Mixed week for women
Wednesday saw the Wexford Youths Women's team get knocked out of the Continental Tyres League Cup when they lost to Raheny at the semi-final stage, ending the Youths' hopes of retaining the title they claimed last year.
However, four days later they bounced back from their cup defeat by beating Galway and keeping alive their chances of winning the National League.
Raheny United 3, Wexford Youths Women's F.C. 2: The Youths travelled to Dublin on Wednesday to take on Raheny United in the semi-final of the Continental Tyres Women's League Cup. With the Youths clinching last year's League Cup and currently sitting at the top of Women's National League table, this promised to be an enthralling tie.
The game sprang to life in the opening minutes when Youths 'keeper Mary Rose Kelly pulled off a fine save from Raheny's Katie McCabe. A free kick delivered from Youths captain Kylie Murphy in the 13th minute provided the opportunity for Nicola Sinnott to bag a close-range goal after a goalmouth scramble.
It looked like the Youths would be on top going in at half-time but, with two minutes left until the break, Raheny bagged an equaliser when Siobhán Killeen shot from the edge of the box into the far corner of the goal past the despairing dive of Wexford's 'keeper.
Killeen's equaliser boosted Raheny's confidence. They came out with all guns blazing in the second-half and scored almost straight from the kick-off with McCabe volleying into the Youths' net. Noelle Murray then secured Raheny's place in the final when she scored from a long-range effort five minutes from the end.
The Youths did not give up but even an injury-time goal from Claire O'Riordan proved to be too little, too late for the Model county side.
Wexford Youths Women: Mary Rose Kelly, Nicola Sinnott, Jessica Gleeson, Ciara Rossiter, Edel Kennedy, Kylie Murphy, Aoife Cantwell (Shauna Wall), Aisling Frawley, Carol Breen, Amy Walsh (Aoibhinn Webb), Claire O'Riordan. Unused subs. - Tamara Furlong, Rachel Hutchinson, Meghan Whitty, Orlaith Conlon, Orla Hickey.
Galway Women's F.C. 0, Wexford Youths Women's F.C. 1: Fresh from their League Cup defeat, Wexford Youths Women were keen to get back to winning ways on Sunday when they travelled to Eamonn Deacy Park to take on Galway Women's F.C. in the Continental Tyres Women's National League.
The Youths started strong from the off and after only seven minutes Ciara Rossiter sent in a ball over the onrushing Galway 'keeper, leaving Claire O' Riordan to finish into an empty net with the outside of her right foot. This was O'Riordan's 15th goal of the season.
Mary Rose Kelly was called into action a short time later when Lynsey McKey challenged the Youths' 'keeper with a shot but Kelly kept the ball from her net.
With the Youths being 1-0 up starting the second-half, Galway were keen to pull back an equaliser. Sorcha Ní Bhraonáin and Lisa Casserly came closest for the Tribeswomen but both saw their shots go over the crossbar.
O'Riordan's first-half goal proved to be the match-winner for the Youths, much to the delight of the members of the Wexford Youths Supporters' Club who made the long journey to Galway.
With three games remaining in the 2014-2015 Continental Tyres Women's National League, the Youths now require just three points to be crowned league champions. The Youths have a five-point lead at the top of the table, and a game in hand, over U.C.D. With defending league champions Raheny holding on to the third spot, and having two games in hand over the leaders, the remainder of the season promises to be action-packed.
The Youths' next outing is on Saturday, March 28, away in the league to Raheny, who will be hoping to scupper Wexford's plans of claiming the title.
Wexford Youths Women: Mary Rose Kelly, Nicola Sinnott, Jessica Gleeson, Ciara Rossiter, Edel Kennedy, Kylie Murphy, Aoibhinn Webb (Shauna Wall), Aisling Frawley (Aoife Cantwell), Carol Breen, Amy Walsh (Rachel Hutchinson), Claire O'Riordan. Unused subs. - Tamara Furlong, Meghan Whitty, Orlaith Conlon, Orla Hickey.
League points: Wexford Youths Women's F.C., 40; U.C.D. Waves, 35; Raheny United, 27; Peamount United, 16; Castlebar Celtic F.C., 15; Galway Women's F.C., 11; Cork City Women's F.C., 2.