Wexford con­tinue on their remarkable run

Sunday Independent (Ireland) - Sport - - COMMENT -

WEXFORD YOUTHS’ 1-0 vic­tory over Peamount United in last Sun­day’s women’s FAI Cup fi­nal was the lat­est tri­umph for a remarkable team. In the past five sea­sons Wexford have won four league ti­tles, two cups and two dou­bles.

It seems fit­ting that the win­ning goal re­sulted from a com­bi­na­tion be­tween Rianna Jar­rett and Ka­t­rina Par­rock. Jar­rett must be one of the most re­silient in­di­vid­u­als in Ir­ish sport. The tal­ented 24-year-old has suf­fered three an­te­rior cru­ci­ate lig­a­ment in­juries but keeps on bounc­ing back and was the league’s top scorer with 27 goals.

Hav­ing re­cently suf­fered a bro­ken toe, Jar­rett was ex­pected to miss the fi­nal but not for the first time she de­fied the odds to make a sig­nif­i­cant con­tri­bu­tion. Goalscorer Par­rock, a three-time All-Ire­land camo­gie win­ner with Wexford and All Star in 2010 and 2011, has been some­thing of a cup spe­cial­ist with the win­ner in the semi-fi­nal against UCD and two against Cork City in the quar­ters.

IT’S hard to be­grudge Red Star Bel­grade their 2-0 vic­tory over Liver­pool. The Ser­bian League which Red Star rep­re­sent is ranked 28th in Europe, be­tween those of Bul­garia and Kaza­khstan, and they en­tered the com­pe­ti­tion in the first qual­i­fy­ing round all the way back in June.

The 2-0 win over two legs against Lat­vian champs Spar­taks Jur­mala hardly promised great things, but Red Star kept chug­ging along, beat­ing Slo­vakia’s Sparta Tr­nava af­ter ex­tra-time and qual­i­fy­ing for the group stages proper with an away goals de­feat of Red Bull Salzburg.

Their de­feat of Liver­pool is about as seis­mic a shock as you can get not least be­cause, de­spite all the ex­pen­sive at­tack­ing talent the vis­i­tors had at their dis­posal, the two goals came from Mi­lan Pavkov who cost €300,000 and has yet to be capped for Ser­bia. Score one for the lit­tle guys.

I’M no fan of Jose Mour­inho but the furore over his cupped ear ges­ture to the Ju­ven­tus fans on Wed­nes­day is lu­di­crous. As he pointed out him­self, the home crowd had been taunting him all through the 90 min­utes and can hardly get the hump if the op­po­si­tion man­ager has a small go back. That Mour­inho would have had an almighty crib if some­one had done the same on his home turf doesn’t make the hoo-hah any less daft.

It’s in­ter­est­ing to com­pare this syn­thetic out­rage storm with the ap­par­ent lack of con­cern be­ing shown about the rev­e­la­tions by the Ger­man mag­a­zine Der Spiegel of how Manch­ester City sys­tem­at­i­cally cheated UEFA’s Fi­nan­cial Fair Play reg­u­la­tions. By rights City should be thrown out of Euro­pean com­pe­ti­tion yet there seems to be a re­luc­tance to face up to their par­tic­u­lar brand of skul­dug­gery.

Far bet­ter to bang on about Mour­inho of­fend­ing against some non-ex­is­tent code of sports­man­ship. Dis­place­ment ac­tiv­ity they call it.

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