A crush­ing de­feat

Bad in­jury for Leacy in camo­gie loss

Gorey Guardian - - SPORT - DEAN GOOD­I­SON in Dun­more

KILKENNY WEX­FORD 5-13 0-12

IT’S BACK to the draw­ing board for Martin Carey and his Wex­ford side af­ter Kilkenny shred­ded them in the Le­in­ster Se­nior camo­gie cham­pi­onship semi-fi­nal in Dun­more on Sun­day.

With just four weeks to go un­til the All-Ire­land se­ries gets un­der way with a game against Cork, the Slaneysiders were well off the pace set by the league cham­pi­ons in their own back yard.

As if the per­for­mance was not wor­ri­some enough, in­juries to Una Leacy and Amy Cardiff threaten to put a real span­ner in the works lead­ing into the most im­por­tant stretch of the sea­son.

Ou­lart-The Bal­lagh at­tacker Leacy went down scream­ing in agony and clutch­ing her knee three min­utes into the sec­ond-half. She was down on the pitch for eight min­utes be­fore be­ing helped off and even­tu­ally stretchered away.

Cardiff was left nurs­ing her shoul­der af­ter a com­ing to­gether in added-time. She was un­able to con­tinue and Wex­ford fin­ished with 14 play­ers, hav­ing used all their five sub­sti­tu­tions ear­lier in the sec­ond-half.

Plus points will be hard to pull out of this per­for­mance for Carey. The corner-for­wards looked lively when they got good pos­ses­sion, Cardiff had a de­cent game be­fore the in­jury, and Lau­ren Mur­phy’s me­te­oric rise con­tin­ued with her Se­nior de­but com­ing in added-time.

How­ever, that’s about it. Of par­tic­u­lar con­cern will be how eas­ily Kilkenny cre­ated goal chances. In the first-half in par­tic­u­lar they saun­tered through time and again and they wouldn’t have been flat­tered by a goal tally in dou­ble fig­ures come full-time.

There was a stark con­trast in how both sides dealt with dan­ger. Kilkenny re­fused to al­low a goal chance, to the ex­tent that they con­ceded two penal­ties in the first eight min­utes, pre­vent­ing clear op­por­tu­ni­ties.

If there was a les­son to learn from this game it’s the cyn­i­cal way in which the hosts dealt with dan­ger. At this level at­tack­ers can’t be al­lowed run through the heart of de­fence, and giv­ing up a point from a free is al­ways a win in that sit­u­a­tion.

Those two penal­ties yielded Wex­ford one point, as the first Leacy ef­fort was saved, and the sec­ond flashed over the cross­bar. It was a huge win for a Kilkenny side which hadn’t even scored their own first ma­jor at that stage.

Joanne Dil­lon and Aoife Guiney were fouled for the two early penal­ties. The lat­ter was also on tar­get with a point in the first nine min­utes as Wex­ford went 0-3 to 0-2 down, de­spite the sprightly start from their corner-for­wards.

Laura Brennan had made an ear­lier save from Ju­lianne Malone but there was noth­ing she could do when Miriam Walsh got in to hand­pass to the net. It was the same method of com­ple­tion mo­ments later when Michelle Quilty made it 2-3 to 0-2.

A cou­ple of Linda Bol­ger points and a Dil­lon point got Wex­ford within four but to­wards the end of the half Walsh net­ted her sec­ond and Shelly Far­rell beat Brennan with a smash­ing fin­ish - al­though the ball was clearly over the side­line in the build-up but was not called by the lo­cal mas­querad­ing as a lines­per­son.

Down by 4-7 to 0-6 at the break, the game was pretty much over as a real con­test. That feel­ing was em­pha­sised fur­ther when Leacy was in­jured shortly af­ter the re­sump­tion and it took all the air out of pro­ceed­ings.

Dil­lon saw her shot saved by Emma Ka­vanagh but her side did get a cou­ple of classy points from Cardiff and Bol­ger added three more too.

How­ever, it was Kilkenny who scored the game’s fifth and fi­nal goal in the 58th minute when Far­rell fired through a hole in the net for her sec­ond ma­jor.

A rocket of a pulled shot by Stacey Kehoe couldn’t beat the Kilkenny stop­per late on but, af­ter good play from Lau­ren Mur­phy won her side a free, Jackie Quigley got her­self on the score­sheet to leave 16 be­tween the sides at the fi­nal whis­tle.

Wex­ford clearly have a lot of work to do ahead of their trip down to Cork on June 9. They fol­low up that cham­pi­onship opener with a home game against Tip­per­ary two weeks later.

Wex­ford: Laura Brennan; Derbhla Doyle, Sarah O’Con­nor, Ciara Storey; Jackie Quigley (0-1 free), Shel­ley Kehoe, Ciara O’Con­nor; Una Sin­nott, Amy Cardiff (0-2); Stacey Kehoe, Shauna Sin­nott, Linda Bol­ger (0-5, 3 frees); Aoife Guiney (0-2), Una Leacy (capt., 0-1 pen.), Joanne Dil­lon (0-1). Subs. - Chloe Foxe for S. Sin­nott (31), Anais Curran for Leacy, inj. (41), Katie O’Con­nor for Storey (50), Aine Lacey for U. Sin­nott (55), Lau­ren Mur­phy for Bol­ger (60+2), also Emma Kiely, Aoife Mc­Crea, Chloe Cashe, Orla Mol­loy, Emma O’Con­nor, Sor­cha Fo­ley, Alan­nah Davis, Kate Kir­wan, Anna Hen­nessy, Me­gan Cullen.

Kilkenny: Emma Ka­vanagh; Co­lette Dormer, Cather­ine Fo­ley, Grace Walsh; Claire Phe­lan, Anne Dal­ton (0-1), Ed­wina Keane; Meighan Far­rell, Denise Gaule (0-3 frees); Kellyanne Doyle, Katie Power (0-1), Shelly Far­rell (capt., 2-3); Ju­lianne Malone (0-1), Miriam Walsh (2-2), Michelle Quilty (1-2). Subs. - Michelle Tee­han for G. Walsh (46), Grace O’Donnell for Quilty (49), Ni­amh Deely for Doyle (58), Jenny Clif­ford for M. Walsh (59).

Ref­eree: Ray Kelly (Kil­dare).

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