Wexford Hockey Club has been busy. Saturday’s action saw Wexford 1sts face UCD at home while Wexford 2nds faced table toppers YMCA 3rds in Dublin while on Sunday Wexford U16 1sts had a home game against Monkstown.
Wexford 1sts lined out against UCD in the division 4 of the Leinster League. A win would see Wexford leapfrog UCD into second place on the league table. The last meeting between these two sides ended in a 2-2 draw so Wexford knew this wasn’t going to be an easy encounter.
The game was played at a high tempo from the start flowing from end to end with Wexford perhaps having a slight edge over UCD in the early exchanges. The deadlock was broken when a quick free taken by Wexford found an enthusiastic forward running Leonie Grant on the top of the UCD circle, Leonie showcased her neat hockey skills to round the UCD keeper and slotted the ball home much to the delight of Wexford supporters on the sideline.
This goal settled the home side and allowed them to take charge of the game and dominate all over the pitch.
Wexford’s dominance paid off with a great piece of individual skill from Sharon Kenny who ran the base line with the ball and her dummy pass allowed her to neatly tip the ball pass the UCD goal-line after wrong footing their keeper.
UCD were left wondering how they could make their way back into this game but Wexford’s defence remained strong with Fiona Buttle in Wexford’s goal only having to make one vital save.
In the last quarter Wexford were awarded a short corner which Wexford took straight from the training pitch and switched it around the forward line and Sinead McDonnell got on the end of it and converted perfectly into the UCD net.
This was arguable Wexford’s strongest team performance with the full squad playing their part. UCD are an excellent side, third in the league table and Wexford certainly will have their work cut out to remain above them in the table for the rest of the season. A special mention to Leonie Grant on scoring her first goal for the club – congratulations Leonie.
The Wexford panel; Fiona Buttle, Ciara McGrath, Ciara O’Neill, Chloe O’Connor, Sinead McDonnell, Sinead Dempsey, Avril Jones, Ciara Pettit, Muireann McCarthy, Miriam Lambert, Louise Fanning, Sharon Kenny, Leonie Grant, Joanne Grant, Catriona Corcaran, Sally O’Connor.
Wexford 2nds made their way to Wesley College to face an unbeaten YMCA 3rds side. Wexford knew their opponents were tough having lost to them earlier in the season. YMCA had the better of the early exchanges and found themselves 1 – 0 early in the first quarter. Wexford regained composure with their best chance of the quarter coming from a breaking ball from Anna Finan to Maeve Buckley who passed it through to Sarah Jones whose shot went just wide of the post. The second quarter saw YMCA continue to pressurise Wexford and their quick, hard passing was rewarded with another goal. Wexford made some positional changes which saw Orla Nimmo introduced up front and within minutes Orla made her presence felt when she slotted home a superb pass from Anna Finan, the score now 3-1 to the hosts. The remainder of the first half saw some nice passages of play by both sides and YMCA scored their fourth of the tie when their short corner shot was deflected in off a Wexford stick.
The third quarter is one Wexford will want to forget when they conceded three goals in quick succession. YMCA weren’t finished and scored two more in the final quarter one from open play and one from a penalty stroke awarded at the end of the game.
Wexford will find it hard to take positives from the game, but despite the final score keeper Lizzie Walsh made some magnificent saves and double saves from the goal hungry YMCA forward line. YMCAs tactic of keeping their centre forward up high in the circle kept the pressure on the Wexford backline but Wexford were determined not to change their game plan and pushed forward consistently throughout the game. Wexford broke play down on numerous occasions in midfield and gained many a circle entry opportunity, indeed Wexford could have chosen a more defensive game stance however kept fighting for scores until to the final whistle, the final scoreline was not to be in their favour on this encounter.
Wexford 2nds Panel; Lizzie Walsh, Therese Finan, Edel Moran, Emer O’Rourke, Jeannine Dunne, Eileen Roe, Maeve Buckley, Anna Finan, Rosie O’Brien, Fiona McDermott, Cora Raftery, Sarah Jones, Orla Nimmo.
Sunday saw Wexford U16 1sts welcome Monkstown 2nds to Enniscorthy in a match refixed from December. The visitors were lucky to be awarded a penalty corner in the first few minutes and converted with a clean strike. Wexford needed to settle quickly after this, and they did with both sides playing a very fast paced game. It remained pretty even throughout the rest of the half with both defences standing firm. The score at halftime was 1-0 in Monkstown’s favour.
The visitors had the best start after the break and scored early on. This did not dishearten Wexford as they once again settled into their game and were finally rewarded when Rachel Murphy gave an excellent pass into the circle which found Laura Neville who calmly struck the ball into the Monkstown goal. Wexford continued to press hard for an equaliser, but it was not to be their day and the score line finished 2-1 to Monkstown.