Sunday 27 May 2018

Maguire strike gives Blues momentum in Wexford upset

Further evidence of the increasing depth of talent in the game was provided as traditional superpowers Wexford and Galway were both beaten in the National League.

Dublin's 1-8 to 0-4 victory over Wexford was the headline result. While Wexford might be short a few players from last year's All-Ireland-winning side, they had beaten Galway in their opening tie.

Martin Lynch's outfit were second best throughout against the defensively sound hosts and Alison Maguire's goal right on half-time ensured a fair reflection of Dublin's superiority as they led 1-4 to 0-2.

Despite playing into a strong wind, the Blues maintained the momentum. Laura Twomey was a driving force from midfield and three points from Maguire plus another by Aoife Bulger extended the gap to nine. Bulger almost added a goal, but her shot hit the crossbar.

Dublin had enough in hand, though, and Ursula Jacob's two points for Wexford, including one from a late penalty, were not enough.

There was no debate about the merit of Clare's win either, as they came away from Ballinasloe on the right side of a 0-11 to 0-7 scoreline.

The visitors had the wind in the first half but Galway were on level terms at the end of the opening quarter, thanks to three points from Niamh McGrath. Naomi Carroll, excellent midfielder Niamh O'Dea and flawless free-taker Claire McMahon were on target for Clare.

The Banner women picked it up with four points in three minutes, three of which came from McMahon and they led at the change of ends by 0-7 to 0-4. They gave themselves a vital cushion by bursting out of the traps straight after the resumption. Four more points, with McMahon providing three, were crucial and though Galway registered the last three scores, Clare held on for victory.

Kilkenny were too strong for Tipperary at Semple Stadium where Leanne Fennelly scored 1-3 and Aoife Neary 0-5 in a 2-9 to 1-8 triumph.

Irish Independent

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