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Wednesday 23 October 2019

Seven goals from free-spirited side

SO Hotels Women's National League: Wexford Youths 7 DLR Waves 2

Lynn Craven battling for the ball with Fiona Donnelly
Lynn Craven battling for the ball with Fiona Donnelly

Dean Goodison in Ferrycarrig Park

Wexford Youths continued their free-spirited performances as the SO Hotels Women's National League season comes to a close, swatting away DLR Waves in Ferrycarrig Park on Saturday.

The more attacking, vibrant Youths ran Limerick ragged six days earlier, and they put the visitors to the sword in this one too, becoming the second team this season - after Peamount - to smash seven past the south Dublin club.

That was the old Waves, the team they had before multiple transfer window signings. This was the new-look DLR side, but they were no match anywhere on the field for a Wexford team playing its best football too late to have an impact in the league.

The big difference in their play from earlier in the season is that their full-backs are playing in much more offensive positions.

In this game it was Lynn Craven on the right, and Ciara Rossiter back to her best position on the left, and they were a handful throughout.

Not only did the pair play well themselves, their support gave wide players Aisling Frawley and Fiona Ryan a little more to work with.

The former got to the byline at every opportunity, and when the Waterford native is doing that she's usually playing her best football.

Ryan, on the other hand, was able to display the quality she possesses in her left foot. She was in a position to pick pockets between Jenny O'Keeffe and Katie Burdis, and from good areas on the left flank she whipped several superb crosses into the box.

Wexford's biggest failing in the first-half was not converting more of those, and other, chances. They were peppering the returning Sophie Lenehan's goal in the opening minutes, but the former Youths stopper repelled shots from Frawley and Lauren Kelly.

Pretty much out of nothing, DLR Waves took the lead. There was some, but not what seemed like critical, danger when Sophie O'Donoghue cut in from the left of the area on her right foot.

She struck her shot pretty well and it flew past Maeve Williams at her near post.

Wexford weren't behind for long. When the ball bobbled up on Ciara Rossiter's left foot, 25 yards from goal, there was only one thing on her mind.

She made superb contact and, while Lenehan got a hand on it, there was too much power on the shot and it nestled in the corner.

Fiona Ryan turned Frawley's cross to the net two minutes later, but the flag was up for an offside on Lauren Kelly, who had attacked and whiffed at the ball as it slid across goal.

The game slipped into a lull for 20 minutes, but when it did light up again it was the hosts pressing.

Ryan just missed the touch on a low Jarrett cross. The Irish international then fired into the side-netting, but Jarrett did put Wexford into the lead in the 39th minute from the penalty spot after she was taken down by another former Youth, Sinéad Gaynor.

With Wexford a goal to the good at the interval, there already seemed very little hope for DLR.

Ryan fizzed wide and Kylie Murphy forced Lenehan into a low save, but Youths did go 3-1 up when Edel Kennedy glanced in Ciara Rossiter's free-kick in the 59th minute.

Katie Burdis headed another Rossiter delivery past Lenehan seven minutes later as Wexford went further ahead.

However, Niamh Prior curled in another Waves goal from the right edge of the area in the 70th minute.

A comeback was never likely. McKenna Davidson pulled back for Jarrett to caress home with her left foot with twelve minutes remaining.

A superb turn and run by Blessing Kingsley ended when she set one up on a plate for Davidson, but the Hawaiian's shot was weak and Lenehan saved.

Jarrett's cross was forced past Lenehan by Lauren Kelly in the 86th minute as Wexford made it 6-2, and the Kildare native ended the rout with a seventh in the last minute, firing home from another Rossiter assist.

Wexford have this weekend off before returning to WNL action at home to Kilkenny on October 12.

With away league games against Shelbourne, Cork, and a Ferrycarrig Park FAI Cup semi-final against Galway to fit in before the November 3 final should they qualify, there may yet be alterations to the current schedule in due course.

Wexford Youths: Maeve Williams; Lynn Craven, Nicola Sinnott, Orlaith Conlon, Ciara Rossiter; Edel Kennedy, Kylie Murphy (capt.); Aisling Frawley, Lauren Kelly, Fiona Ryan; Rianna Jarrett. Subs. - McKenna Davidson for Ryan (57), Blessing Kingsley for Frawley (71), Becky Cassin for Craven (81), also Ciamh Dollard, Lauren Dwyer, Vanessa Ogbonna.

DLR Waves: Sophie Lenehan (capt.); Jenny O'Keeffe, Ally O'Keeffe, Niamh Prior; Sinéad Gaynor, Fiona Donnelly; Leeann Payne, Sophie O'Donoghue, Katie Burdis; Kerri Letmon, Orla Casey. Subs. (not used) - Eve Badana, Rachel Doyle, Bobbi Downer, Shauna Carroll, Nicole Keogh.

Referee: Patrick O'Connor (Kilkenny).

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