Bus Eireann Womens National League
By Peter Doyle
Wexford Youth Women 2 DLR Waves 2
Despite the cold and breezy conditions, a good crowd of hardy souls ventured to Ferrycarrig Park last Saturday night to witness what turned out to be a thrilling and entertaining encounter between these two mid table sides.
Both were probably disappointed that they were not preparing for a day out in the Aviva Stadium the next day as both had lost out in the cup semi finals a few weeks previously so were left to wonder what might have been
Playing with the breeze, DLR began this game the more lively with the home side looking a little tired and not playing with their usual intensity and were allowing the visitors to dictate the pace of the game. On six minutes they were punished for this lack lustre attitude and Sharon Cullen put DLR ahead when the Wexford defence failed to deal with a simple ball and Cullen was on hand to give her side an early lead. The home side did try to get themselves into the game but DLR were taking advantage of the difficult breeze and their early lead and were pressing hard for a second goal reducing Wexford to long range efforts. Despite this early dominance, they found the home defence difficult to break down and slowly but surely, Wexford pulled themselves back into the game and on half hour both Niamh Nolan and Julia Testorp saw efforts go close.
The first half did little to generate any excitement in the 200 plus crowd and it almost looked like both teams were glad of the half time break.
DLR began the second half determined to increase their advantage and just after the hour mark they were rewarded when Louise Kearney was on hand to tap home after Mary Rose Kelly had pulled off a fine save from a Sylvia Gee free kick.
Going two goals down seemed to be the kick start Wexford needed and quickly pulled one back when Edel Kennedy worked hard to get on the end of a loose ball in the area to strike the ball to the net. For the remainder of the game, the home side exerted a lot of pressure on the visitors with Maria Delahunty hitting the crossbar with one of her now famous inswinging corners.
Disaster struck with five minutes remaining when Linda Douglas picked up a head injury and had to come off and as Wexford had used all three subs at that stage, they had to play out the remainder of the game with ten players. However, this did not affect their determination and continued to attack the DLR defence who seemed to be doing enough to hang on for the win.
Deep in injury time, Wexford were awarded a free near half way which Maria Delahunty floated in and substitute Amy Walsh jumped highest and headed to the net for the equaliser and moments later referee Mark Hogan sounded the final whistle.
DLR were disappointed to have allowed the three points slip away and felt the final free kick was a bit suspect but Wexfords determination in the final twenty five minutes was difficult to contain and a draw was probably the fairest result for both sides.
Sylvia Gee as always worked hard for DLR and was ably assisted by an impressive Aisling Byrne while goalkeeper Avril Kilkelly could do little about either goal and otherwise looked comfortable
After a drab first half performance Wexford picked up their game in the second half and Edel Kennedy, Ciara Rossiter and Maria Delahunty all worked hard to get the girls in Pink back into the game. Ashling Frawley also made an impact when she came on as sub and looked to be showing a return to her early season form. Wexford will also be delighted to see Kylie Murphy return from injury and put in a good performance when she came on as sub with twenty minutes remaining.
Galway are the next visitors to Ferrycarrig Park when they arrive next Saturday evening for a six o clock kick off
Wexford Youths Women: Mary Rose Kelly, Lauren Dwyer, Lucy Sherwin (Ashling Frawley), Laura Heffernan, Niamh Nolan (Amy Walsh), Linda Douglas, Edel Kennedy, Maria Delahunty, Ciara Rossiter, Claire O Riordan (Kylie Murphy), Subs not used: Tamara Furlong, Jessica Gleeson, Jenny Clifford, Rianna Jarrett
DLR Waves: Avril Kilkelly, Margaret Doyle, Rachel Doyle, Niamh Barnes, Louise Kearney, Sylvia Gee, Aisling Byrne, Michelle Dunne, Orlagh Nolan, Sharon Cullen, Avril Brearley, Jenny Ferrari, Zara Dillon, Danni Seales, Niamh Moran, Lauren Boles, Lauren Cavanagh
Referee: Mark Hogan Assistants: Darren Ennis and Seamus Kelly
Attendance: 220 (Estimated)