Down dispatched with ease in opener
LEINSTER CHAMPIONS Wexford got their All-Ireland Under-16 camogie 'B' championship off to a flying start with a ten-goal mauling of Ulster outfit Down in Clonduff.
Hopes were raised earlier in the year when the Slaneysiders went through under-age kingpins Kilkenny and Offaly to claim the provincial title and this result will only add to the anticipation surrounding the latest batch after several barren years for the Wexford young guns.
Playing against a stiff breeze in the opening half, the visitors eased their way into a 3-1 to 0-1 lead.
After dealing with early Down pressure, Wexford struck first through Chloe Foxe. The hosts continued to put the favourites under pressure in the opening quarter but fell further behind when Sorcha Foley played in Leah Walsh for the opening goal.
One major soon became two when Buffers Alley hotshot Foley went from provider to goalscorer before Down finally got their side of the scoreboard moving when Dearbhla Magee pointed (2-1 to 0-1).
Wexford have the luxury of calling on several of the successful St. Mary's Secondary School stars that claimed the All-Ireland title in March and one of those, Joanne Dillon, bludgeoned home goal number three just before the interval.
It took Wexford a while to find their feet after the break but once they did the net was soon bulging again.
Dillon added her second in the 34th minute and completed her hat-trick with a superb team goal after great build-up play involving Doireann Kavanagh, Chloe Foxe and Laura Dempsey (5-1 to 0-1).
Tidy inter-play between Foley and Aoife Doyle saw the former raise her second green flag but Down hit back with a quick 1-1 when Elizabeth Wilson pointed and Sophie Louise Clarke added a 42nd-minute goal.
Substitutes Laura Dempsey and Michelle Kehoe staked their respective claims for a starting place with late cameos that saw the attackers share 3-2 between them, and Aine Sheridan was also on target as the final quarter drew to a close.
Wexford: Laura Brennan; Tara O'Brien, Lauren Carty, Sarah O'Connor; Robyn McCarthy, Niamh Walsh, Doireann Kavanagh; Una Sinnott, Ellen Roche; Olivia Lambert, Leanne Foley, Chloe Foxe (0-2); Joanne Dillon (3-0) Sorcha Foley (2-0), Leah Walsh (1-0). Subs. - Laura Dempsey (1-1) for Lambert, Michelle Kehoe (2-1) for L. Walsh, Aine Sheridan (1-0) for Foley, Rachel Kelly for McCarthy, inj., Aoife Doyle for Sinnott.
Down: Nicola McCabe; Caitríona Caldwell, Caoimhe Byrne, Claire Greeran; Aisling Connnolly, Claire McGilligan, Eilis Ennis; Nuala Carville, Dearbhla Magee (0-1 free); Niamh Roberts, Sophie Louise Clarke (1-0), Chloe McGusker; Elizabeth Wilson (0-2 frees), Kate McAleenan, Erin Hagan. Subs. -Molly McMullan for Ennis, Neisha McCullough for Carville, Megan McGivern for Greeran.
Referee: Peter Dowd (Meath).
New Ross Standard