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Sunday 18 November 2018

Tipp's win piles on pressure

Tipperary 1-14 Wexford 2-8

Wexford’s Ciara O’Connor and Kate Kirwan get to the ball ahead of Mary Ryan and Clodagh Quirke
Wexford’s Ciara O’Connor and Kate Kirwan get to the ball ahead of Mary Ryan and Clodagh Quirke

Dean Goodison

A sloppy Wexford performance was punished by Miriam Campion's 60th-minute winning goal as the hosts lost their second consecutive game in the Liberty Insurance All-Ireland Senior camogie championship at Innovate Wexford Park on Saturday.

Martin Carey's side fell 0-9 to nil down after 17 minutes but were still able to get their noses in front when Linda Bolger pointed with five minutes to play.

However, shortly after Cáit Devane levelled the scores with two minutes left, Campion netted to send Tipperary home with a fully deserved victory.

Even the most ardent of Wexford followers would struggle to make a case for the hosts deserving any better than what they got. There was no shortage of effort but the visitors were comfortably the better team and might have been saving a few words for referee Liz Dempsey had they not taken the points.

It wasn't that there was one or two big decisions that went the hosts' way, Wexford just tended to get any of the close calls. Indeed, it was a string of soft frees that started to turn the tide when Tipperary were leading after the opening quarter, and it was others that helped the locals move ahead.

Carey made two changes from the side which slumped to defeat against Cork. One was enforced, with Anais Curran coming into the team for the injured Sarah O'Connor, as the St. Martin's clubwoman is out for the remainder of the season with a knee injury.

Debutant against the Leesiders, Lauren Murphy, came out of the side and was replaced by Sorcha Foley. The Buffers Alley player was making her first Senior championship start after coming on for Murphy in Páirc Uí Rinn.

Neither of those two forwards scored, or saw much of the ball, as Tipperary blitzed out into an early lead. In fact, apart from Joanne Dillon's goal and a tidy point from Kate Kirwan in the second-half, only Linda Bolger scored.

It was therefore a little strange that none of the attacking substitutes got a run. In truth they should all be playing Intermediate camogie and building up their level of experience but, with that no longer possible, why not give them a shot when others are struggling to make an impact?

Wexford were poor everywhere as Tipperary bossed the opening exchanges. Cáit Devane tapped over a first-minute free and had another dead-ball waved narrowly wide seconds later after Casey Hennessy was fouled.

Devane made it 0-2 to nil before Karen Kennedy popped over a nice score from the right of goal. Impressive dual star Orla O'Dwyer scored her first point from the left wing in the sixth minute, and Devane registered her third to make it 0-5 to nil.

Hennessy was in on goal when referee Liz Dempsey blew her back and gave Tipperary a free. Devane tapped it over and was denied by the official in similar fashion in the 15th minute. Again the championship top scorer made no mistake with the placed ball.

O'Dwyer brilliantly won the next puck-out, drove forward and slotted the point of the afternoon from the left of the sticks. Devane registered her sixth point in the 17th minute as the Premier girls increased their lead to 0-9 to nil.

Then Wexford started to get a few soft decisions go their way in their own half of the field and they were able to relieve the pressure a little easier. Eventually Chloe Foxe was fouled trying to burrow her way through, and Linda Bolger scored her side's first point in the 21st minute.

Ciara O'Connor was fouled in midfield in the 24th minute and it gave Wexford a platform to attack. Shauna Sinnott pumped the ball in to the edge of the square, it fell to Joanne Dillon, and she handpassed to the net.

Dillon was upended for a Bolger converted free in the 26th minute as Wexford closed within four. Devane broke an eleven-minute spell without a Tipperary score after O'Dwyer was fouled, but Bolger replied in kind after Curran was impeded to leave the hosts 0-10 to 1-3 down at the break.

Now against the breeze, Devane opened the Tipp account for the second-half in the 31st minute, again after O'Dwyer was tripped. Kirwan notched Wexford's first point from play after a nice bit of skill and a tidy pass by Curran before Bolger narrowed the deficit to three.

A drilled Shelley Kehoe ball under the crossbar tested Caoimhe Burke to the limit in the 41st minute. The Munster side survived and scored the next point through Róisín Cahill to make it 0-12 to 1-5.

When Wexford won another fairly soft free in midfield, there seemed to be only moderate danger. However, Bolger's dead-ball dropped short and appeared to be scooped into her own net by Mary Ryan from inside her own square.

Jean Kelly put two between the sides in the 48th minute (0-13 to 2-5), but a foul on the ball in the Tipperary defence allowed Bolger to narrow the gap. An illegal handpass by the visitors led to the Bolger equaliser in the 54th minute and the Wexford tails were up.

Bolger nabbed her only score from play with five minutes remaining but her side couldn't push on. Instead, they wilted in the early evening heat as Tipperary finished with more energy and determination.

Devane levelled the scores again after Laura Loughnane was fouled to set up a dramatic finish. With the game heading into the final minute, Campion was found by Loughnane and the Drom-Inch clubwoman applied the perfect finish past Laura Brennan.

While almost four minutes of added-time were played, Wexford never looked like getting the goal they needed to nab a draw. Campion just missed the target when going for the clinching point but it mattered little as her side claimed a second victory on the trot.

Next up for Carey's crew is a trip to Offaly on Saturday week, and should Wexford lose their path to a potential quarter-final berth gets very murky. Dublin head down the M11 on July 14, and Meath follow them down seven days later to round out the group stages.

Wexford: Laura Brennan; Áine Lacey, Ciara Storey, Leanne Foley; Shauna Sinnott, Ciara O'Connor, Derbhla Doyle; Shelley Kehoe (capt.), Chloe Foxe; Anais Curran, Stacey Kehoe, Kate Kirwan (0-1); Joanne Dillon (1-0), Linda Bolger (0-7, 6 frees), Sorcha Foley. Subs. - Katie O'Connor for Foley (46), also Emma Kiely, Lauren Murphy, Aoife McCrea, Orla Molloy, Megan Cullen, Chloe Cashe, Emma O'Connor, Michelle Kehoe, Clodagh Jackman, Anna Hennessy, Alannah Davis, Aoife Guiney.

Tipperary: Caoimhe Burke; Julieanne Burke, Gemma Grace, Clodagh Quirke; Caroline Mullaney, Mary Ryan (1-0 own goal), Ereena Fryday; Karen Kennedy (0-1), Laura Loughnane; Eibhlis McDonnell, Ciardha Maher, Orla O'Dwyer (0-2); Róisín Cahill (0-1), Cáit Devane (0-9, 6 frees), Casey Hennessy. Subs. - Miriam Campion (1-0) for Maher (30+1), Grace O'Brien for Hennessy (30+2), Jean Kelly (0-1) for McDonnell (41), Megan Ryan for Cahill (54).

Referee: Liz Dempsey (Kilkenny).

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