Sunday 18 November 2018

Rianna returns as Parrock takes a bow in Wexford Cup victory

Wexford Youths1 Peamount Utd 0

Cup that cheers: Lauren Dwyer. Photo: Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile
Cup that cheers: Lauren Dwyer. Photo: Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile

John Fallon

A dose of risk and reward did the trick for Wexford Youths as they claimed the FAI Women's Cup for the second time in four years.

In the first instance, winning manager Tom Elmes took a mighty risk in starting Rianna Jarrett less than a month after the striker fractured a bone in her foot playing for Ireland in Poland.

Wexford’s players celebrate after beating Peamount in the FAI Women’s Cup final. Photo: Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile
Wexford’s players celebrate after beating Peamount in the FAI Women’s Cup final. Photo: Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile

Then, after forging ahead through Katrina Parrock's close-range finish 11 minutes before the break, they might easily have conceded a couple of penalties from challenges which didn't need to be made.

They were certainly fortunate that Orla Conlon's push on Amber Barrett on the stroke of half-time didn't result in a spot-kick.

Two more similar incidents followed in the second-half, yet the fact Barrett tumbled theatrically for the first probably went against her when cleaner contact brought her down in stoppage-time.

"A lot of decisions didn't go our way," said Peamount United manager James O'Callaghan of referee Vicki McEnery's performance.

"We had a stonewall penalty in the first-half turned down and might have had another one later on.

"The defeat is difficult on the girls because I thought we were the better team."

That assertion was open to debate as Wexford recovered from a sluggish start to dominate the latter stages of the first-half.

Parrock, who won four All-Ireland Camogie titles with Wexford, made it count by brushing off the challenge of Lauryn O'Callaghan from Emma Hansberry's cross to prod the ball home.

It was a deficit Peamount seldom looked like cancelling out.

Once Wexford had survived a glaring miss by Eleanor Ryan-Doyle shortly after taking the lead, they seemed perfectly satisfied to allow their opponents take possession.

It left Naoisha McAloon rarely troubled in goal.

The best that the Dubliners could muster in the second-half were a couple of shots from distance by Barrett and Karen Duggan.

Wexford, hammered 5-0 by Shelbourne in the final two years ago, displayed enough nous to see out the contest.

To take the next step, such as competing for progression in the Champions League, Elmes is adamant more resources are required.

No Irish team has ventured beyond the knockout stages since Raheny United in 2014. Indeed, his team needed a late winner against Linfield in August to avoid finishing bottom of the group.

"If we're to do more than just participate, we need more support from the club," he said.

Having a player for the big occasion like Parrock has certainly enhanced their cause.

The 28-year-old admitted afterwards she rekindled her love of sport following the change of codes last year and would welcome a call-up by Colin Bell ahead of next year's European Championship qualifiers.

The Ireland squad are in transition and how they could do with Parrock's input.

"I felt I'd ticked every box in Camogie so hopefully I can push on now with the football," she said.

"I played once for Ireland's U-19s years ago, but getting a senior Ireland cap would be a nice achievement."

WEXFORD YOUTHS - S Lenehan; N Sinnott, L Dwyer, O Conlon, D Fahey; K Murphy; E Hansberry, E Kennedy, A Frawley, K Parrock (M Davidson 79); R Jarrett (O Casey 71).

PEAMOUNT UTD - N McAloon; L O'Callaghan (L Masterson 90), L Corrigan, C Moloney, L McCartan (C Walsh 56); N Farrelly, K Duggan; A O'Gorman, E Ryan-Doyle, M Lynch (D Beirne 64); A Barrett.

Ref - VMcEnery (Westmeath)

Irish Independent

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