A crushing defeat
Bad injury for Leacy in camogie loss
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).