Gritty Galway spoil the party
Title showdown versus Shels
Wexford Youths missed out on the chance to wrap up the Continental Tyres Women's National League crown when they were held to a draw by hosts Galway on Sunday.
Galway 1 Wexford Youths 1
The title can not be lost tomorrow (Wednesday) evening at Shelbourne but it can certainly be won. Youths need at least a draw to take their third piece of silverware back to Ferrycarrig Park this season. Should they lose to the hosts in Tolka Park, a play-off will be required to determine the destination of the trophy.
It brings the floodlight failure, with Youths leading 2-1 in the original fixture, back firmly into focus. Had Wexford seen out the remaining half hour, or even been pegged back to a draw, they would now be sitting sweetly as champions.
Some might say that destiny is shunning Wexford. The floodlights, the fixture congestion, the spate of horrific injuries - that's nonsense. That's the negative viewpoint of a weary mind.
Maybe the real story to be written is about the team that comes through all that adversity to win the title in the most satisfying way possible - at the home of their arch-rivals.
Sunday certainly wasn't going to be their day. Youths had a string of chances but only took one. Trailing 1-0 in the second-half, Galway girl turned Wexford warrior Ruth Fahy finished to the net from an Emma Hansberry corner for the Slaneysiders' only goal.
Fahy had headed wide early in the game as Wexford set about attacking their hosts. Claire O'Riordan missed the connection on a Linda Douglas cross and soon after the visitors were punished when Lynsey McKey raced away to open the scoring.
Emma Hansberry blazed over the crossbar with the goal at her mercy before Kylie Murphy forced home goalkeeper Tina Hughes into a fine save. Back at her old club, Fahy headed wide before half-time as Youths struggled to penetrate the Galway goal.
When Fahy finally burst the dam just before the hour mark there was still plenty of time for Youths to go on and get the winner that would secure them the league. However, the afternoon was soon to be marred by another horror injury as Edel Kennedy was forced to leave the ground in an ambulance.
Again Fahy met a Hansberry corner with ten minutes left but this time home 'keeper Hughes made a point-blank save.
O'Riordan headed wide from a Douglas cross before Kylie Murphy went clean through on goal in injury time but shot wide to leave Youths heading to Dublin with a battle on their hands.
Wexford Youths: Tamara Furlong; Nicola Sinnott, Jessica Gleeson, Ruth Fahy; Edel Kennedy; Linda Douglas, Kylie Murphy (capt.), Emma Hansberry, Aisling Frawley; Lauren Dwyer; Claire O'Riordan. Subs. - Aoibhín Webb for Kennedy, inj., also Orlaith Conlon, Rachel Hutchinson, Amy Walsh, Becky Cassin, Shauna Wall, Meghan Whitty.
Galway: Tina Hughes; Aoife Walsh, Keara Cormican, Shauna Fox, Chloe Maloney; Ellerose O'Flaherty, Méabh De Burca, Therese Hartley, Caroline Carter; Jess Nolan, Lynsey McKey. Subs. - Aislinn Meaney for O'Flaherty, Lisa Casserly for Carter, Alana Moran for Nolan, also Anesi Igunma, Carol Mannion, Sorcha Ní Bhraonáin.
Referee: Trevor Conlon.