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Wexford Youths are back in the title race


Goalscorer Emma Walker eager to get on the ball in Limerick on Saturday.

Goalscorer Emma Walker eager to get on the ball in Limerick on Saturday.

Becky Watkins, who got on the scoresheet, delivering a pass in Saturday's away win.

Becky Watkins, who got on the scoresheet, delivering a pass in Saturday's away win.


Goalscorer Emma Walker eager to get on the ball in Limerick on Saturday.



INCREDIBLY, THE destination of the title is back in Wexford Youths’ own hands after a bizarre week in the SSE Airtricity Women’s National League.

For their part, Stephen Quinn’s side saw off by far the weakest team in the league with goals from Becky Watkins, Emma Walker and Ellen Molloy to take three points back to Ferrycarrig Park, but it was rivals Shels who were making all the noise.

After bring held to a 1-1 draw with Athlone last weekend, the Tolka Park side endured a goal-less home clash with Bohs midweek.

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They then announced the signing of American World Cup winner Heather O’Reilly, only to go two up away to Sligo before slumping to a 3-2 loss.

It all means that Wexford are now just five points behind with a game in hand heading into cup quarter-final week, with surely some belief building that a Shels team that has lost several players to abroad is on the verge of a spectacular collapse.

Of course, Wexford have stuttered the way through this season themselves and plenty about this win against Treaty wasn’t pretty, but they did do enough to get three critical points on the board and keep themselves within striking distance.

Wexford should have taken the lead in the eleventh minute when Kylie Murphy sent Ellen Molloy through on goal. The Kilkenny native took it around the ‘keeper but her finish wasn’t great and Amy Madden cleared off the line.

It mattered little as from the resulting corner Becky Watkins headed in Aoibheann Clancy’s cross from close range.

A weak Walker shot was easily held as Wexford continued to dominate before Watkins chipped over in the 29th minute from the left edge of the area.

Aoibheann Clancy fired narrowly wide of the far post with a shot from the right edge of the area in the 39th minute, but they did go two up just before half-time when Emma Walker turned in the rebound after Molloy’s shot was saved by Michaela Mitchell.

The second-half was a bit of a formality for Wexford, albeit marred by two serious injuries. Watkins had a good chance to make it three but her low shot wasn’t crisp and Mitchell got down to it.

Newest Youth Michaela Lawrence was sent-off while lying on a stretcher after her late tackle did her more damage than her opponent.

Treaty never looked like getting back in the game with the extra player but themselves lost Amy Madden to a serious injury in the 80th minute when she stretched to clear the ball and got her leg caught underneath her.

Wexford wrapped up the win six minutes into the 25 added when Ellen Molloy nipped in on a poor back-pass before tucking the ball past Mitchell. Molloy almost added a fourth but Alix Mendes cleared off the line late on, yet it mattered little in the end.

Wexford face DLR Waves in their Cup quarter-final at Ferrycarrig Park on Saturday at 6 p.m. With nine games left in the league, they return in that competition against Galway in Eamonn Deacy Park on August 13.

Wexford Youths: Maeve Williams, Orlaith Conlon, Della Doherty, Kylie Murphy, Becky Watkins, Ellen Molloy, Méabh Russell, Michaela Lawrence, Nicola Sinnott, Aoibheann Clancy, Emma Walker. Subs. - Jess Lawler for Walker, Siún Murdiff for Watkins, Mia Lenihan for Murphy, also Claudia Keenan, Edel Kennedy, Áine Walsh, Rita Redmond.

Treaty United: Michaela Mitchell, Alannah Mitchell, Jesse Mendez, Cara Griffin, Esra Kengal, Alix Mendez, Amy Madden, Kelsey Wing, Emily O’Halloran, Laoise Browne, Keisha Tobin. Subs. - Niamh O’Byrne for Wing, Grace McInerney for Madden, Emma Duggan for Kengal, Nessa Markham for Griffin, also Trish Fennelly-Hunt, Shannen O’Donovan, Aislinn Meaney.