Wick­low re­cover from Wex­ford de­feat with Of­faly scalp

Bray People - - SPORT - KEVIN STA­PLE­TON at New­town

NEW­TOWN played host to the Wick­low ladies and Of­faly on Sun­day as the Gar­den county looked to bounce back from their de­feat to neigh­bours Wex­ford the pre­vi­ous Satur­day. Paul McLough­lin’s side wel­comed back Sarah Ho­gan who missed last week’s game with in­jury but, un­for­tu­nately, Lau­rie Ah­ern had not re­cov­ered from her knock she picked up in the de­feat.

Wick­low started very brightly in the down­pours of rain with Laura Ho­gan knock­ing over three points in the open­ing 10 min­utes.

The Wick­low cap­tain was in­stru­men­tal in the open­ing half hour for her side with clever link up play and it was her and sis­ter Sarah who played a part in set­ting up Ge­orgina Cana­van for Wick­low’s fourth score of the game.

Of­faly were play­ing against a very strong wind in the open­ing half but the Wick­low de­fence was in in­spired form and thwarted many at­tacks in the open­ing quar­ter.

On the one oc­ca­sion they man­aged to break through the de­fence, the Faith­ful county found Wick­low goal­keeper Kim Con­nors was re­pro­duc­ing a goal­keep­ing mas­ter­class which she had dis­played the week pre­vi­ous.

It was at this point cor­ner-for­ward Amy Mur­phy re­ally kicked into gear. The An Tochar woman re­cov­ered from her ear­lier dis­ap­point­ment of a missed goal chance to beat her op­po­nent and coolly slot the ball into the Of­faly net.

Not con­tent with one goal, Of­faly goal­keeper Ann Daly thwarted an­other goal bound ef­fort but a move in­volv­ing Laura Ho­gan, Sarah Mi­ley and Amy Ryan re­sulted in a sec­ond ma­jor in three min­utes for the sharp­shooter.

A quick counter at­tack from an­other Of­faly at­tack found Laura Ho­gan on the end of a quick move to give Wick­low a 2-5 to 0-0 lead af­ter 20 min­utes.

The duck was fi­nally bro­ken by the mid­land county af­ter 23 min­utes with cor­ner-for­ward Elisha Fleming rais­ing a white flag.

He­len Hensey added an­other shortly af­ter be­fore Ge­orgina Cana­van seen her ef­fort on goal tipped over the bar by Ann Daly leav­ing Wick­low 2-6 to 0-2 up at the in­ter­val.

Wick­low’s tac­tic of drop­ping Rose Fa­gan back had worked well in the first half and the St Patrick’s club­woman helped turn de­fence into at­tack along­side mid­fielder Molly Cullen nu­mer­ous times in the first half.

This com­bi­na­tion again as­sisted Laura Ho­gan open her ac­count for the sec­ond half with a great team score into the breeze.

De­spite play­ing with a gale­force, Of­faly could not trou­ble Wick­low at all in the sec­ond half. The full-back line of Emily Mul­hall, Sarah Jane Win­der and Aine Byrne kept a very tight ship and were ably as­sisted by a half-back line of will­ing run­ners.

Of­faly only broke through twice in the sec­ond half scor­ing two points from He­len Hensey and Amy Gavin Man­gan. The Wick­low man­age­ment sprung a num­ber of changes from the bench and must be thrilled with the im­pact th­ese play­ers can have.

Sub­sti­tute Katie Mi­ley scored a won­der­ful point into the gaelforce wind, which added to her im­pres­sive goal against Wex­ford.

Ella Do­ran was an­other sub­sti­tute who also was not afraid to get on the ball and take on her op­po­nent. With the game reach­ing its dy­ing em­bers and the rain still pour­ing down onto the New­town pitch, Lorna Fus­cia­rdi saw her ef­fort bounce back off Ann Daly in the Of­faly goal and into the path of goal poacher ex­traor­di­naire Amy Mur­phy who wrapped up her hat trick.

Laura Ho­gan scored her sixth point from a free deep in in­jury time to wrap up a com­pre­hen­sive 3-9 to 0-4 score line and progress on to play Kil­dare next week­end with a morale boost­ing victory in the bag.

Wick­low: Kim Con­nors; Emily Mul­hall, Sarah Jane Win­der, Aine Byrne; Lorna Fus­cia­rdi, Sarah Mi­ley, Sarah Ho­gan; He­lena Dowl­ing, Molly Cullen; Ge­orgina Cana­van (0-2), Laura Ho­gan (0-6), Amy Ryan; Amy Mur­phy (3-0), Rose Fa­gan and Marie Kealy. Subs: Katie Mi­ley (0-1) for He­lena Dowl­ing, Lau­ren Rowe for Sarah Ho­gan, Ella Do­ran for Amy Ryan, Chelsea Snell for Ge­orgina Cana­van, Shauna Ber­ming­ham for Kim Con­nors, Ais­ling McDon­ald for Amy Mur­phy

Of­faly: Ann Daly; Noelle Egan, Tri­ona McDon­ald, Michelle Guinan; An­nie Ke­hoe, Emma Ma­her, Sarah Bracken; Amy Gavin Man­gan (0-1), Lor­raine Kenna; Grainne Nolan, He­len Hensey (02), Bernie Walsh; Elisha Fleming (0-1), Jessie O’Con­nor and Katlin Rigney.

Wick­low’s Laura Ho­gan bursts for­ward dur­ing the clash with Of­faly in New­town last Sun­day af­ter­noon.

Wick­low’s Ella Do­ran in posses­sion dur­ing the Le­in­ster cham­pi­onship bat­tle with Of­faly.

Wick­low’s Molly Cullen bat­tles with Of­faly’s Amy Gavin Man­gan.

Wick­low man­ager Paul McLough­lin at the game on Sun­day.

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