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Thursday 5 December 2019

Wexford finish 14 points behind Peas

SO Hotels Women's National League: Cork 1 Wexford Youths 1

McKenna Davidson on the ball in her last game for the club
McKenna Davidson on the ball in her last game for the club

Wexford Youths' wretched SO Hotels Women's National League campaign came to an end with a draw away to Cork at the Mayfield United grounds on Sunday.

The result means Wexford finish 14 points behind champions Peamount, twelve behind Shelbourne, and just five ahead of Galway, who came fourth for the second season in a row.

It would have been a useful exercise for Wexford had they managed to get their first clean sheet in 16 games, but their struggles continued against fifth-placed Cork, with Saoirse Noonan netting the host team's only goal of the game.

Jean Kavanagh-Doyle made her first appearance in goal for the Senior team and was called into action early, saving from Sophie Liston.

Wexford took the lead before the quarter-hour mark when the departing McKenna Davidson crossed to Blessing Kingsley and the youngster hit the net.

With Cork on top, Kate O'Donovan forced Kavanagh-Doyle to save, but the Youths stopper could do nothing about Noonan's equaliser in the 19th minute.

Katie McCarthy and Christina Dring had chances for the hosts before half-time, while Lauren Kelly fizzed one wide at the other end as the sides went into the break deadlocked.

With nothing on the line but pride, Dring had the ball in the net in the second-half but it was ruled out for offside.

Wexford forced the home goalkeeper, Maria O'Sullivan, into a couple of saves but the sides couldn't be separated and shared the spoils.

It's now time for a break and a re-group for Wexford. As much as manager Tom Elmes had preached about the quality of his side's football in recent weeks, he knows only too well that games are not won with nice football alone.

Wexford need to get back to the basics in big games, they need to be tough to beat, and they have to shore up the defence.

If they keep three or four clean sheets in their six games against Shelbourne and Peamount, they will be right in contention for the title next term.

What they will look like remains to be seen. It's expected that Rianna Jarrett will be plucked into the professional ranks, and management will have to work hard to get new faces in to add to a squad lacking a little something.

Wexford Youths: Jean Kavanagh-Doyle; Lynn Craven, Lauren Dwyer, Orlaith Conlon, Becky Cassin, Kylie Murphy, McKenna Davidson, Fiona Ryan, Aoife Slattery, Lauren Kelly, Blessing Kingsley. Subs. - Aisling Frawley for Murphy, Kira Bates-Crosbie for Ryan, Ciara Rossiter for Cassin.

Cork: Maria O'Sullivan; Ciara McNamara (capt.), Maggie Duncliffe, Christina Dring, Eadaoin Lyons, Katie McCarthy, Saoirse Noonan, Zara Foley, Sophie Liston, Nadine Seward, Kate O'Donovan. Subs. - Liz O'Connor for O'Donovan, Abby McCarthy for O'Sullivan, Megan Howard for Liston.

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