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Wexford Youths extend their lead to four points

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Kylie Murphy (6) heading in the third goal.

Kylie Murphy (6) heading in the third goal.

Defender Della Doherty sizing up her options in Saturday’s win.

Defender Della Doherty sizing up her options in Saturday’s win.

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Kylie Murphy (6) heading in the third goal.

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Wexford Youths 3 Treaty United 0

WEXFORD YOUTHS’ dream run in the SSE Airtricity Women’s National League continued in Ferrycarrig Park on Saturday as they eased past Treaty United.

It was a seventh victory in a row for Stephen Quinn’s side and the success, coupled with another Shelbourne loss away to Athlone, means Youths have opened up a four-point lead with just four games remaining.

Yet, when things are going unbelievably well, there’s probably a speed-bump somewhere up ahead and Wexford may hit it in the coming weeks if Ellen Molloy’s injury proves to be serious.

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The Thomastown native was forced off midway though the first-half after going down awkwardly, holding her left knee after a quick turn and possibly some contact with a Treaty player.

With Nicola Sinnott picking up a knock and Edel Kennedy also taking a kick on the foot, Quinn will be hoping for good news all round when his side hit the training field in midweek.

What is good news for the Wexford boss is his side’s position in the table, and it’s scarcely believable given the Tolka Park side won their first twelve league games in a row, without conceding a goal. However, with the best players from the league departing for professional contracts, change can happen quickly.

Wexford were eleven points behind the leaders after losing to Sligo on June 4 but have bettered Shelbourne’s record in the last ten games by a whopping 15 points to take over at the summit with four games remaining.

The next league matches could go a long way towards wrapping up the unlikeliest of titles. Indeed, wins away to Athlone and at home to Sligo could even be enough, if help continues to arrive from elsewhere.

It would be handy too since, with a record of just four from a possible twelve points against Peamount and Shels, Youths would like to get it done before they face the Dublin duo in their final two games.

It was a scrappy first four minutes until Edel Kennedy cut out Allanah Mitchell’s clearance, popped it up in the air and send a dipping volley back past Trish Fennelly-Hunt in the Treaty goal to open the scoring for the hosts.

Ellen Molloy almost slipped Murphy through in the ninth minute. Maybe three or four weeks ago it would have held up in the grass but with the slick current surface at Ferrycarrig it ran all the way though to Fennelly.

Molloy curled a free-kick inches wide with the United goalkeeper beaten one minute later before Della Doherty headed an Ellen Molloy corner over the crossbar.

Wexford kept pressing forward, looking to put the game to bed, and Ciara Rossiter flashed a shot across goal on the quarter-hour mark.

Molloy hobbled gingerly off after 20 minutes to be replaced by Michaela Lawrence, but not before Kennedy headed a Becky Watkins cross over at the near post.

Doherty headed an Aoibheann Clancy free-kick at Fennelly moments after Youths got back to eleven. It wasn’t destined to be the Youths defender’s day when she again headed over from a few yards out in the 25th minute.

A nice long ball on the half-hour mark by Nicola Sinnott got Kylie Murphy away but her effort was poor.

Treaty were offering nothing offensively as the half wore on, but Wexford were struggling to add the second with Rossiter drilling wide from distance in the 36th minute.

The hosts did finally get the second in the 44th minute when Murphy headed in Clancy’s left-wing corner.

Two minutes later it was three, as Lawrence intercepted a poor Fennelly clearance, fed Murphy who released Rossiter, and the left winger slotted calmly across goal to the corner.

Nicola Sinnott, who got a knock in the first-half, was replaced by Méabh Russell for the second period, a half that was a bit of a non-event. Youths weren’t over-exerting themselves while Treaty had no interest in pushing up the field in exchange for a hiding.

There was 68 minutes on the clock before Wexford had a glimpse of goal, with Kennedy flicking a header wide of the far post from Rossiter’s free-kick. Aoibheann Clancy curled over the bar from 40 yards out one minute later.

Claudia Keenan came on in the last ten minutes for her debut in goal. And she looked very comfortable with the ball at her feet but had nothing to do in her late cameo as Wexford hung on to take a comfortable three points.

While the distraction of the cup is hardly ideal when in such red-hot form, giving Molloy a week to recover, if necessary, could be very handy. Youths travel to Athlone for that semi-final on Saturday before returning to Lissywollen a week later in the league.

Wexford Youths: Maeve Williams; Della Doherty, Nicola Sinnott, Orlaith Conlon; Becky Watkins, Edel Kennedy, Aoibheann Clancy, Ciara Rossiter; Kylie Murphy, Jess Lawler, Ellen Molloy. Subs. - Michaela Lawrence for Molloy (24), Méabh Russell for Sinnott (46), Freya De Mange for Lawlor (71), Claudia Keenan for Williams (82), Áine Walsh for Rossiter (82), also Emma Walker, Siún Murdiff, Mia Lenihan, Aoife Mohen.

Treaty United: Trish Fennelly-Hunt; Alix Mendez, Laoise Brown, Kelsey Wing, Emma Deegan; Jesse Mendez; Grace McInerney, Allanah Mitchell, Kaeisha Tobin, Emily O’Halloran; Cara Griffin. Subs. - Esra Kangal for Tobin (66), Rosie Young for Griffen (66), Naoise Griffin for O’Halloran (66), Nessa Markham for Wing (79), Niamh O’Byrne for McInerney (79), also Amy Madden.

LEAGUE TABLE

P W D L F A PTS

Wexford Yths 23 16 4 3 52 22 52

Shelbourne 23 15 3 5 56 11 48

Peamount U 23 14 4 5 65 23 46

Athlone Tn 23 14 4 5 41 22 46

Galway 23 10 6 7 44 27 36

Bohemians 23 9 6 8 33 30 33

DLR Waves 23 8 7 8 35 25 31

Sligo Rovers 23 6 1 16 28 53 19

Cork City 23 5 0 18 21 74 15

Treaty Utd 23 0 2 22 4 92 1


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