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Sunday 15 September 2019

Success in shield

Wexford Youths Women 0 Cork City 0 (Wexford win 5-4 on penalties)

The outstanding Lauren Dwyer putting pressure on Cork City’s Katie McCarthy
The outstanding Lauren Dwyer putting pressure on Cork City’s Katie McCarthy
The Wexford Youths Women celebrating their development shield success in Turner’s Cross on Sunday

Wexford Youths collected their first piece of silverware this season when they claimed the Continental Tyres Women's National League Development Shield in Turner's Cross on Sunday.

After losing the League Cup final to Peamount last month, it was important for Wexford to not let another trophy slip away, but hosts Cork City did put it up to a side missing their focal point in attack.

With Rianna Jarrett away on international duty, Youths badly lacked her huge presence up top. Katrina Parrock was given the job of replacing the league's top scorer but Wexford struggled badly to break through the hosts' rearguard.

Not that Cork created too many openings from open play themselves. Much like most of the season, Lauren Dwyer led by example from the back and, while her form hasn't been recognised by an international call-up, Colin Bell's bizarre blind-spot was to Wexford's advantage in this game.

Katie McCarthy missed an early chance for the hosts while Saoirse Noonan fired over the bar from Eadaoin Lyons' feed as Cork looked to take shots when they got within sight of Sophie Lenehan's goal.

Wexford settled in the middle part of the half and eventually created the best chance.

McKenna Davidson whipped in a cross that Aisling Frawley diverted at goal but she couldn't direct the ball past the imposing figure of Amanda Budden and Cork survived.

Kate O'Donovan flashed over from the edge of the box with Lenehan in position to get a touch if necessary.

The Wexford 'keeper, who has three clean sheets in her last four games, was up to a weak Noonan attempt just before the interval.

Youths started brightly after the resumption and had multiple set-pieces but couldn't make them count. Edel Kennedy missed the target with a strike while Budden dealt with a long-range Dwyer effort with ease.

Wexford survived a scare when Christina Dring's header came back off the woodwork with 15 minutes remaining.

At the other end Kylie Murphy headed a Hansberry free-kick wide of the post.

McKenna Davidson missed the target as the game moved towards two periods of extra-time. The first segment of overtime was relatively quiet but Murphy did extend Budden with a sharp strike just before the change-around.

The longer the game went on, the more dangerous Cork looked.

Lenehan made a classy save to tip Noonan's shot over with seven minutes remaining, but it began a string of corners that had Youths stretched to the limit.

The visitors survived that flurry but still needed Becky Cassin to get an important block on Noonan's strike in the 118th minute.

Frawley had one last weak strike for Budden to save but the clash was destined for penalties.

The first three each were all successful, with Murphy, Cassin and Rachel Hutchinson on target for Wexford.

Lenehan went early for Noonan's penalty and managed to push it onto the post to give her side the advantage.

Nicola Sinnott stepped up to put Wexford 4-3 up on spot-kicks, Budden replied, but Frawley made no mistake with her strike, sending it high to the top right corner to give Youths their second-ever development shield.

While it's nice to wrap up the lowest priority trophy and get a medal around the neck, things get really serious when Wexford travel to Galway in the league this coming Saturday afternoon.

Should Youths avoid defeat on their trip west, they will be in a position to wrap up the league title seven days later at home to Cork.

In between those two massively significant league outings, there's the small matter of securing a November 4 trip to the Aviva.

It is U.C.D. Waves who visit Ferrycarrig Park tomorrow week (Wednesday, October 17) for the FAI Women's Cup semi-final.

Wexford Youths: Sophie Lenihan, Nicola Sinnott, Lauren Dwyer, Orlaith Conlon, Becky Cassin, Kylie Murphy, Edel Kennedy, Aisling Frawley, Emma Hansberry, McKenna Davidson, Katrina Parrock. Subs. - Rachel Hutchinson for Parrock (80), Ciara Delaney for Davidson (105), also Ciamh Dollard, Cliodhna Ní Shé, Orla Casey, Maeve Williams.

Cork City: Amanda Budden, Nathalie O'Brien, Ciara McNamara, Savanah McCarthy, Eabha O'Mahony, Maggie Duncliffe, Eadaoin Lyons, Katie McCarthy, Kate O'Donovan, Christina Dring, Saoirse Noonan. Subs. - Danielle Burke for O'Donovan (63), Hannah O'Donoghue for Lyons (74), Courtney O'Keeffe for Dring (115).

Referee: Kevin O'Sullivan.

Wexford People