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Thursday 18 September 2014

Inside Back: Leacy rescues Wexford

Published 24/08/2014 | 02:30

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Una Leacy, left, came off the bench to score an injury time goal and secure a replay for Wexford against Kerry next Saturday. Paul Mohan / SPORTSFILE
Una Leacy, left, came off the bench to score an injury time goal and secure a replay for Wexford against Kerry next Saturday. Paul Mohan / SPORTSFILE

Una Leacy came off the bench to save Wexford with a dramatic injury-time goal at Semple Stadium and ensure a replay of their Liberty Insurance All-Ireland senior camogie semi-final against Cork next Saturday.

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It looked like Katriona Mackey’s goal midway through the first half would decide this tight affair but Leacy made no mistake as the teams finished 1-9 apiece. Jenny O’Leary had a chance to snatch it for the Leesiders late on from a difficult free tight to the sideline but her effort drifted wide.

Both teams utilised an extra defender as the emphasis was on defence. However, neither side will be happy with their shooting as they racked several wides.

The six yellow cards issued by Alan Lagrue bore testament to the competitiveness and intensity of this semi-final.

Ursula Jacob’s point had been the only score of the game when Mackey took a pass from the excellent Angela Walsh and then beat Wexford goalkeeper, Mags D’Arcy.

It was 1-3 to 0-3 at half-time and Wexford did reduce the margin to just one with points from Jackie Quigley and Leacy.

Points from Jenny O’Leary and Mackey restored Cork’s goal advantage though, and that’s what was between them when Leacy made her dramatic intervention to ensure a second bite of the cherry for Wexford.

Cork’s Gemma O’Connor (pictured above with Annette Ní Dhathlaoi, head of marketing at Liberty Insurance) was named as Player of the Match.

Where are they now?

Maurice Fitzgerald (Former Kerry footballer)

A name to conjure with through the ages, to strike awe into the hearts of football fans no matter their county colours and freeze defenders where they stood when they caught sight of his elegant figure striding towards them.

Maurice Fitzgerald was the Koh-i-Noor diamond in Kerry’s treasure chest of jewels during the 1990s. He won six Munster crowns, three All Stars and two All-Ireland medals during his pomp, which included an orchestral solo in the 1997 final in which Kerry outclassed Mayo.

Modestly, all he will say about that virtuoso performance when he scored nine points is that: “We were very pleased to bring the Sam Maguire back to Kerry after a gap of nine years. From a Kerry point of view that was almost a famine period.”

Fitzgerald and his team-mates never underestimated the challenge posed by Mayo. The year before their final triumph, Mayo defeated the Munster champions in the semi-final before a heartbreaking loss to Meath after a replay. Having witnessed at first hand the talent and intensity they possessed, the forward feels Mayo deserved an All-Ireland victory that still hasn’t come their way.

The auctioneer is passionate about the coaching work he does for his own club St Mary’s, Caherciveen. Inspired by the men who helped him reach the top, Fitzgerald delights in nurturing young talent.

“We have some fantastic young footballers and it is wonderful to be involved with young talent, nurturing them and guiding them to the point that they may wear the Kerry jersey. It’s very important to give back and there is great pride involved in your own club, that’s the key to the GAA.”

He conducted a legends tour of Croke Park yesterday and has been impressed with how Eamonn Fitzmaurice has coped with injuries ahead of today’s game.

“Semi-finals are for winning and the biggest thing is getting over the line. It will be a fierce tough encounter and both teams will have huge desire to go that step further.”

Number of the week: 162,786,733

The amount in euros spent by Barcelona while their transfer ban was suspended. They lost their appeal against the ban last week which means they cannot buy players from next month until January 2016, unless their application to the Court of Arbitration for Sport is upheld.

Quote of the Week

'Hi people, not been on here much, been busy getting myself better! I have now finished my chemotherapy and things are really positive! I'm feeling much better and it won't be long till I'm back playing again!! Missed it big time'

Snooker's Ali Carter with good news on Twitter last week

Have Your Say

Noisy ads spoiling match discussions

On seeing the heading I had to read the article by Colm O'Rourke on what the GAA does right and wrong on big match days. He is spot on with his views on ads, censorship of replays and even Mr G Brooks. Full marks to the groundsmen but even fuller marks to the engineers who designed the drainage. Rainfall on the pitch is in the canal within the hour.

Colm ignored the most severe problem - the noise level of the ads and music. This blaring starts up every time you feel like discussing an item with your neighbour. I emailed Croke Park about this last year and so am delighted to see it highlighted now.

M Teehan

Women deserve equal investment

Let's put the achievement of the women's international rugby team at the World Cup in perspective, shall we?

I have no doubt that there are several members, both past and present, of the Irish men's team who would swap every medal and cup they won in exchange for being able to claim that they were the first Irish team who had taken the scalps of the Kiwis at their own game.

Imagine what could be achieved if we gave women's and girls' sports the same investment that we have, so far, almost managed to waste on men's sports?

L Power

Team hit high note on great occasion

I've played and followed many sports, both individual and team. But for camaraderie and sportsmanship and the best sing-song ever during and after the match, even though Ireland lost to England, nothing has come close. The English and French joining in made it even more special.

What an occasion!

E Caplice

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