Wexford waltz to big win in Meath
Camogie: Wexford 5-22 Meath 0-5
In a tie that was about as useful as a weak challenge match, Wexford sleepwalked past Meath and into the Leinster Senior camogie championship semi-final in Dunboyne on Thursday.
The game was supposed to be a home tie for Wexford but they gave up hosting duties to move the clash forward three days. It really mattered little as their opponents were hopeless and Martin Carey's side were able to win going through the motions.
Realistically, the Wexford boss couldn't learn a thing from this 60 minutes. He would have got a far better game against a club side like St. Martin's or Oulart-The Ballagh but there's nothing the Slaneysiders can do about the quality of the opposition.
Leinster camogie on the other hand need to look at how their championship is structured. They have brought Kildare (conceded to Offaly), Meath (walloped in this game) and Laois (cannon-fodder for Kilkenny) into the Senior championship in recent seasons and it's a complete waste of time.
If counties want games to prepare for the All-Ireland series, a round-robin group between Wexford, Offaly, Kilkenny and Dublin would be much more useful. Introduction of unlimited substitutes would also help managers, with the five sitting unused by Wexford no help for anyone.
Minor Ciara O'Connor got a first Senior start for Wexford at wing-back, but otherwise a lot of the components from the uneventful league campaign took their places in the first 15 for the visitors.
They were 0-2 to 0-1 ahead after three minutes before going on a 1-5 run without reply. Linda Bolger, top scorer from play and in total, scored four of her points in the opening quarter, while Una Sinnott found the net from distance after Joanne Dillon was previously denied.
Una Leacy fired home the second goal in the 22nd minute after being picked out by Bolger, and a rare Ciara Storey score from distance, that deflected in off the top of the upright, gave Wexford a 17-point lead.
Meath got their opening two scores from play in first-half injury-time, with Caroline Quinn notching both but they still trailed by 2-13 to 0-4 at the change of ends. That was without Wexford ever threatening to get out of second gear.
The second-half started well for the visitors with Amy Cardiff, on for the injured Chloe Foxe in the first period, handpassing a looping effort to the net. Dillon then added a fourth major, forcing past Maggie Randle after being picked out by Leacy.
Amy Gaffney's point in the 45th minute was the only score in a seven-minute spell in the middle of the second-half. It would prove to be their only one of the period as Wexford continued to dominate.
With eight minutes left Shauna Sinnott added to her two-point salvo with a pulled goal from close range. Shelley Kehoe registered from distance and Minor clubmate Anais Curran scored a fine late effort to see Wexford to a 32-point win.
Things are sure to be a little more difficult when Wexford play their Leinster Senior semi-final on May 13 - they travel to Kilkenny to take on the current National League champions on their own patch, with a place against Dublin or Offaly up for grabs.
Wexford: Emma Kiely; Ciara Storey (0-1 free), Sarah O'Connor, Áine Lacey; Jackie Quigley, Shelley Kehoe (0-1), Ciara O'Connor; Una Sinnott (1-0), Stacey Kehoe; Chloe Foxe, Shauna Sinnott (1-2), Linda Bolger (0-12, 4 frees, 2 '45s); Joanne Dillon (1-0), Una Leacy (1-2), Aoife Guiney (0-3). Subs. - Amy Cardiff (1-0) for Foxe, inj. (20), Leanne Foley for Storey (40), Derbhla Doyle for Lacey (40), Orla Molloy for Dillon (45), Anais Curran (0-1) for Guiney (45), also Laura Brennan, Katie O'Connor, Aoife McCrea, Chloe Cashe, Shauna Kelly.
Meath: Maggie Randle; Ellen Burke, Claire Coffey, Maeve Clince; Aine Keogh, Aoife Maguire (0-1 '45), Louise Donoghue; Cheyanne O'Brien, Megan Thynne; Áine McInerney, Amy Gaffney (0-1), Fia O'Brien; Grace Coleman (0-1 free), Aideen Smyth, Caroline Quinn (0-2). Subs. - Áine Cooke for Donoghue (31), Katie Hackett for O'Brien (45). Aisling Walsh for Gaffney (50), Aisling Byrne for Smyth (51).
Referee: Gavin Donegan (Dublin).