Women win thriller in Galway

Ceola Bergin and Aoibheann Clancy scored in the final three minutes as Wexford had a thrilling comeback win over League leaders Galway at Eamonn Deacy Park last night.

The three points brings Wexford up to fifth in the SSE Airtricity Women’s Premier Division table, Hugh Strong’s team securing back to back wins for the first time this season. There was more good news as Rianna Jarrett made her first appearance since August last year, the Wexford legend returning from injury.

It was very much a game of two halves, the hosts dominating the first with Wexford on top in the second. Galway came into the game in full confidence, unbeaten in twelve games and looking for another big win over Wexford after their 4-0 victory at Ferrycarrig in the last game of the 2023 season.

Wexford didn’t have much of the ball in the early exchanges, United slowly building from the back but not really testing Jayne Merren in the Wexford goal. The only shot she had to save in the first 45 was a daisy cutter from Rola Olusola in the 24th minute. Canadian striker Amanda Smith shot narrowly over just minutes before.

Wexford looked dangerous on the counter, Ellen Molloy gliding through challenges and forcing American keeper Jessica Berlin into a good save in the 33rd minute. Ciara Rossiter came close in the 36th minute, her right foot effort just wide.

It was like Wexford flicked a switch in the second half, putting the home team on the back foot with attack after attack. Molloy was at the centre of most of them, starting with a cracking left foot strike in the 47th minute that Berlin did well to save. Áine Walsh missed at the near post in the 51st minute and Bergin shot straight at the keeper five minutes later.

Teegan Lynch was inches away from opening the scoring in the 72nd minute, her right foot volley just too high. Against the run of play the hosts took the lead with fifteen minutes to go, Jenna Slattery with a clever free kick that caught Merren out.

Wexford kept their heads up however and got a deserved equaliser in the 87th minute, Bergin finding the corner of the net after a misplaced pass from the keeper.

The winner came in the 90th after Molloy was fouled by Dossen in the box, the referee pointing to the spot.

Up stepped Clancy with nerves of steel, the midfielder firing an unstoppable penalty past Berlin for the win.

Wexford FC Women: Merren, Russell, Tuthill, Doherty, Conlon, Rossiter, Murphy (c) (Lynch 46′), Clancy, Walsh (Jarrett 81′), Molloy, Bergin

Subs Not used: Williams, Nix, De Mange, Lenihan, Fitzpatrick, Healy, Sinnott

Galway United: Berlin, Costello, Beletic, Erickson, Dossen, Kinnevey, Slattery, McKey (c), Meaney, Olusola (Madden 74′), Smith

Subs Not Used: Hammer, O’Sullivan, Kavanaugh, Jacobs, Tyrrell, Duffy, Loomes, Grant

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