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O’Connell decides sensational replay in Dublin’s favour after brave Wexford rally

Sun 05th May

Daragh Ó Conchúir


By Dean Goodison
Dublin 1-19
Wexford 2-15
Ella O’Connell scored Dublin’s winner right on the hour as they claimed the Electric Ireland All Ireland Minor A Camogie Shield in Netwatch Cullen Park.

After a truly sensational replay from the off, the Dublin forward held her nerve from just inside the 45 to send the title back to the capital as normal time expired.

It was tough on Wexford, who gave as good as they got for the most part, but Dublin’s ability to pick off scores at will was the difference on a dramatic day in Carlow.

Dublin took advantage of the aiding breeze in the first half, racing away in the opening quarter. It was all working for the girls from the capital, with their forwards across the board winning their one-on-one battles and it led to a string of scores.

All the inside forward line had registered with seven minutes on the clock, with points from Beth Maguire and Gemma Connolly added to by a fine Emma Moran goal, dispatched to the net after she hauled in Anne Marie Durkan’s searching ball on the run.

Wexford were not getting the same joy at the other end, with clean shots hard to come by. A Shauna Mac Sweeney dead ball did have them on the scoresheet and Robyn Kinsella added a point from play but Dublin were 1-6 to 0-2 to the good after 15 minutes, with Eabha Gannon and Eimear Kehoe the latest to add their names to the growing scoresheet.

While the Slaneysiders continued to struggle to slow down Dublin in the second quarter, there were signs that they were growing into the task at the other end. Karen Hayden scored a lovely point and Abbie Doyle notched one up too as the gap shrunk to five.

Back came Dublin with a Gannon brace but twice Wexford went close to goals in quick succession, with both Bolger and Kinsella firing narrowly over the crossbar. Yet with three of the last four scores, including one each for Liadh Murray and O’Connell, the Metro girls went into the break 1-11 to 0-7 ahead.

The intensity from Wexford was much improved at the start of the second half and they scored five of the first seven points to get back into the contest, including a brace from Kinsella. However, Dublin seemed to have steadied the ship after introducing Caitlin McKenna and moved 1-16 to 0-12 ahead after 47 minutes.

Wexford got the goal they needed when Kavanagh’s long ball appeared to deflect off the hand of Kayla Reddy and wrong-foot Mia Farrell in the Dublin goal. With the intensity through the roof, Dublin maintained a four-point lead until the 56th minute.

Another long ball into the goalmouth saw Reddy pull onto the post, with Doyle flashing the rebound to the net. Layla Stafford levelled the score in the 59th minute after Kavanagh was fouled out on the left wing to set up the grandstand finish.

However, Dublin grabbed the winning score through O’Connell, with Stafford’s late 45 drifting agonisingly wide.

SCORERS FOR DUBLIN: C McKenna 0-5 (3fs, 1 45); G Connolly, E Gannon (fs) 0-4 each; E Moran 1-1; E O’Connell 0-2; B Maguire, E Kehoe, L Murray 0-1 each.

SCORERS FOR WEXFORD: A Doyle 1-2; R Kinsella 0-4; S Mac Sweeney 0-3 (2f, 1’45); K Reddy 1-0; K Bolger, K Hayden (1f) 0-2 each; C Kavanagh, L Stafford (f) 0-1 each.

WEXFORD: J Duggan, E O’Leary, L Maddock, K Flood, R McGonigle, E O’Brien, R Egan, L Stafford, O O’Rourke, K Bolger, R Kinsella, L Goggins, K Hayden, S Mac Sweeney, A Doyle. Subs: K Reddy for Egan (31), C Kavanagh for Mac Sweeney (35), J Murphy for Hayden (59).

DUBLIN: M Farrell, A Kane, S Ó Riain, É Caffrey, A O’Shea, AM Durkan (capt.), E Maher, E Pennie, E Gannon, E Kehoe, L Murray, E O’Connell, B Maguire, G Connolly, E Moran. Subs: C McKenna for Gannon (41), R Gaughran for Maguire (54), L Conaghan for Pennie (60+1).

REFEREE: Michael Ryan (Tipperary).

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