Kildare 0-14 Wexford 1-6
WEXFORD’S SECOND string slipped back into relegation reckoning with a disappointing result away to Kildare in the Glen Dimplex All-Ireland Intermediate camogie championship in Hawkfield on Saturday.
Alan Brennan’s charges were coming off a shock victory over Meath but their hosts here appeared to have their homework done. They set about shutting down Chloe Cashe and they did a reasonable job of it.
It meant when the chips were down in the last 15 minutes, there was only one Wexford player continuously making inroads in the Kildare half of the field - exceptional captain Aideen Brennan.
It was really only Brennan that Kildare didn’t have the answer for, as they were well organised, had pace at the other end of the field, and found a referee in Conor Quinlan who was always happy to blow for their frees.
The final foul tally benefited the hosts on a count of 19-11. However, the last four fouls they conceded came in injury-time, when the game was as good as up and when cynical fouling was the name of the game, but before that they benefited at almost a rate of three to one.
Wexford didn’t get a look-in. It has to be said that boss Brennan keeps everyone very quiet on the line and, admirable as that approach is, it cost Wexford here, with referee Quinlan bowing to almost every Kildare scream from the sideline.
Sometimes they didn’t even need to scream, like the foul given against Muireann Fitzpatrick to get Kildare off the mark in the second-half.
The Castletown-Liam Mellows clubwoman was coming out with the ball when a Kildare player dived head-first into her in a bid to make contact and impede her.
She left her feet like a human torpedo and somehow got awarded a free for charging against Fitzpatrick. It was an outrageous call, so much so that even the Kildare management found it a right chuckle on the sideline.
Yet the shoddy performance of the referee can’t take away from the fact that Wexford didn’t carry enough of a scoring threat. There were too many forwards who could have been there all evening and still not scored, and that’s a real problem for the Slaneysiders.
One would need some mental gymnastics to give them a decent chance of getting a result against either Kilkenny or Derry. Unfortunately, there’s a good chance they will need at least a draw to avoid a relegation decider.
They may get lucky, as Kildare might get a result against Meath, but that’s a very close contest to call and home advantage for the Royals could prove crucial. It made only moderate difference here as Kildare struggled to take advantage of an aiding breeze in the first-half.
Despite losing the first-half free count 10-1, Wexford would have been thrilled to be just 0-5 to 0-4 down after 27 minutes. Chloe Cashe had her side ahead inside 30 seconds, but four from the hosts made it 0-4 to 0-1.
Kildare had a lot of wides in that spell, with Emer Reilly struggling from frees to such an extent that Leah Sutton took over midway through the half and was still able to score nine of them in the last 40 minutes.
Still, Grace Roche, Cashe and Brennan all pointed to close the gap to one, only for Sutton to score two more frees and Róisín Forde to add a late point from play to give Kildare an 0-8 to 0-4 interval advantage.
Wexford didn’t find an immediate response in the second-half and the period remained scoreless until that ludicrous decision against Fitzpatrick resulted in a Sutton point.
Another followed two minutes later, but Wexford found a little pep in their step before the quarter ended.
Sarah Doyle and Emma Codd were involved in Brennan’s goal, as the latter had a shot partially blocked but the Oulart-The Ballagh clubwoman reacted quickest to claim and net. She pointed on the run in the 46th minute and then converted a free five minutes later to make it a one-point game (0-10 to 1-6).
However, the remainder of the game did not go well. Kildare scored four points in four minutes, with three of them coming from Sutton frees to move back out of reach. Despite Brennan’s inspiration, Wexford never looked like recovering again and they took the loss.
Wexford will have a week to work on things ahead of the Kilkenny game on June 25. That clash and their last game against Derry a week later are at home, and they need to find one big performance to get out of relegation trouble in the coming weeks.
Wexford: Lara O’Shea (Glynn-Barntown); Katie Roche (Oulart-The Ballagh), Aisling Halligan (Glynn-Barntown), Miria O’Dowd (Oulart-The Ballagh); Ciara Donohoe (St. Ibar’s/Shelmalier), Róisín Cooney (Glynn-Barntown), Muireann Fitzpatrick (Castletown-Liam Mellows); Aoife Dunne (Oulart-The Ballagh), Clodagh Jackman (Glynn-Barntown); Emma Codd (St. Martin’s), Aideen Brennan (Oulart-The Ballagh, capt., 1-3, 0-1 free), Chloe Cashe (Glynn-Barntown, 0-2); Sarah Doyle (Craanford-Monaseed), Jessie Morrissey (Glynn-Barntown), Katie Gallagher (Oulart-The Ballagh). Subs. - Grace Roche (Glynn-Barntown, 0-1) for Jackman, temp. (16-23), Lisa Firman (St. Martin’s) for Gallagher (42), Roche for Jackman (44), Siobhán Sinnott (Oulart-The Ballagh) for Doyle (47), Loren Doyle (Oylegate-Glenbrien) for Fitzpatrick (59).
Kildare: Eimear Sterling; Gráinne Noone, Maria Doyle, Nicole Malcolmson; Aoife Stynes, Emma Barry, Ellen Morgan (capt.); Deirbhile Byrne (0-1), Kelly Perkins; Chanice Corcoran (0-1), Róisín Forde (0-1), Emer Reilly; Emma Kielthy (0-1), Leah Sutton (0-10, 9 frees), Ciara Egan. Sub. - Niamh Hegarty for Perkins, inj. (19).
Referee: Conor Quinlan (Galway).