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The first league meeting between Wexford Youths and UCD Waves was always likely to be a thrilling encounter, and the healthy crowd gathered at Ferrycarrig were not to be disappointed on this cold evening. With only Wexford, UCD and Shelbourne looking at all likely of competing for the league title, the results against our near rivals are paramount.

The Youths lined up almost as expected with Tamara Furlong, Ciara Rossiter, Nicola Sinnott, Ruth Fahy, and Edel Kennedy defending against the expected threat of UCD's Irish international Aine O'Gorman, while Linda Douglas, Emma Hansberry, Kylie Murphy, Becky Cassin, Ashling Frawley and Claire O'Riordan would lead the attack.

 

In their famous last encounter at Jackson Park the Youths had caused all sorts of problems for UCD through set-pieces, and it proved to be the same again tonight as the first chance fell to Wexford after nine minutes when UCD goalkeeper Monica Maguirk struggled to clear the ball off her own goal-line from a Youths free-kick. Two minutes later another Youths set piece caused the damage, a Youths corner was allowed by UCD to travel all the way to the far post where Linda Douglas managed to scramble it into the back of the net for 1-0 to Wexford.

 

UCD fought back hard immediately led by an excellent Aine O'Gorman, who got the equaliser on 22 minutes in a goal-mouth scramble when she first hit the bar with a shot, Julie-Ann Russell followed up by hitting the post before O'Gorman won a 50-50 with the last Youths defender for 1-1.

UCD then took the lead ten minutes later when the Youths lost the ball in their half, which enabled Julie-Ann Russell to deliver a superb near-post cross to Aine O'Gorman who headed it home for 2-1. The Youths were behind for the first time ever this season, and responded to the challenge ably. The lead was to last only 2 minutes, when practically from the kick-off Claire O'Riordan made a driving solo run through the middle, rounded the UCD defence and although Maguirk was able to get a hand to O'Riordan's first effort, the follow up was stuck firmly into the back of the net for 2-2. With 7 minutes to go Kylie Murphy made an excellent left-footed effort which UCD keeper Maguirk was able to palm around the post for a corner. In the dying moments of the first half, Claire O'Riordan set up Kylie Murphy for a right-footed effort from distance which was unstoppable, giving the Youths a 3-2 lead at the end of half time. A thrilling half of football from the two teams who knew that the league could well depend on this result.

 

The second half was slightly less intense affair, as the Youths managed largely to negate UCD's threat. Six minutes after the restart the ball dropped to Becky Cassin just inside the UCD penalty area, who finished well into the roof of the net for 4-2 to Wexford. UCD rarely threatened from then on, and Wexford happily played the game out to the finish. On 60 minutes, Aoibhinn Webb came on in place of Becky Cassin in the centre and with 15 to go, Clare Conlon came on for an excellent substitute appearance in Linda Douglas's place. Third substitute for Wexford was Orlaith Conlon in place of Ciara Rossiter, with only one final threat from UCD at the end when Tamara Furlong had to pull off an excellent close-range to keep the final score at 4-2. The battle between Aine O'Gorman and Ruth Fahy was well worth the entrance money alone with the latter getting the sponsor's award as woman of the match.

Author: Ronan McCarthy

CURRENT STANDINGS

League of Ireland First Division

    Pld +/- Pts
6 Longford 28 8 37
7 Wexford FC 28 -25 19
8 Athlone Town 28 -50 17

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Under 19 - Southern Division

    Pld +/- Pts
8 Cabinteely 18 -14 18
9 Wexford FC 18 -15 16
10 Bray Wanderers 18 -24 10

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Under 17 - Southern Division

    Pld +/- Pts
8 Kerry League 20 -20 22
9 Wexford FC 20 -17 19
10 UCD 20 -20 15

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Under 15 - Group 3

    Pld +/- Pts
1 Waterford 10 14 22
2 Wexford FC 10 17 20
3 Limerick 10 9 18

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Women's National League

    Pld +/- Pts
1 Wexford Youths WFC 18 18 40
2 Peamount Utd 18 24 38
3 Shelbourne LFC 18 35 31

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