Thursday 14 December 2017

Seniors cough up large lead

Dubs hit back to earn draw

Dean Goodison

Jackie Quigley clears her lines despite the blocking attampt by Dublin's Aisling Carolan
Jackie Quigley clears her lines despite the blocking attampt by Dublin's Aisling Carolan
Shauna Sinnott is outnumbered by Elaine O'Meara, Eve O'Brien and Ali Twomey

Wexford coughed up a seven-point interval lead to draw with Dublin in their third outing in the Irish Daily Star National Camogie League Division 1 in St. Patrick's Park on Sunday.

Wexford 0-12 Dublin 0-12

Despite a 0-10 to 0-3 advantage disappearing to an eleven-all tie, Linda Bolger looked to have won the game for the Slaneysiders when she held her nerve to nail a free, tight to the left touchline, six seconds into added time.

However, there was one further twist to come as Miriam Twomey was hit while on her knees, 50 metres from goal, just to the left of the posts, and Ali Twomey stepped up to nail the resulting free, her eighth point, to force the draw.

Wexford came into the game on the back of their first defeat to Clare since the Banner were promoted to the Senior ranks back in 2009. They didn't show any ill-effects of that defeat as they hit their stride in the first-half with a strong performance.

Dublin started brightly with a fourth-minute Ali Twomey free after she was fouled.

However, a slight breeze favoured the hosts in the first 30 minutes and they showed the benefit of it as Katrina Parrock jinked inside a defender and pointed from almost 60 metres out.

Again Dublin hit back through Siobhán Kehoe but their lead was shortlived as Deirdre Codd, playing deeper than her starting midfield position, caught a long Dublin clearance and fed Chloe Foxe, with the St. Martin's forward nailing a long-range point.

An excellent Bolger line ball eventually found its way to the lively Leah Walsh who was fouled, and Bolger converted the resulting free to give Wexford their first lead. The Wexford advantage was double scores, 0-4 to 0-2, at the end of the first quarter after Walsh fed Bolger and she registered.

When Foxe was hit in the head from behind, Bolger made it a three-point lead, but Dublin hit back soon after with Twomey's second dead-ball point. Yet, the scores kept coming for Wexford as another Bolger point was preceded by a superb long-range point by Shelley Kehoe, her seventh of the campaign so far.

Wexford had a massive let-off in the 25th minute. Louise O'Hara did well to catch Orla Beagan's deflected shot and turn towards goal.

While being dragged back, the Dublin forward handpassed to Mags D'Arcy's net but in the process of doing so referee John Dolan blew his whistle for a penalty.

For an official who spent the whole game making an emphasis of playing advantage, it was a bizarre turn of events. O'Hara stepped up to take the penalty but D'Arcy jumped forward ahead of her two defenders on the line to stop and clear.

Linda Bolger took advantage of that let-off with three consecutive frees before the break - the first two after fouls on Katrina Parrock who was a handful for the visiting defence - and the last for an indiscretion against Bolger herself.

Leading by 0-10 to 0-3, Wexford faltered in the third quarter. Twomey pointed, then Beagan, then Twomey again as Dublin played with momentum.

Aisling Carolan made it 0-10 to 0-7 before Twomey added another free in the 42nd minute.

Wexford halted the slide when Bolger scored a placed ball after Marie Morrissey was fouled to the left of goal in the 45th minute, but it was only a momentary respite. Twomey, with two points in less than three minutes, cut the deficit to the minimum (0-11 to 0-10).

It took Dublin seven minutes to find the equaliser, a perfect finish from Carolan on the right wing. But there was still time for late drama as Shelley Kehoe was fouled to allow Bolger to give Wexford the lead, only for Twomey to respond.

Overall a draw was a fair result but a worrying trend is developing for Wexford.

In the three games they have scored 38 points in total but not hit the net yet, and rarely ever look like doing so, despite some decent performances from the youngsters.

Margaret Byrne was promoted to the Senior squad but didn't see game time. As someone who possesses the pace and elusiveness to get away from defenders and who knows where the net is, her chance needs to come sooner rather than later.

That opportunity might arise, albeit a tricky one, at home to table-toppers Galway this weekend. It will, realistically, be Wexford's last chance to keep their hopes of a semi-final berth alive before they finish the round-robin stages in Offaly a week later.

Wexford: Mags D'Arcy; Ciara Storey, Síona Nolan, Louise O'Leary; Louise Sinnott, Jackie Quigley, Shauna Sinnott; Deirdre Codd, Shelley Kehoe (0-1); Linda Bolger (0-9, 7 frees), Katrina Parrock (0-1), Marie Morrissey; Stacey Kehoe, Chloe Foxe (0-1), Leah Walsh. Subs. - Joanne Dillon for Morrissey (45), Amy Cardiff for Sinnott (54), Karen Atkinson for O'Leary (54), also Laura Brennan, Emma Walsh, Margaret Byrne, Eimear O'Connor, Ciara Donohoe.

Dublin: Síle Nic Coitir; Catríona Power, Mairéad Luttrell, Siobhán Grimes; Elaine O'Meara, Eve O'Brien, Laura Twomey; Claire Rigney, Miriam Twomey; Ali Twomey (0-8, 7 frees, 1 '45), Orla Beagan (0-1), Orlaith Durkan; Siobhán Kehoe (0-1), Louise O'Hara, Aisling Carolan (0-2). Subs. - Aine Fanning for Kehoe (31), Emma Flanagan for O'Hara (58).

Referee: John Dolan (Clare).

Wexford People

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