Wexford 2-11 Offaly 0-8
Wexford played a solid game on a difficult heavy pitch in Banagher on Sunday against Offaly in round three of the Littlewoods National Camogie League Division 1.
This team is building in confidence with every game, and with Wexford greats Stellah Sinnott and Margaret Leacy added to Martin Carey's management team, there is now a wealth of experience on the sideline.
Linda Bolger opened Wexford's account with a pointed free two minutes into the game after Jackie Quigley was fouled. Two minutes later an Emma Walsh pass to Joanne Dillon saw her drill to the back of the net as Wexford showed their intent.
Amy Cardiff and Dillon combined to get a ball into Una Leacy and she pointed in the sixth minute.
Rathgarogue-Cushinstown clubwoman Dillon was instrumental in the next score too, as she sent a lovely ball into Chloe Foxe who struck a superb point from play.
Offaly picked up from the puck-out and pointed through Kate Kenny to get the hosts onto the scoreboard. Both sides battled hard for possession but the heavy ground made the ball difficult to pick up at times.
Gráinne Dolan popped over the bar in the 15th minute. A little later Offaly were awarded a free when Sarah O'Connor tried to make her way through heavy traffic and was judged to have overcarried. Michaela Morkan took it and pointed to make it 1-4 to 0-3.
After Shelley Kehoe was fouled, Linda Bolger shot and put it over the bar. Then, in a lovely piece of work, Amy Cardiff and Aoife Guiney combined to send a ball into Una Leacy and the Oulart-The Ballagh star rattled the net in the 23rd minute.
Emma Walsh supplied a lovely ball to Chloe Foxe who took a shot on goal but her effort was stopped on the line by alert 'keeper Eleanor Clendennen. The save kept the hosts in touch at the break, trailing by 2-4 to 0-3.
Early in the second-half Wexford were awarded a free when Linda Bolger was fouled, and she took it herself and pointed. When Emma Walsh was pushed in the back, Bolger picked out Chloe Foxe and she finished with a well-taken point.
Shortly after Róisín Egan registered, there was some great tussling for possession before Jackie Quigley plucked a ball from the air and finished with a well-taken point. Offaly were awarded a free which Michaela Morkan took and sent over the bar (2-7 to 0-5).
When Aoife Guiney was held at the other end, Linda Bolger pointed from the resulting placed ball. Offaly won possession from the puck-out and Debbie Flynn popped over a point.
Aoife Guiney found Kehoe and she sent it over the bar as Wexford ended the third quarter 2-9 to 0-6 ahead. An Offaly free was taken by Michaela Morkan and she made no mistake a little while later.
The hosts went on the attack again and crowded towards the goal. Amy Cardiff had no option but to try to close the player down, but she infringed and a penalty was awarded to Offaly. Arlene Watkins stepped up and popped it over the bar in the 49th minute.
Both sides continued to battle for possession with conditions underfoot making it difficult to gain control. Wexford picked off the last score with a Linda Bolger free three minutes into injury time to cement a nine-point victory.
After this good Wexford performance, they travel to face Galway in the final round on February 25. In all likelihood that clash will decide who takes the second semi-final spot and a place opposite the Group 2 winners.
Wexford: Emma Kiely; Derbhla Doyle, Shauna Sinnott, Ciara Storey; Katie O'Connor, Sarah O'Connor, Amy Cardiff; Emma Walsh, Shelley Kehoe; Jackie Quigley (0-1), Chloe Foxe (0-2), Linda Bolger (0-5 frees); Joanne Dillon (1-0), Una Leacy (1-2), Aoife Guiney. Subs. - Clodagh Jackman for K. O'Connor, Stacey Kehoe (0-1) for Dillon, Una Sinnott for Walsh.