Wexford 1-12 Wicklow 0-11
STRONG second-half performance from Wexford secured their place in the quarter-finals of the TG4 All-Ireland Intermediate championship in Baltinglass on Sunday, overcoming Wicklow one week after accounting for Offaly in Bellefield.
It was an evenly-matched and highly competitive first-half. Róisín Murphy and Aisling Murphy opened up a two-point lead for the visitors inside the first five minutes, but Wicklow levelled after points from Sarah Delahunt and Laura Hogan.
Jackie Kinch was called into action early on and made a fantastic save to deny Aisling Murphy from close range to keep her clean sheet intact.
Bernie Breen added another point for Wexford before Wicklow opened up a two-point advantage after scores from Sarah Delahunt and two from Marie Kelly.
Just after the quarter of an hour mark, Wexford did find a goal. Caitríona Murray linked up with Aisling Murphy before side-footing the ball into the bottom corner to restore her side’s lead.
Laura Hogan and Méadbh Deeney kept Wicklow’s tally ticking over, but two points from Aisling Murphy on the cusp of half-time put Wexford one point ahead.
With the interval fast approaching, Wicklow were awarded a free just outside the 21-yard line. Marie Kelly made no mistake, and the sides went in level at half-time (1-5 to 0-8).
Wexford came out at a ferocious pace for the second period and showed why they came so close to an Intermediate All-Ireland title last year.
Shauna Murphy, Caitríona Murray and Amy Wilson opened up a three-point advantage for the visitors before Clara Donnelly scored a brilliant point after some fantastic football from Wexford.
The hosts had to wait until the 50th minute for their first score of the second-half, which came through a Marie Kelly free.
Aisling Murphy and substitute Amy Wilson continued to show their scoring abilities in abundance towards the latter stages of the second period to put daylight between the teams
Marie Kelly added another two frees late on for Wicklow, but it wasn’t enough for the Garden county side who will now face Offaly in a winner-takes-all clash for the last available quarter-final place, with Leitrim – Wexford’s third and final group opponents – out of contention after two losses.
As well as Wexford, the other teams with confirmed places in the last eight to date are Clare, Louth, Roscommon, Longford, Tyrone and Laois.
Wexford: Deirdre Fox (Shelmalier); Sarah Harding-Kenny (Shelmalier), Shauna Murphy (Shelmalier, 0-1), Amy Walsh (Blackwater); Orlagh Kehoe (Baile Dubh Tíre), Róisín Murphy (Shelmalier, capt., 0-1), Clara Donnelly (Shelmalier, 0-1); Bernie Breen (Baile Dubh Tíre, 0-1), Ciara Banville (Taghmon-Camross; Sherene Hamilton (Ballygarrett-Réalt na Mara), Tara Doyle (Ballygarrett-Réalt na Mara), Ellen O’Brien (Adamstown); Kellie Kearney (Shelmalier), Aisling Murphy (Gusserane, 0-4), Caitríona Murray (Clonee, 1-2). Subs. – Amy Wilson (Castletown, 0-2) for Doyle (30), Anne Byrne (Clonee) for O’Brien (54), Cathy O’Brien (Adamstown) for Kearney (56).
Wicklow: Jackie Kinch; Jackie Byrne, Sarah Hogan, Lucy Dunne; Shannagh Goetelen, Sarah Jane Wilder, Helena Dowling; Sarah Delahunt (0-2), Niamh McGettigan; Niamh Cullen, Aoife Gorman, Méadbh Deeny (0-1); Amy Burke, Laura Hogan (0-2), Marie Kealy (0-6, 5 frees). Subs. – Sive Byrne for J. Byrne (56), Síofra Adams for Burke (50), Clodagh Fox for Deeny (50).