Sunday 25 February 2018

Late Leacy goal sees Wexford defeat All-Ireland champions


Until Una Leacy's goal, the veteran Kate Kelly (Stock photo) had run the show. Photo: Sportsfile
Until Una Leacy's goal, the veteran Kate Kelly (Stock photo) had run the show. Photo: Sportsfile Newsdesk Newsdesk

Una Leacy pounced for a goal on the stroke of time to snatch a 1-9 to 0-9 victory for Wexford over All-Ireland champions Cork in their Liberty Insurance Senior Championship Group 1 tie at Innovate Wexford Park.

Until the goal, the veteran Kate Kelly had run the show with seven points. Orla Cotter (0-4) opened the scoring for Paudie Murray's crew but with Kelly so accurate, it was nip and tuck throughout.

The Rebels were dealt a blow when captain Ashling Thompson received a second yellow card - and with it her marching orders - in the 55th minute, her side trailing by a point.

Amy O'Connor equalised from a free but just as it looked like the spoils would be shared, Leacy arrived with her goal.

The result brought the Model County women level with Cork at the top of the table and they were joined by Offaly when Adrian Clancy's outfit overcame Limerick in a crunch tie at Kilmallock.

A brilliant defensive effort was central to the 1-16 to 1-10 success, as the midlanders managed to neutralise the threat of Niamh Mulcahy, holding her to five points.

At the other end, Michaela Morkan fired eight points while player of the match Tina Hannon struck for a crucial goal and added three points to give Offaly the win.

It is still all to play for in Group 1 and Limerick have a chance if they overcome Cork next weekend.

Meanwhile, Waterford secured their first senior Championship victory with two late points to make it 1-8 to 0-10 against Clare at Walsh Park. A penalty goal by Trish Jackman gave the hosts a 1-5 to 0-3 interval lead but Clare fought back and three points from Róisín McMahon edged them into the lead.

Waterford dug deep though, with Beth Carton equalising before Jackman converted a late 45. Elsewhere in Group 2, the ageless Louise O'Hara inspired Dublin to snatch a 0-14 to 2-8 draw with Tipperary at The Ragg, having trailed by five points with two minutes remaining.

Sarah O'Donovan gave Shane O'Brien's side the ideal start with a goal but Nicole Walsh was in brilliant form for Tipperary and her seven points gave them the upper hand.

There were 58 minutes elapsed when the 37-year-old O'Hara goaled from a free to add to her earlier two points. Ali Twomey put just a point between them with her fourth of the day before Síle Nic Coitir popped up to give the Dubs their first point of the campaign.

They will need to record a 26-point victory over Derry next weekend to leapfrog Tipp for the last quarter-final spot.

The Oak Leafers had a day to forget when suffering a 2-14 to 0-1 defeat at the hands of a slightly experimental Galway unit at St Brendan's Park, Loughrea.

Galway are assured of a place in the last six and will play Kilkenny next week. With score difference in the Noresiders's favour, the westerners will need to win to claim a semi-final berth.

Irish Independent

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