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Wexford 3-14
Offaly 0-5

While the second All Ireland semi-final never took flight as a contest, Wexford hurled impressively at times and will take beating in the decider.

Offaly have come a long way in a short time but this occasion, at the moment, was a step too far. A physically stronger Wexford side made all from the time Ursula Jacob pointed after 20 seconds.

The margin was 0-6 to 0-1 after 12 minutes, Jacob rising a second white flag. A neat effort from Arlene Watkins flicked the only riposte to opposition dominance. Two superb points by Kate Kelly, arrowed over from the heart of midfield, were highlights of an impressive early push.

All over the field, they were on top. Their defence, marshalled by imposing full-back Catherine O’Loughlin, granted no leeway whatsoever to the Offaly attack.

Injury to influential centre-forward Úna Leacy, early in the second quarter, seemed to stall the leaders’ momentum though and for 17 minutes, the only addition to the scoreboard was a Katrina Parrock point.

Wexford, so sharp and experienced at this stage, knew they needed more and delivered. Jacob goaled in the 29th minute, following a trademark delivery into the danger zone from Kelly. Now Model ascendancy was properly heavy, 1-7 to 0-1.
The challengers could muster no more in reply than an Elaine Dermody free. Eight down at the break, their situation swung between difficult and dire.

The second half never deviated from the first half’s script but to their credit, the Faithful contingent remained diligent, dotting the half hour with three points. They were never able to cut a deeper groove though, with Michaela Morkan the only figure in their front eight making any sort of headway.

Wexford cruised home, with Parrock striking for a brace of goals in the 41st and 47th minutes. The interplay was impressive, featuring a nice mixture of graft and craft, experience and exuberance.

Fíona Rochford was an impressive substitute, making a strong case for inclusion the next day by striking three points on the trot from the right corner. Her entry emphasised panel strength.

By the end, Kelly could afford to point a penalty in added time for that 18-point margin.

Offaly, previously the Cinderella county of camogie, may yet have their day at the ball. Meanwhile Wexford’s try for three in a row remains firmly on track.

WEXFORD: Mags D’Arcy, Claire O’Connor, Catherine O’Loughlin, Karen Atkinson (captain), Noeleen Lambert, Mary Leacy, Deirdre Codd, Michelle O’Leary, Kate Kelly 0-3 (1 pen), Louise Codd, Úna Leacy 0-1, Josie Dwyer, Lenny Holohan, Katrina Parrock 2-0. Subs: Fíona Kavanagh 0-1 for Úna Leacy (18m, inj), Fíona Rochford 0-3 for Ursula Jacob (50m), Shelley Kehoe for Michelle O’Leary (53m), Evelyn Quigley for Lenny Holohan

OFFALY: Eleanor Clendennen, Karen Brady, Tríona McDonald, Sheila Sullivan, Linda Sullivan, Lorraine Keena, Marion Crean, Siobhán Flannery 0-1, Fíona Stephens, Tina Hannon, Michaela Morkan 0-1, Jane Brady, Aoífe Kelly, Elaine Dermody 0-2(fs), Arlene Watkins 0-1. Subs: Órlagh Kirwan for Aoífe Kelly (42m), Leanne Scully for Fíona Stephens (42m), Éimear Mooney for Jane Brady (58m).

Referee: Owen Elliott (Antrim).

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