Tuesday 20 March 2018

Under-14 side's bid for All-Ireland 'C' honours

WEXFORD ADVANCED to the All-Ireland Under-14 'C' final after they had a convincing 16-point win over Antrim in a sun-drenched Ashbourne. In fairness to the Antrim side they did not have the best of starts to the day, as their arrival to the venue was delayed due to problems with the bus.

However, the Model county had no such difficulties and were well prepared coming into this game. Rachel Bennett got her side off to the best possible start, registering the first goal in the second minute.

Siobhán Doolan and Emma Cousins tapped over a point apiece with out reply before Antrim lost the services of two players in the second quarter when referee Kieran McKeever directed both to the sin-bin.

Despite this the saffrons closed ranks to reduce Wexford's scoring opportunities to just two points, tapped over by Kate Hendrick and Rachel Bennett. The Model county finished the half eight points clear (1-7 to 0-2).

Wexford continued where they had left off when Teghan Furlong pointed to extend their lead by nine points. Although the Antrim side were playing catch up, they did battle hard to break down the strong defensive wall around Sadbh McCarthy's goal.

Megan Scallan was outstanding in the number two position and was well supported by captain Annastastia Breen, Niamh Buckley, Cathy O'Brien, Sarah Harding-Kenny and Gillian Barry.

Seven minutes into the third quarter Kate Hendrick was quick to get on the end of a shot lobbed into the danger area by Emma Cousins, and the Bunclody player fisted the ball into the Antrim net to raise the green flag for the second time in favour of the Wexford side.

The very hot conditions seemed to suit the girls from the sunny south-east as they continued to push forward, with twins Rachel and Ann-Marie Bennett, Aideen Byrne, Kate Hendrick, Siobhán Doolan and Teghan Furlong working tirelessly, adding three goals and three points to keep Wexford in the driving seat.

Wexford will now take on Tipperary in the final in Freshford on Saturday next at 12.30 p.m., after the Premier county beat Leitrim with 15 points to spare (5-11 to 2-5) in Birr.

Wexford: Sadbh McCarthy (Shelmalier); Megan Scallan (Shelmalier), Annastasia Breen (Gusserane, capt.), Niamh Buckley (St. John's Volunteers); Cathy O'Brien (Adamstown), Sarah Harding-Kenny (Shelmalier), Gillian Barry (Fethard St. Mogue's); Emma Cousins (Kilmore), Derbhla Doyle (Crossabeg-Ballymurn); Ann-Marie Bennett, Rachel Bennett (St. Anne's), Kate Hendrick (HWH-Bunclody); Siobhán Doolan (Shelmalier), Teghan Furlong (Clonee), Aideen Byrne (Starlights). Subs. - Róisín Gough (Castletown), Aisling Halligan (Sarsfields), Siobhán Fanning (Starlights), Cailin Fitzpatrick (Castletown), Aoife Cloke-Rochford (Ballyhogue), Clara Rochford (St. Anne's), Holly Hynes (Sarsfields), Cathy O'Connor (Kilmore), Kate Miller (Sarsfields), Leanne Cullen (Crossabeg-Ballymurn), Lauren Kelly (Castletown), Emma Goff (Sarsfields), Alannah Anglim (Clonard), Isobel O'Neill (Kilmore), Sophie Lenehan (Clonee).

Manager/selectors: Peter Bennett (St. Anne's), Monica Halligan (Sarsfields), Nikki Scallan (Shelmalier), Des Furlong (Clonee), Conor Breen (Horeswood).

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