Saturday 17 March 2018

Character shines through

Youths Women shock league leaders in thriller

It took 20 minutes for the game to find any sort of rhythm and it was the home side who enjoyed the better of the opening exchanges as Claire Kinsella and Stephanie Roche both brought good saves from Charlotte Mccormack.

Rianna Jarrett and Cherelle Khassal were both causing problems for the home defence and Khassal had two efforts well saved by Aine Genocky. One in particular was exceptional as she denied the diminutive forward with her feet before gathering safely.

The breakthrough came on 22 minutes when Claire Kinsella got on the end of a Dora Gorman diagonal ball and gave the advancing Mccormack no chance as she put the ball safely in the corner of the net.

After being already beaten three times this season by Peamount, the Youths would be forgiven for maybe feeling that defeat number four was imminent and roll over.

However, instead they showed the character that they have become famous for and brought the game to Peamount and, just after the half-hour mark, Cherelle Khassal used her speed and agility to race onto an Edel Kennedy ball and did enough to squeeze the ball past Genocky to level the game up.

With Peamount still reeling from this setback, two minutes later Khassal sent a low shot across the area which was spilled by Genocky, and Sadie Murphy was on hand to squeeze the ball into the net and secure the lead for Wexford.

The Peamount 'keeper had picked up a knock in her attempt to deny the first goal and it had obvious effects for the second, and she had to be removed to be replaced by substitute Emily Cahill. The Wexford side was now in the ascendency and could have increased the lead as the hard-working Rianna Jarrett saw her shot go wide of the post just before half-time as Peamount tried to come to terms with what was an unusual position for them to be in

The second-half saw the home side come out determined to make an impact, and Caroline Thorpe brought a save from the 'keeper early on.

From that point on, the pink army took a grip of the game and never allowed Peamount any time or space, with Edel Kennedy and Ciara O'brien working tirelessly to stem any flow through midfield.

Laura Heffernan replaced Aleisha Cullen just on the hour mark while Maria Delahunty replaced Linda Douglas with 15 minutes to go.

Both Rianna Jarrett and Cherelle Khassal brought saves from stand-in 'keeper Cahill within 30 seconds of each other and, with minutes to go, Rachel Hutchinson replaced Jarrett who had put in probably her best display in a Wexford jersey.

Despite Peamount doing their best to grab that equaliser, the visitors were in no mood to allow a famous victory to slip through their fingers and held them at bay until referee Rob Harvey sounded the final whistle after just three minutes of injury time.

In such a match where a team has to work together, it is almost impossible to select players who excelled, but 16-year-old Katie White deserves a mention as she made her full debut for Wexford against the high-profile Peamount side.

Peamount United: Aine Genocky, Melissa Haughton, Chloe Mustaki, Karen Duggan, Dora Gorman, Jenny Critchley, Louise Quinn, Caroline Thorpe, Stephanie Roche, Claire Kinsella, Emily Cahill, Jenny Ferrari, Lauren Cavanagh.

Wexford Youths Women: Charlotte Mccormack, Jessica Gleeson, Linda Douglas, Ciara O'brien, Rianna Jarrett, Edel Kennedy, Aleisha Cullen, Cherelle Khassal, Nicola Dunphy, Katie White, Sadie Murphy, Laura Heffernan, Maria Delahunty, Rachel Hutchinson. Referee: Robert Harvey. Attendance: 60 (estimated).