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Monday 22 July 2019

Avoiding relegation the target for camogie teamafter defeat

Limerick 1-18 Wexford 1-10

Depite staying in this Liberty Insurance All-Ireland Senior camogie championship contest for much of the match, Wexford eventually fell away to their second consecutive loss in Croagh, Co. Limerick, on Saturday.

The loss all-but ends the Slaneysiders' hopes of making the knockout stages, but in reality nobody was dreaming as wildly as that. Right now it's about getting improvement and one result, just one.

This Saturday's clash in St. Brendan's Park, Birr, would be the perfect time to find that first victory of the season. Wexford have two chances left to avoid relegation, this game with Offaly and, failing that, a relegation final.

In essence, this clash with the Faithful girls is a relegation semi-final. Both sides are win-less in the championship to date and, in fact, the only Senior side Offaly have beaten in an otherwise miserable term is Wexford, twice.

Whoever loses this clash will be bottom, there is almost no doubt about that, while a draw would favour Offaly too, given Wexford's horrific score difference after the opening round humiliation against Kilkenny.

Barry Kennedy made a smattering of changes from the side which lost the opener. The Wexford boss had Ciara Storey back in the team in place of Sinéad Furlong but lost Mags Byrne and Chloe Foxe (the latter was in football action a day later), giving Doireann Cullen and Sorcha Foley a start.

Despite an early Niamh Mulcahy point, Wexford actually got off to a pretty good start. The visitors' goal came with an element of good fortune, with Linda Bolger's long-range free finding its way past Laura O'Neill in the Limerick goal.

Wexford were going point-for-point with the home side well into the second quarter. Amy Cardiff got one and Joanne Dillon had three first-half points on the board, with the Rathgarogue-Cushinstown clubwoman the pick of the attack.

Leading by 1-6 to 0-6 with seven minutes left in the first period, Aoife Guiney was denied what could have been a vital second goal by O'Neill.

Wexford didn't score again, and instead Mulcahy, who had 14 points in total, finished the half with the final three points to level the tie at the intermission.

Wexford led for the final time when they opened the scoring in the second-half. From there they managed just three more points, with Linda Bolger on target for them all.

Limerick chipped away with Mulcahy points but clinched the win when Caoimhe Costelloe found the net eight minutes from time.

Despite falling away in the final quarter, this performance at least gave Wexford something to work on.

Bridging the gap to their previous heavy defeats to Offaly is going to be tough, but the rewards are substantial if they can pull it off in Birr on Saturday evening.

Wexford: Lara O'Shea; Shauna Sinnott, Ciara Storey, Clodagh Jackman; Emma Walsh, Katie O'Connor, Amy Cardiff (0-1); Una Sinnott, Linda Bolger (1-6, 1-3 frees, 0-1 '45); Doireann Cullen, Tara Doyle, Joanne Dillon (0-3); Sorcha Foley, Aoife Guiney, Leah Walsh. Subs. - Katie Sludds for Sinnott (43), Kate Kirwan for Foley (45), Megan Cullen for D. Cullen (54).

Limerick: Laura O'Neill; Judith Mulcahy, Muireann Creamer, Marian Quaid; Niamh Ryan, Sarah Carey, Mairéad Ryan; Róisín Ambrose (0-1), Deborah Murphy; Niamh Mulcahy (0-14, 9 frees, 1 '45), Rebecca Delee, Caoimhe Costelloe (1-2); Caoimhe Lyons, Lisa Leonard, Dearbhla Egan. Subs. - Karen O'Leary for Egan (31), Neamh Curtin for Lyons (35), Katie Hennessy for Murphy (47), Sophie O'Callaghan (0-1) for Leonard (48), Lorraine McCarthy for M. Ryan (55).

Referee: John McDonagh (Galway).

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