's second goal.
Wexford did hit back with a major through Aoife Guiney with nine minutes left, but in the end they fell to a comprehensive ten-point loss.
There were a few plus points for Wexford, as Derbhla Doyle and Marie Claire Morrissey performed admirably in defence, while Eimear Nolan was the pick of the attacking options. All in all, there's plenty of room for improvement and the Slaneysiders won't have to wait long for their chance.
Next up is another trip to the north, this time to face Down on Sunday. The Mourne county are coming off an even worse result than their opponents, a 4-11 to 0-1 loss to Westmeath, so Wexford will be hopeful of quickly getting their campaign back on track.
Wexford: Liza Bates; Chloe Cashe, Michelle Harding, Leanne Foley; Derbhla Doyle, Marie Claire Morrissey, Aoife McCrea; Victoria Burke, Katie O'Connor; Eimear Nolan (0-2), Aoife Guiney (1-0), Orla Molloy; Michelle Kehoe, Emma Doyle, Shauna Kelly. Subs. - Laura Dempsey for McCrea, Sorcha Foley for Kehoe, Nancy Dunphy for Cashe, Emma O'Connor for Burke.
Antrim: Aoife McGowan; Cliodhna Donnelly, Kathryn Donnelly, Colleen Patterson; Niamh Donnelly (0-1 free), Aileen McManus, Shannon Woulahan; Laoise McKenna (0-1), Christine Laverty; Lucia McNaughton (0-2), Katie McAleese (capt., 0-3), Aine Donnelly; Orlagh O'Hara (1-1), Chloe Drain, Siobhán McKillop (1-1). Subs. - Aine Mulholland for Woulahan, Méadhbh Laverty for N. Donnelly, Emily Falloon for Drain.
Referee: Paul Ryan (Kildare).