Wexford ladies complete league hat-trick

Updated: Monday, 18 Apr 2011 13:32

Division 1 Champions - Wexford ladies completed a hat-trick of league victories
Division 1 Champions - Wexford ladies completed a hat-trick of league victories

Wexford were put to the pin of their collars but they found a way to quell the Galway resistance and in the process annex a third successive Irish Daily Star camogie league division 1 title at Semple Stadium.

The final margin was very flattering to the champions as the westerners pushed hard for 25 minutes at the end of the first half and the start of the second but were punished for failing to capitalise on some good opportunities.

Wexford threatened to put this to bed early on with a blistering start. Kate Kelly pointed a free after just 45 seconds before Una Leacy drove a blistering shot to the roof of the Galway net four minutes later.

Brenda Hanney opened the scoring for Noel Finn’s crew but Leacy responded with a brilliant point. Two further white flags from

Michelle O’Leary and Ursula Jacob stretched the advantage to six.
Galway began to get a foothold around the centre though and Orla Kilkenny supported Emer Haverty well to notch up a point.

Veronica Curtin twisted and turned brilliantly to add another from wide on the right after Aislinn Connolly had converted a free and, gradually, the Tribeswomen were back in the game.

Connolly added a couple of more scores and Susan Earner showed that her delayed arrival hadn’t affected her composure by reacting smartly to deny Holohan, meaning that Galway were going in at the break just 1-5 to 0-6 in arrears.

They continued their assault on the favourites in the third quarter, the Kilkenny sisters, Orla and outstanding half-back Niamh, bringing the sides level by the 36th minute.

Mary Leacy lofted over a mammoth free for Wexford from 60m but Connolly responded and Galway kept driving forward. The magnificent Catherine O’Loughlin and Mags D’Arcy denied Noreen Coen and Tara Rutledge goals, while Coen hit the upright and Connolly failed to convert a difficult opportunity from a free.

Galway would rue not managing to hit the front when Wexford were awarded a 49th minute penalty. It looked a generous award by referee Mike O’Kelly but Una Leacy drove low to the net and, despite playing second fiddle, Wexford were in front.

Smelling blood, the champions went for the jugular, adding 1-4 in the final 14 minutes including injury time, while Galway only managed a point.

Ursula Jacob’s 57th minute point was Wexford’s first from play in the second half but it mattered not and Una Leacy’s third goal, in the fourth minute of injury time, set the seal on the garnering of another trophy for the All-Ireland champions.