A late Katrina Parrock goal kept Wexford Youths' treble dreams alive as they edged out a gallant UCD Waves in their Continental Tyres FAI Women's Cup semi-final at Ferrycarrig Park.

The favourites had to dig deep to book their place in the Aviva showpiece, but they did just that and when Parrock turned home an Aisling Frawley cross in the 83rd minute to give them the victory it was what their second-half performance deserved.

Wexford had the first sight of goal when Kylie Murphy headed a Doireann Fahey corner off target with just five minutes on the clock, but two minutes later UCD threatened when Leanne Payne got her head to a Rachel Doyle delivery, but like the Wexford Youths captain, her effort also drifted wide of the right post.

The Slaneysiders came close to making the breakthrough in the 18th minute, when Edel Kennedy controlled Lauren Dwyer's angled delivery into the box, but goalkeeper Erica Turner was out quickly to make the block and Katrina Parrock fired her follow-up effort wide.

UCD were back on the attack seven minutes later when Doyle whipped in a good cross from the right, but Payne's first-time effort flew wide.

McKenna Davidson entered the fray just before the half hour mark to replace the injured Becky Cassin, and minutes after being introduced she showed good footwork on the right, before teeing up Edel Kennedy, but the UCD defence were back in numbers to thwart the danger.

Without the menacing presence of the injured Rianna Jarrett up front Wexford Youths certainly lacked a focal point and the visitors really began to turn the screw as the half wore on as Tom Elmes' side struggled to get out of their own half.

Goalkeeper Sophie Lenehan had to be at her best to keep the Waves at bay in the 36th minute when Sinead Gaynor let fly from distance, getting a hand to her dipping effort to divert it over the bar, and Gaynor tried her luck again moments later, but this time her long-range effort was off target.

The league leaders needed to find an extra gear after the change of ends and that's exactly what they did to get on the front foot, but they still found in difficult to carve open the UCD defence.

Lauren Dwyer plundered the all-important equaliser in Wexford's previous game in Galway and she strode forward with purpose again in the 52th minute but her speculative effort lacked the power to trouble Turner.

Katrina Parrock then stuck the ball in the net in the 66th minute as the hosts began to pose more of a threat going forward, but the assistant's flag was up.

Ten minutes later Nicola Sinnott fizzed in a teasing delivery from the right but neither Kennedy or Parrock could get the vital touch and seconds later Turner was quickly off her line to deny McKenna Davidson as the Youths upped the ante.

The pressure finally told with just over seven minutes remaining as Davidson sent Aisling Frawley free on the right, and when the winger got to the byline and fizzed the ball across the face of goal Parrock was on hand to fire a right-footed strike to the corner of the net.

Substitute Ciara Delaney almost put the icing on the cake in injury time but her curling, long-range effort grazed the woodwork.

Wexford face Cork City at Ferrycarrig Park on Saturday evening, when three points would see them crowned Continental Tyres Women's National League champions.

Wexford Youths: Sophie Lenehan, Nicola Sinnott, Lauren Dwyer, Orlaith Conlon, Becky Cassin (McKenna Davidson 29), Aoife Slattery, Doireann Fahey, Kylie Murphy (capt.), Katrina Parrock, Edel Kennedy (Rachel Hutchinson 86), Aisling Frawley (Ciara Delaney 90+1).

UCD Waves: Erica Turner (capt.), Keelan McEntee, Katie Burdis, Alison O'Keeffe, Roisin McGovern, Sinead Gaynor, Chloe Mustaki (Kerri Letmon 76), Naima Chemaou, Rachel Doyle (Jess Morrissey 88), Sophie O'Donoghue, Leanne Payne.

Referee: Michelle O'Neill.

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