Se­nior camo­gie hopes hang­ing by a thread af­ter third de­feat

Gorey Guardian - - SPORT -

OF­FALY WEX­FORD 1-18 1-12

WEX­FORD ARE on the verge of an early Lib­erty In­sur­ance All-Ire­land Se­nior camo­gie cham­pi­onship exit af­ter slump­ing to their third con­sec­u­tive loss, this time against Of­faly in Birr on Satur­day.

Fol­low­ing an ex­pected de­feat to Cork in the open­ing game, Martin Carey’s young side have now slipped to con­sec­u­tive losses to medi­ocre teams Tip­per­ary and Of­faly to leave them on the brink of obliv­ion.

In­jury-rav­aged Wex­ford saw Chloe Foxe, Kate Kir­wan and Aoife Guiney all com­bine early on to send a ball to Anais Curran for the first score.

Laura Bren­nan made a smart stop from Ar­lene Watkins be­fore Linda Bol­ger and Shel­ley Ke­hoe set up Aoife Guiney to make it 0-2 to nil.

Siob­hán Flan­nery and Watkins re­sponded to level the scores for the hosts. A long ball sent in by Michaela Morkan was poked over the bar by Laura Bren­nan to give Of­faly a lead, and Sarah Harding opened her ac­count for the Faith­ful mo­ments later.

Af­ter Deb­bie Flynn made it 0-5 to 0-2, the Ke­hoe twins com­bined to set Anais Curran up with a lovely ball which she popped over the bar in the 16th minute. Ar­lene Watkins picked off an­other point un­der pres­sure and Siob­hán Flan­nery added a ‘45.

Sarah Harding’s score in­creased the lead to 0-8 to 0-3 be­fore Wex­ford were awarded a free af­ter Aine Lacey plucked a high ball from the sky and was fouled, with Linda Bol­ger con­vert­ing.

Shauna Sin­nott scored a lovely point from long range a minute later but it was quickly can­celled out at the other end by Sarah Harding.

Siob­hán Flan­nery made it 0-10 to 0-5 in the 29th minute, and the vis­i­tors were hit with a blow when cap­tain Shel­ley Ke­hoe picked up an an­kle in­jury and to be helped off the field. She was re­placed by Katie O’Con­nor.

Wex­ford came out fight­ing in the sec­ond-half. Stacey Ke­hoe sent a ball to Linda Bol­ger, the St Martin’s club­woman was fouled, and she popped the free over the bar.

Then, Joanne Dil­lon and Chloe Foxe com­bined to find Bol­ger. She passed it back to Foxe and the dual star buried it in the hosts’ net to put just one point be­tween the sides (0-10 to 1-6).

Shortly af­ter Bren­nan saved a Harding shot on goal, Bol­ger pointed to level the game in the 35th minute.

Wex­ford tried to push on but Michaela Morkan reg­is­tered to nudge her side ahead again. The killer score ar­rived when a ball, that was ini­tially saved on the line, was struck hard on the ground by Siob­hán Flan­nery and flew into the back of the net.

Linda O’Sul­li­van picked off a nice point from play be­fore Siob­hán Flan­nery put a free over the bar af­ter Derbhla Doyle was pe­nalised.

Of­faly, now fly­ing, added a Harding ‘45, af­ter Laura Bren­nan had made an im­por­tant block, to leave seven it at the end of the third quar­ter (1-14 to 1-7).

Ciara O’Con­nor sent a nice pass to Stacey Ke­hoe and the Ou­lart-The Bal­lagh woman picked off a lovely point. A minute later Wex­ford’s Linda Bol­ger added two more mi­nors from placed balls to nar­row the gap to just four.

Sarah Harding broke the Wex­ford run in the 52nd minute and Or­lagh Kir­wan fired a shot over the bar a minute later.

Watkins in­creased the ad­van­tage back to seven (1-17 to 1-10), and then Becky Bryant got her name on the score­sheet with two min­utes to go.

Wex­ford didn’t give up and Joanne Dil­lon and Linda Bol­ger added a point a piece, which could be vi­tal if qual­i­fi­ca­tion comes down to score dif­fer­ence.

If Carey’s side are go­ing to have any hope of qual­i­fy­ing for the quar­ter-fi­nals, they first need to beat Dublin in Wex­ford this com­ing week­end and hope Tip­per­ary de­feat Of­faly in The Ragg.

That would, math­e­mat­i­cally, keep their hopes alive for an­other week. Wex­ford would then need Tip­per­ary to beat Dublin, Cork to take care of Of­faly, and them­selves to thump Meath to po­ten­tially sneak through on score dif­fer­ence.

Even then the Slaneysiders would face a daunt­ing quar­ter-fi­nal op­po­site ei­ther Kilkenny or Gal­way, so there seems to be very lit­tle hope of a long sum­mer for the Wex­ford women.

Wex­ford: Laura Bren­nan; Derbhla Doyle, Ciara Storey, Aine Lacey; Stacey Ke­hoe (0-1), Jackie Quigley, Shauna Sin­nott (0-1); Shel­ley Ke­hoe, Chloe Foxe (1-0); Kate Kir­wan, Aoife Guiney (0-1), Linda Bol­ger (0-6, 3 frees); Anais Curran (0-2), Joanne Dil­lon (0-1), Ciara O’Con­nor. Subs. - Katie O’Con­nor for Shel­ley Ke­hoe, Lau­ren Mur­phy for Kir­wan, Leanne Fo­ley for Doyle.

Of­faly: Mairéad Jen­nings; Ann Marie Guinan, Tri­ona McDon­ald, Deb­bie Flynn (01); Grace Tee­han, Jean Brady, Róisín Egan; Or­lagh Kir­wan (0-1), Ar­lene Watkins (0-3); Siob­hán Flan­nery (1-4, 0-3 frees, 0-1 ‘45), Sarah Harding (0-5, 1 ’45), Michael Morkan (0-2); Gráinne Egan, Becky Bryant (0-1), Linda O’Sul­li­van (0-1).

Ref­eree: Cathal Egan (Cork).

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