Friday 28 October 2016

Wexford counting cost of injuries but go into quarter-final buoyed by Rebelettes victory

Daragh Ó Conchúir

Published 28/07/2015 | 15:55

Wexford's Ursula Jacob will not feature in the All-Ireland quarter-final after suffering a finger injury
Wexford's Ursula Jacob will not feature in the All-Ireland quarter-final after suffering a finger injury

Wexford have suffered a number of injuries to experienced players this year and yet produced a stunning win over champions Cork last weekend to cement a seeded place in the Liberty Insurance All-Ireland senior camogie quarter-finals at Semple Stadium on Saturday.

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Ursula Jacob (finger), Mags D’Arcy (hip), Úna Leacy (knee) and Karen Atkinson (shoulder) are just some of the long-term walking wounded.

While one or more of that quartet might make it back, Leacy certainly will not, having recently had an operation on her cruciate knee ligament.

The injury was a cruel blow, not just to Wexford, but to the player herself. Leacy has had serious issues with her other knee in recent years, making a remarkable return from surgery to play in last year’s All-Ireland semi-final and starring as Oulart-The Ballagh won the All-Ireland club title last March.

“(Surgeon) Tadhg O’Sullivan said he couldn’t believe it, she was such an unfortunate girl” says sister and centre-back, Mary.

“Last year she was told she might never play again. And it was her other knee this time. If anyone can cope with a serious injury, she can because she’s had a lot to date.”

Wexford camogie supporters have become accustomed to seeing the Leacy sisters causing damage at opposite ends of the pitch during the county’s glory years, with Mary one of the game’s premier centre-backs, while Úna has forged a reputation as an elite goalscorer.

As is the nature with siblings, although both would be comfortable in the physical exchanges, they tend to keep an eye out for how the other is faring. And if ever one gets into a bit of difficulty, back-up is never far away.

“We would be very protective of each other” admits Mary. “Let me see how I would put this… even though Úna is well able to look after herself, I would be protective. Blood is thicker than water as they say! I’d have her back, but it that way.”

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