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Goals in each half from Ellen Molloy helped secure a 2-2 draw for Wexford Youths Women FC in their first pre-season friendly game of the year at a sun drenched UCD Bowl this afternoon. The hosts DLR Waves had an impressive second half showing which almost saw them take the win, Molloy's equaliser coming in the 85th minute after Zoe Leonard and Carla McManus had cancelled out Youths 1-0 halftime lead.

Lynn Marie Grant made her Youths debut starting in midfield alongside Aoibheann Clancy and the former Forth Celtic star put in an impressive performance. Molloy had Wexford in front with a well taken left foot finish in the 19th minute, the young Kilkenny star finishing off a flowing move, Ciara Rossiter with the assist. Youths had started the better by this time, Kylie Murphy with two good early chances before that opening goal arrived, she headed over in the 8th minute and was inches away with a curling right foot effort shortly after. Wexford continued to dominate after the first goal, Grant was unlucky to see her right foot shot saved by the busy Badana after a fantastic turn on the edge of the Waves box. Clancy was next to test the home keeper with a long range effort in the 35th minute but Badana got down well to tip the ball around the post, Aisling Frawley forced another decent stop minutes later. The familiar looking Youths defence of Nicola Sinnott, Lauren Dwyer, Lolloy Conlon and Ciara Rossiter looked solid throughout, Kate Mooney's near post flick over the closest DLR came to troubling Ciamh Gray.

The second half continued in a similar fashion, Murphy and Kira Bates Crosbie combined well in the 53rd minute to create another good goal scoring opportunity but Badana was excellent again to deny the Youths captain. She was at it again on the hour mark, this time stopping Murphy's header after an excellent cross from Grant. Three more Wexford debutants were introduced in the second 45, Kim Flood and Katie O'Regan slotting in at centre back. Both girls did well on their first outing at this level, as did Freya DeMange who came on for her first senior appearance after an excellent year with Youths U17s last season.

As more second half changes from both teams were made the momentum gradually changed. Now it was the Dublin side looking more dangerous and DLR were level in the 65th minute, Zoe Leonard with a tidy finish from close range shortly after her introduction. Four minutes later and they were in front, Carla McManus through on goal and the striker calmly found the back of the net with a right foot finish past Maeve Williams (who had replaced Gray at halftime). Youths young keeper kept her side in it with a good save low to her right in the 83rd minute and that proved hugely important in the end, Molloy firing in the equaliser just two minutes later with an unstoppable right foot finish.

Honours even at the final whistle, a fair result on the day. Youths are back in the capital in six days time, Bohemians the opponents in another pre-season friendly.

Wexford Youths Women FC: Ciamh Gray, Nicola Sinnott, Lauren Dwyer, Lolly Conlon, Ciara Rossiter, Edel Kennedy, Aoibheann Clancy, Lynn Marie Grant, Aisling Frawley, Ellen Molloy and Kylie Murphy (c).  Subs all Used: Maeve Williams, Lauren Kelly, Sinead Taylor, Lynn Craven, Kira Bates Crosbie, Freya DeMange, Kim Flood and Katie O'Regan.

DLR Waves Starting XI: Eve Badana, Katie Burdis, Jess Gleeson, Rebekah Carroll, Nicole Keogh, Niamh Barnes, Fiona Donnelly, Kate Mooney, Kerri Lennon, Shauna Carroll and Katie Malone.

Pictures: Lynn Marie Grant (top) and Edel Kennedy




League of Ireland First Division

    Pld +/- Pts
8 Cabinteely 23 -18 22
9 Cobh Ramblers 22 -23 19
10 Wexford FC 23 -25 15

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Women's National League

    Pld +/- Pts
2 Shelbourne 19 31 46
3 Wexford Youths Women FC 18 34 43
4 DLR Waves 17 13 32

Full table


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