Wexford shocked National League Division One table toppers Galway at Ballinasloe today with a late goal, garnering two valuable points following their narrow 1-12 to 1-11 win. Victory for the westerners would have guaranteed them their place in the final next month, now their destiny will be determined by Cork and the Slaneysiders on April 5.
The Red and White should prevail at home to Limerick next weekend, and if they win away to Wexford, a play-off would be necessary between Galway, Wexford and Cork.
The visitors sowed the seeds with a solid first half performance after which they led 0-7 to 0-3 – Kate Kelly’s accuracy from placed balls crucial, plus points from Caroline Murphy and Ursula Jacob. Galway can be thankful to goalkeeper Susan Earner who denied Wexford on more than one occasion.
Galway switched Therese Maher out field from her full forward post for the second half and this had a telling effect, with the supply inside increasing. Gradually, they worked their way back, and despite the challenge being tough, top-scorer Jessica Gill converted a penalty on 50 minutes to bring them within two points. Gill drew them level soon afterwards and further white flags from Aisling Connolly and Gill moved them two clear with the clock ticking down.
Amid the excitement, Wexford with Deirdre Codd and Mary Leacy in fine form, won a close in free, and sub Una Leacy held her nerve to blast to the net for the winning score. Galway did have a chance to equalise, but a free from Gill (her only miss of the day) tailed wide.
Elsewhere, in Group Two, Kilkenny played out a thrilling draw with Tipperary at James Stephen’s GAA grounds. Their 2-7 to 1-10 score means these teams will have to meet again to see who goes through to the final. Claire Grogan’s haul of nine points helped her side overcome a half time deficit of 1-3 to 0-5. The Cats’ goal came from Marie O’Connor.
A second goal came from Edwina Keane, but the Premier girls got one of their own from Geraldine Kinnane. In the end it took a point from the impressive Katie Power to give Kilkenny another bit of the cherry.