Women through to Cup Semi-Final after 3-2 win in Belfast

First half goals from Ceola Bergin, Freya De Mange and Áine Walsh saw Wexford FC Women through to a second consecutive Avenir Sports All-Island Cup Semi-Final after a 3-2 win over Linfield FC Women at New Midgley Park in Belfast on Saturday.

Wexford will now await the winners of Galway vs Treaty in the last four of the competition.

Kylie Murphy and Ciara Rossiter joined the injury list and were unavailable for selection at the weekend, Nicola Sinnott returning to the starting line up and leading the team out. Freya De Mange was making her 50th senior appearance for the club and the talented young midfielder celebrated in spectacular fashion with a worldie.

It was a cautious enough start, the sides meeting for the first time since 2019. However Wexford began to get a stranglehold on the game and opened the scoring in the 12th minute, Bergin scoring her sixth goal of the season after a lovely through ball from Ellen Molloy, the teenage striker with a confident right foot finish past the keeper.

The hosts were level just two minutes later when Northern Ireland international Kerri Halliday found the corner of the net from the edge of the box.

Then a moment of magic from De Mange who put Wexford back in front straight from the restart with an audacious lob of the keeper from the semi-circle. De Mange has scored some incredible goals for the club, starting with our Development squad and then right up through the U17s and U19s but this topped them all.

The chances kept coming in an exciting opening half of football, Ferreira firing over for the hosts and Ellen Molloy curling a left foot effort just wide in the 38th minute. Nicole Nix had to be at her best to tip a goal bound effort away in the 40th minute.

Wexford would go in at the break with a two goal lead however, Áine Walsh thumping a right foot finish past Currie after another quality assist from Molloy in the 44th minute.

Wexford started the second half well with good efforts from Molloy and Walsh but the home team were right back in it on the hour mark with another cracking goal from Halliday, a right foot curling shot this time into the top corner.

That spurred the Blues on and they pinned Wexford back with their best spell of the game. Despite forcing a number of corners and free kicks Nix wasn’t really tested however.

Wexford fans were delighted to see a welcome return to action for Grace Fitzpatrick-Ryan in the 75th minute, the young defender making her first appearance since suffering an ACL injury in May 2023.

It was Wexford who created the best chances late on, Mia Lenihan just wide with a right foot shot and Della Doherty coming even closer – rattling the Linfield crossbar with a wicked effort in the 82nd minute.

Wexford played out the final few minutes comfortably and booked a well deserved spot in the Avenir Sports All-Island Cup Semi-Finals.

Wexford FC Women: Nix, Russell, Tuthill, Sinnott (c), Conlon (Doherty 82′), Clancy, Lynch (Fitzpatrick-Ryan 75′), Walsh (Jarrett 82′), De Mange (Lenihan 59′), Molloy, Bergin

Subs Not Used: Williams, Merren, Healy, Fitzpatrick

Linfield FC Women: Currie, McMaster, Sweetlove, Hutton, Fitzsimmons (Leckey 58′), Chambers (Leckey 92′), Halliday, Hampton, Breen (Myles 83′), Ferreira (Knox 58′), Reilly

Subs Not used: Donnan, Johnston, McConnell, Marks, Gargan

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