By Daragh Ë Conch·ir
Two goals inside the opening 10 minutes gave Wexford the breathing space to deny the Jane Adams-inspired Antrim in a cracking All-Ireland intermediate camogie final in association with RT+ Sport.
Adams fired a barely credible 13 points for the gallant Saffrons and hurled an amazing amount of ball but the lack of support for the O’Donovan Rossa star proved their downfall.
Antrim were trying to emulate Offaly, who by beating Wexford in last year’s decider, were following up on garnering a premier junior championship just 12 months previously.
This was Wexford’s day though and that cracking start enabled them to bury last year’s disappointment.
It began when Ciara O’Connor beat two defenders before hand-passing beyond MairÚad Graham in the eighth minute.
Less than 60 seconds later, Wexford had a second major as Fiona Rochford capitalised on some poor defendiong to send a first-time ground shot to the net. Louise Codd pointed soon after and it was plain sailing for the Yellowbellies.
Adams finally got Antrim off the mark with a 14th minute free and with the rearguard tightening up considerably after those early lapses, they had the margin down to three as their skipper added five points to leave them trailing 2-3 to 0-6 at half time.
Wexford resumed in determined fashion to stretch their lead to seven as Linda Bolger, SÝona Nolan and Tracey Nolan all shot a brace of points each.
It might have been even more promising as Bolger was bundled over by Graham for a 39th minute penalty but SÝona Nolan’s drive was deflected over the bar.
Adams continued to drive her side on from centre-forward and when placed ball opportunities were presented, the skipper made no mistake.
Four points in as many minutes, including two in the 57th by Michael Convery and Charlene Hamill, left three points between them again.
It was Adams who was involved in a last gasp bid to foil Wexford, as she was hauled down just outside the square. Her resultant free was blocked and cleared though, and Wexford held on for a deserved victory.
Scorers – Wexford: C O’Connor 1-3(0-1f); F Rochford 1-1; S Nolan (1 pen), L Codd, L Bolger, T Nolan 0-2 each
Antrim: J Adams 0-13(8fs, 2 45s); M Convery, C Hamill 0-1 each
Wexford: H Jacob; C Atkinson, B Holohan, F Doran; L O’Leary, – Codd, L Bolger; S Kehoe, S Nolan; L Codd, B Curran, S Redmond; C O’Connor, F Rochford, L Bolger. Subs: T Nolan for Curran (43); S Kehoe for L Codd (54)
Antrim: M Graham; C Carey, A Martin, A McCall; B Orchin, E Connolly, A Jackson; C Doherty, R Torney; M Convery, N McGuinness, C Hamill; K McAleese, J Adams, L McAleese. Subs: M McGourty for L McAleese (23); O O’Hara for K McAleese (36); L McMullan for McCall inj (46)
Referee: J Dolan (Clare)