Monday 18 December 2017

Intermediates on verge of quick exit

WEXFORD ARE on the verge of elimination from the All-Ireland Intermediate camogie championship following a ten-point reverse against 2012 finalists Galway in Wexford Park on Saturday last.

The impressive westerners had too many weapons for a relatively inexperienced Wexford side, with their ability to put pressure on the hosts' full-back line being the main difference between the sides.

The defeat means that the 2011 champions must now beat Meath on July 20, in their final Group 2 encounter, to retain any hope of a place in the last four, an opportunity that will already be nullified should Tipperary beat Galway the day before. It may not be a forlorn hope yet either, given that Wexford put up a far better offensive showing than the Meath ladies did against the Tribeswomen.

Two minors from the stick of full-forward Meabh Hughes kept Wexford in touch, just 0-4 to 0-2 behind, after the opening quarter. However, two quick goals, coming with ten minutes left in the half, left the hosts well behind at the break.

Orlaith McGrath hared away and tucked away the opener before Finola Keely slapped home a second from close range moments later. Despite three further Hughes frees, and a point from youngster Marie Morrissey, Wexford could get no closer than those two majors at half-time (2-6 to 0-6).

At times the Wexford goal lived a charmed life, no occasion more so than when Aoife Callanan's handpass went just over the crossbar and not under and into an unguarded net. Points by Ann Cousins and Hughes kept the home side in touch early in the second period, before the Slaneysiders went looking for goals.

Hughes had several pot-shots from dead balls, all of which were well dealt with by the Galway defence, yet it was wing-forward work-horse Aoife Sheil who forced visiting 'keeper Róisín Callanan into her finest save of the day - a diving push away past the left post.

Hughes eventually admitted defeat and tapped over a pair of late frees but there was still time for Galway to further rub salt into the Wexford wounds when Aoife Donoghue collected Keely's searching ball and rifled it past Ann-Marie Foley to clinch the visitors' win.

Galway: Róisín Callanan; Tara Kenny, Sinéad Keane, Sara Keehan; Paula Kenny, Sarah Noone, Moira Connaghton; Lorraine Farrell, Catherine Cormican; Rebecca Hennelly (0-4, 1 free), Katie O'Dwyer (0-1), Aoife Donoghue (1-2); Fionla Keely (1-0), Orlaith McGrath (1-3), Karen Kennedy. Subs. - Aoife Callanan (0-2) for Kennedy, Shauna Healy for Cormican, Laura Mitchell for Noone, Megan Moran for Connaughton, Ciana Ní Churraoin for O'Dwyer.

Wexford: Ann-Marie Foley; Emma Lacey, Amy Ryan, Nancy Dunphy; Róisín Murphy, Marguerite Doyle, Emma O'Connor; Brídín Doyle, Rachel Collier; Aoife Sheil (0-1), Ann Cousins (0-1), Olivia Hearn; Marie Morrissey (0-1), Meabh Hughes (0-8, 6 frees, 1 '45), Maragret Byrne. Subs. - Amy Dillon for Dunphy, Nicole Fortune for Doyle, Catherine Kelly for Morrissey.

Referee: Mike Sheehan (Cork).

New Ross Standard

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