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After their two hard-earned draws against Shelbourne Ladies and UCD Waves, Wexford Youths made the long trip West to face Castlebar Celtic. Castlebar, the league cup runners-up in 2013 and 2014, have had a major struggle this season with only 1 win from 8 league games, including an infamous 17-1 drubbing at the hands of Wexford Youths earlier this year.

 

There was a small cause for concern going into this game for the Youths also, as they were without all of their first choice forwards. With Claire O'Riordan suspended, Rianna Jarrett on a long-term injury absence and Carol Breen now abroad, it was left up to Amy Walsh and Aoibhinn Webb to lead the line for Wexford. Indeed Wexford Youths made a number of changes, with Tamara Furlong appearing in goal; a back four of Nicola Sinnott, Edel Kennedy, Ruth Fahy, Orlaith Conlon; Linda Douglas, Kylie Murphy, Emma Hansberry and Rachel Hutchinson in the midfield; and Amy Walsh and Aoibhinn Webb up front.

 

These changes did not cause any trouble for Wexford on the night, and Will Doyle's faith in Aoibhinn Webb proved to be well founded. The scoring was opened by Wexford's Aoibhinn Webb after a great piece of link-up play between herself and Rachel Hutchinson for 1-0 to Wexford Youths after just 15 minutes.

 

The lead was doubled just 3 minutes later. A superb long through ball by Kylie Murphy beat the entire Castlebar back line, allowing Edel Kennedy to finish for 2-0 to Wexford Youths. The result was put beyond doubt after 24 minutes when a cross from the left was not dealt with, giving Linda Douglas the chance for an easy short-range finish for 3-0 Wexford Youths.

 

Aoibhinn Webb even made a case for her inclusion in the starting eleven on the half hour mark, when she picked up her second goal of the night and the fourth goal for Wexford Youths. The ball dropped to Webb 20 yards out, and she showed excellent composure to make a controlled finish into the top right corner for 4-0 to Wexford Youths.

 

In truth Wexford were very comfortable throughout, with very few chances coming Castlebar's way for much of the game. The next major chance came in the second half, and it was yet again falling to Aoibhinn Webb. Webb took a shot from distance which was judged to have been blocked by a Castlebar hand, and the referee awarded a penalty to Wexford Youths. Aoibhinn Webb converted the penalty for 5-0 and a completed hat-trick for herself, a dream first start for her in 2016.

 

Castlebar picked up a consolation goal about ten minutes from the end, when Rachel Kearns made a solo run from the half-way line for 5-1, far too late for a comeback. 5-1 the final score on the night in Celtic Park, Castlebar.

 

Castlebar picked up a decent consolation goal just before the end, Rachel Kearns making a solo run from the half way line for 5-1, final score.

 

Elsewhere in the Women's National League, Galway United picked up a superb win away against Shelbourne ladies. Galway demolished the Dublin side 3-0, asserting their position as a force to be reckoned with in the Women's National League this year. Galway lead Wexford Youths by 5 points, with Wexford Youths having two games in hand. Wexford Youths are the only team to remain unbeaten in the league this year. Wexford Youths' next fixture is an away trip to Shelbourne on the 23rd, another critical fixture in deciding the Women's National League.

 

Wexford Youths Women's team: Tamara Furlong, Ruth Fahy, Orlaith Conlon, Nicola Sinnott, Edel Kennedy , Kylie Murphy (Becky Cassin), Emma Hansberry (Meghan Whitty), Linda Douglas, Amy Walsh (Aisling Frawley), Rachel Hutchinson, Aoibhinn Webb.

 

Author: Ronan McCarthy

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