Wexford Camogie Team Defeat Galway to secure a semi final place in the League
Well done to Katriona Parrock and Kate Kelly who lined out at wing and corner forward respectively.
THERE IS a special air surrounding the Wexford camogie side at the moment. An air of confidence, of expectation, of belief, of downright dogged determination, probably a combination of everything, but there is something strikingly different in the early stages of this new season.
One thing is for sure, the new manager, J.J. Doyle, has added a zip to every one of his players’ steps. It was there for all to see as Wexford battered Galway into submission in St. Patrick’s Park, Enniscorthy, on Saturday afternoon last.
Nothing solid could be taken from the facile victory over Dublin last week, but when the Tribeswomen come to town and get totally brushed aside it sends out a clear message. Yes, there were spells of pressure from the visitors, particularly in the first-half when they played with the aid of a stiff breeze, but Wexford coped admirably with the pressure, with Helena Jacob looking at home and comfortable in goal.
The competition for places helps too. The defence, caught cold in the opening minutes as they allowed Veronica Curtin time to blaze Galway ahead, again look to be a unit of interchangeable parts.
Karen Atkinson, superb against Dublin, dropped to the bench to be replaced by Noeleen Lambert, equally superb against Galway. Aoife O’Connor, in for Shelley Kehoe, excelled as you would expect her to. Deirdre Codd looks as comfortable at wing-back as she does at corner.
The stars of the first-half were undoubtedly Katrina Parrock and Kate Kelly. Against the breeze you need your big players to stand up and the aforementioned duo couldn’t have looked any taller. They shared the first-half salvo of 1-7 between themselves, Kelly grabbing 1-4 and Parrock 0-3. Pretty much every score involved both players in the creating role also, and you won’t see a better goal all summer.
Parrock picked the ball up, under pressure, and breezed past her marker, a scene repeated all day long. Breaking past several players and towards the ’20. she looked to be about to enter a cul-de-sac.
However, there are few around with better vision and she swung a majestic pass into the lap of an unmarked Kelly on the right and she, from a tight angle, pummelled a shot into the net, clipping the crossbar on the way past Susan Earner.
Coming out for the resumption of play, up by four (1-7 to 13), it’s unlikely many present would have expected anything other than a home victory. That confidence may well have been shaken when Cathy Bowes notched Galway’s second goal in the 34th minute. Now only up by two, there was a nagging worry that, of the forwards, only two had performed to their level in the firsthalf. Áine Codd grabbed a brace to dispel some doubts while a largely ineffective Una Leacy also picked up a score.
The introduction of Lenny Holohan had added some dynamism to the forward line at the break and, while she didn’t score, she added a dimension that proved invaluable in releasing space for others. One player that the introduction of Holohan helped was Ursula Jacob, a player quiet for most of the game but someone who popped up late in the day to fire over a clinching trio of minors. Also with a late score was Michelle O’Leary, a workhorse if ever there was one, who deserved the backing she got for firing over a rare point and in doing so helping to wrap up an eight-point victory.