Friday 15 December 2017

Setback for Seniors

Outside chance of reaching semis

Dean Goodison

Centre-back Síona Nolan about to clear as Laura Mitchell of Galway looks on
Centre-back Síona Nolan about to clear as Laura Mitchell of Galway looks on
The Wexford squad before Sunday's loss to Galway in New Ross

Galway booked their spot in the Irish Daily Star National Camogie League Division 1 semi-finals with a win in O'Kennedy Park, New Ross, on Sunday as the others, including Wexford, did their best to leave each other in pole position heading into the final round of games.

Galway 1-13 Wexford 1-8

This result would have eliminated Wexford had Clare taken care of Dublin in Parnell Park, but their slip-up means that only Offaly are out of contention for a last four spot with next week's games to come.

While Wexford will need results to go their way next week, it may not come to that if they continue the form of the last few games. Galway easily outmanoeuvred Wexford and were able to take their foot right off the gas in the second-half and coast to victory.

Karen Atkinson came into the heart of the full-back line while Síona Nolan moved forward in a defensive re-shuffle. There were also opportunities for Emma Walsh and Margaret Byrne to impress from the start, but that was going to prove difficult with their side under the cosh. Glynn-Barntown starlet Walsh was combative in midfield and had several good moments, including a nice assist for Deirdre Codd's point. Byrne had two 50-50 balls played in her direction in the first-half, failed to win either, and her 'chance' was over after 30 minutes.

A booming Rebecca Hennelly free opened Galway's account in the first minute before Laura Mitchell doubled their lead five minutes later. A fired-up Katrina Parrock created an opening for Linda Bolger which she took to make it 0-2 to 0-1.

Stacey Kehoe levelled the scores from the left wing in the tenth minute, after having a shot blocked previously, but the excellent Aoife Callanan responded moments later.

A long Shelley Kehoe ball had nervous Shauna Burke panicked in the Galway goal, but the visitors just scrambled it away with Chloe Foxe lurking.

The rest of the first-half was pretty much all Galway. Callanan added a point tight on the right that matched her score from the left three minutes earlier.

Aoife Donohoe registered a pair of frees to make it 0-6 to 0-2.

When Callanan was fouled by Mags D'Arcy, Hennelly battered the penalty low past the 'keeper and Karen Atkinson on the line. Another brace by Callanan would likely have been matched by Donohoe had referee Cathal Egan not blown up when the Galway forward was attacking.

Egan, who infamously refereed the All-Ireland semi-final between these sides last August, had a quiet enough game apart from the questionable timing of the interval whistle that left Galway leading by 1-9 to 0-2.

Wexford had the livelier start to the second-half as Deirdre Codd pulled into the side-netting. Chloe Foxe took over free-taking duties and nailed her first attempt in the 39th minute, only for Ailish O'Reilly to respond two minutes later.

A second Foxe free was again cancelled out by a lovely Niamh Kilkenny point as Galway continued to hold a ten-point lead after 48 minutes.

Wexford then scored their two best points of the game, the first a long-ranger from Codd, the second from Shauna Sinnott after a lovely bit of skill in the lead-up by the Oulart-The Ballagh woman.

Another Callanan point came moments before she was almost decapitated by Sinnott, and Callanan scored the resulting free to make it 1-13 to 0-6 with four minutes remaining.

Wexford were able to add some late gloss to the scoreboard. Foxe pointed two dead-balls but in between dropped a free into the square that Burke again butchered, meaning Joanne Dillon, on the field three minutes, was able to get her foot to it and force it over the line.

In the end there was five points between the sides but Wexford were a little flattered by the margin of defeat.

To qualify next week they must win and hope Clare and Tipperary fail to match that result.

Wexford can only qualify on score difference and could be tied with either of the above two teams, Dublin, or a combination of the three.

Wexford: Mags D'Arcy; Ciara Storey, Karen Atkinson, Louise O'Leary; Louise Sinnott, Síona Nolan, Shauna Sinnott (0-1); Shelley Kehoe, Emma Walsh; Linda Bolger (0-1), Katrina Parrock, Stacey Kehoe (0-1); Margaret Byrne, Chloe Foxe (0-4, 3 frees, 1 '45), Leah Walsh. Subs. - Deirdre Codd (0-1) for Byrne (31), Marie Morrissey for L. Walsh (45), Doireann Kavanagh for O'Leary (45), Joanne Dillon (1-0) for Bolger (57), also Laura Brennan.

Galway: Shauna Burke; Tara Kenny, Sarah Dervan, Elaine Burke; Siobhán Coen, Rebecca Hennelly (1-1, 1-0 pen., 0-1 free), Lorraine Ryan; Emma Helebert, Clodagh McGrath; Laura Mitchell (0-1), Shauna Healy, Niamh Kilkenny (0-1); Aoife Callanan (0-5, 4 frees), Aoife Donohoe (0-4), Ailish O'Reilly (0-1). Subs. - Heather Cooney for Dervan (43), Ciara Murphy for O'Reilly (44), Siobhán Gardiner for Ryan (47), O'Reilly for Donohoe, inj. (56).

Referee: Cathal Egan (Cork).

Wexford People

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