Wexford 1-7 Kilkenny 1-6
Denis Hurley, Semple Stadium
Ursula Jacob’s point in the eighth minute of injury time gave Wexford victory in the Camogie National League Division 1 final at Semple Stadium on Saturday.
An otherwise-uninspiring game had a grandstand finish as a goal from Kate Kelly early in the second half looked to have been the deciding score when Wexford led 1-5 to 0-6 in injury time, but Marie Dargan’s goal then seemed to have stolen victory for the Cats only for Una Leacy to level for the Model County before Jacob’s winner.
Kelly’s strike 30 seconds after half-time put the Model County into a 1-3 to 0-4 lead, having trailed by a point at the interval, and they never relinquished their advantage. Kelly was the top scorer for Wexford, shooting three points in addition to her goal, while centre-back Mary Leacy was excellent as part of their defensive unit and Aoife Neary was good for Kilkenny.
The first half, while lacking in scoring as Kilkenny led 0-4 to 0-3 at the break, was not without its chances though. As early as the third minute, Michelle Quilty almost found the net for the Cats, doubling on a Marie Dargan ball in, but Mags D’Arcy pulled off a great save.
After Caroline Murphy then gave Wexford the lead with the opening score, Josie Dwyer was unlucky not to goal for the Model County, her kicked effort after a scramble coming back off the crossbar, while Fiona Kavanagh also shot wide soon after.
A Kate Kelly free doubled the Wexford lead before two in three minutes, from Dargan and Michelle Quilty, had Kilkenny level, and, after Wexford’s Katrina Parrock was denied by a good CatrÝona Ryan save, Aoife Neary and Denise Gaule had Kilkenny two clear as half-time approached, though Kelly halved the deficit in the final minute of the half.
Less than 30 seconds after the restart, Kelly then ran through the Kilkenny defence unimpeded and finished to the net to make it 1-3 to 0-4 for Wexford, and despite Aoife Neary cutting the lead to just a point soon after, Kilkenny couldn’t find a leveller.
Amazingly, 15 minutes passed before the next score, with Kelly converting a free and sub Ursula Jacob then scoring a fine point to give Wexford some breathing space in the form of a goal lead.
Neary, Kilkenny’s main scoring threat, did get a point with seven minutes left to reduce the deficit to two, and though Quilty did have a late goal chance, shooting wide, Wexford looked as if they would hold on despite late Kilkenny pressure, before the drama at the end.
Scorers – Wexford: K Kelly 1-3 (0-3f), C Murphy, U Leacy 0-1 each, U Jacob (0-2)
Kilkenny: Marie Dargan 1-1, A Neary 0-3 (0-1f, 0-1 45), D Gaule 0-1, Michelle Quilty (0-1)
WEXFORD: M D’Arcy; C O’Connor, C O’Loughlin, K Atkinson; N Lambert, M Leacy, D Codd; J Dwyer, C Murphy; K Parrock, M O’Leary, K Kelly; F Kavanagh, U Leacy, L Holohan.
Subs: U Jacob for Parrock (45).
KILKENNY: C Ryan; A Butler, C Doherty, J Frisby; K McDonald, L Fennelly, E Aylward; K Fennelly, D Gaule; A Dalton, K Power, M Dargan; M Quilty, D Delaney, A Neary.
Subs: A Farrell for K Fennelly (21, injured), S Farrell for D Delaney (half-time), E Keane for Gaule (47), C Dormer for Quilty (58).
Referee: A Lagrue (Kildare).