Saturday 24 February 2018

Youths women hold the leaders

LEAGUE LEADERS Peamount United made their first visit of the season to Ferrycarrig Park and dropped their first points of the season after a thrilling encounter between two sides who produced some excellent soccer despite the rain and damp underfoot conditions.

The game started at a blistering pace, with Wexford dominating the opening ten minutes, and they will feel unlucky not to have gone ahead. Jessica Gleeson went close with a free kick and moments later her header from a Maria Delahunty corner just cleared the crossbar.

Peamount were without their international duo of Louise Quinn and Julie Ann Russell who were on duty with the Republic of Ireland in the U.S.A., while Grace Murray and Sara Lawlor were both out with injury so they were finding it difficult to settle into the game.

The home side was without Cherelle Khessal, who had signed for Brighton during the week, while Sadie Murphy emigrated to Australia and Lynn Marie Grant had signed for Tramore due to work commitments, so both sides were fielding different than usual starting elevens.

However, on twelve minutes, disaster struck for Wexford when, despite all the dominance, Peamount pumped a ball into the area and a mix-up between defender and 'keeper saw Claire Kinsella sneak in at the back post to tap the ball into the net, much to the shock of everyone in the ground.

The girls in pink reacted quickly and 90 seconds later Ciara Rossiter worked the ball up the left wing, and crossed to Rianna Jarrett who calmly slotted the ball past Linda Meehan to level the game. The home side will feel that they should have produced more from their first-half performance but found Meehan in the visitors' goal in excellent form.

She made two good saves from Rossiter and Gleeson. As the half progressed, Peamount were beginning to produce some attacks and Lucy Sherwin had to be sharp to deny Stephanie Roche from restoring the Pea's advantage. Wexford did have the ball in the net just before the break when Ciara Rossiter scored, only to be ruled offside.

Early in the second-half, Ciara Rossiter brought yet another good save from Meehan, but Peamount were playing with more grit and determination and were being far more creative in midfield, making the Youths defence work hard to keep them at bay. Ashling Frawley replaced Maria Delahunty which injected pace into the forward line at a vital time in the game.

Peamount enjoyed the better of the closing exchanges and Mary Rose Kelly was called on to make a couple of vital saves. Although either side could have pinched it at the end, a draw was probably a fair result. Wexford enjoyed the better of the opening exchanges while Peamount would have dominated the latter stages, and all in between was even enough, so while either side would have preferred the three points, both were probably content with the draw.

Defensively Wexford were strong with Jessica Gleeson dominant, while Ciara Rossiter worked tirelessly on the left side of midfield and Rianna Jarrett continued her spectacular return to form.

Wexford Youth Women: Mary Rose Kelly, Clare Conlon, Jessica Gleeson, Lauren Dwyer, Lucy Sherwin, Linda Douglas, Ciara Rossiter, Edel Kennedy, Maria Delahunty, Rianna Jarrett, Rachel Hutchinson, Laura Heffernan, Krista Minto, Ashling Frawley, Katie White, Tamara Furlong, Amy Walsh.

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