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Kennedy class shines bright in Wexford’s win

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Edel Kennedy, left, and Ciara Rossiter of Wexford Youths celebrate following the 2021 EVOKE.ie FAI Women's Cup Final.

Edel Kennedy, left, and Ciara Rossiter of Wexford Youths celebrate following the 2021 EVOKE.ie FAI Women's Cup Final.

Edel Kennedy, left, and Ciara Rossiter of Wexford Youths celebrate following the 2021 EVOKE.ie FAI Women's Cup Final.

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Edel Kennedy went from picking the ball out of the net to nearly bursting it at the other end in Wexford’s FAI Cup final win over Shelbourne.

Having had to play as a makeshift goalkeeper in Youths’ defeat to Shels on the extraordinary final day of the SSE Airtricity Women’s National League season, Kennedy was back playing in her customary position of centre-back for the cup final.

She ended up scoring the clinching goal late on, when she sent an arrowing, thunderous long-range strike into the corner to seal a 3-1 win over the newly crowned league champions.

The FAI subsequently launched an investigation into the game after Wexford brought on Teegan Lynch, despite her having not been named on the official team sheet in what has been reported as being an “administrative error.”

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For their part, Shelbourne released a statement that they had not reported the incident to the FAI and that they believed that they had been beaten by the better team on the day and congratulated Wexford on winning the cup.

Over in Scotland, it was a bittersweet weekend for Claire Walsh, who started in Glasgow City’s 5-1 hammering of Motherwell. However, as a result of an injury, she has been forced to withdraw from the Ireland squad ahead of their World Cup qualifying double header against Slovakia and Georgia.

Her fellow Irish international, Louise Quinn was in action as Birmingham City started life without manager Scott Booth with a 5-0 defeat at the hands of Chelsea, who closed to within a point of league leaders Arsenal as a result.

Back over in Ireland, where Bohemians missed out on automatic European qualification by the slightest of margins after drawing 1-1 with Sligo Rovers in the SSE Airtricity Men’s Premier Division. Stephen McGuinness was on the bench as the Gypsies salvaged a point through Georgie Kelly. They were unable to capitalise on this however, and now must beat St. Patrick’s Athletic in the FAI Cup final to guarantee European football for 2022.

Back over in Scotland, where Daire O’Connor started for the first time since September 25 as Ayr United lost 3-0 to Dunfermline. The Arklow-native, having recent recovered from a shoulder injury, played the first 70 minutes before being withdrawn, as The Honest Men lost for the fourth time in five games.

Elsewhere in Scotland, Liam Scales was an unused substitute in Celtic’s 1-0 win over St. Johnstone in the Scottish Cup semi-final.

Down South in England, Pierce Sweeney started as Exeter City extended their unbeaten run to 20 games in all competitions, as well as recording their fifth win on the bounce in League Two, by besting Carlisle 2-1. The win sends them into second place in the division, just two points off leaders Forest Green.

There was less luck for Simon Power and Harrogate Town as they lost 2-0 to Salford City, with the Greystones native playing the first 53 minutes before being substituted.

Finally, Conor Carty played 90 minutes as the Wolves under-23s beat Birmingham 2-1.


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