It was six of the best as champions Wexford Youths returned to the top of the Só Hotels Women’s National League table thanks to an impressive first half quick-fire hat-trick from Rianna Jarrett.

Determined to return to winning ways following an away defeat to title rivals Peamount United in the last series of games, the visiting league champions came out all guns blazing at a rain-swept Markets Field.

Played in poor conditions, neither side let the significant surface water impact on their dedication to playing an attacking style of football, as goals from Kylie Murphy, Katrina Parrock and Vanessa Ogbonna added to a difficult afternoon for David Rooney’s home side.

With just two minutes gone, Murphy took full advantage of some poor defending to give Wexford an early lead.

Latching on to a well-thought out squared ball from Parrock, Murphy edged the ball over the line – a sign of things to come.

Not put off by the poor conditions, Wexford stuck to their trademark quick passing high pressure game and Tom Elmes’ side were duly rewarded when Parrock pounced on a mistake at the back before curling the ball into the far corner to double the visitors’ lead.

In an end-to-end game, Limerick did have their chances and just past the ten-minute mark Sylvia Gee’s superb free-kick was equally met by Maeve Williams in the Wexford goals.

Two minutes later, Wexford should have made it three, but Karen Connolly superbly saved with her feet as Rianna Jarrett was set to pull the trigger – last season’s top goalscorer was kept at bay for the time being.

Wexford’s movement proved too much for a young Limerick side and the league champions were three goals to the good when Jarrett’s low freekick from the edge of the box left Connolly rooted to her spot.

Moments later, it went from bad to worse for the hosts as the ever-prolific Jarrett doubled her tally while grabbing Youths’ fourth of the afternoon, almost immediately after the restart.

Rooney’s young guns, who were still switched off, left Jarrett in plenty of space as the 2018 Women’s National League Player of the Year coolly slotted home, adding to Limerick’s misery.

Jarrett completed her hat-trick as she found herself one-on-one with Connolly yet again – superbly blasting home to make it five-nil to Tom Elmes’ determined side.

To their credit, Dave Rooney’s side kept battling away and came close in the 37th minute but Shannon Parbat could only watch on as the in-form Williams denied the Limerick’s lone striker from close range.

In a lacklustre second half, Wexford seemed more than content to hold on to their comfortable lead and with the introduction of Vanessa Ogbonna this allowed Jarrett to drop into a much deeper role.

Less than five minutes after her appearance as a substitute, Ogbonna headed home an in-swinging Doireann Fahey freekick to put six between the two sides.

Sylvia Gee managed to pull one back for Limerick, but her impressive effort proved to be a mere consolation as the veteran midfielder found the net from long-range against a strong wind in the Garryowen venue.

Limerick dug in determinedly thereafter and as the game filtered out, Wexford ran out more than comfortable winners in their quest to retain that much sought-after league title.

Limerick: Karen Connolly; Meg Brennan (Anna Shine 56 mins), Clodagh Doherty, Megan Kelleher, Chloe Willis (Amber Kenny h/t), Sophie Liston, Marie Curtin, Carys Johnson, Sylvia Gee, Lauren Keane, Shannon Parbat (Maura Shine 76 mins)

Wexford Youths: Maeve Williams; Orlaith Conlon, Lauren Dwyer (Sarah McKevitt 70 mins), Aoife Slattery, Doireann Fahey, Lauren Kelly, Becky Cassin, Kylie Murphy, Edel Kennedy (Vanessa Ogbonna 51 mins), Katrina Parrock (Ciara Delaney h/t), Rianna Jarrett

Referee: Dermot Broughton (Limerick)

We use cookies to improve our website and your experience when using it. To find out more about the cookies we use and how to manage them, see our Privacy Policy.

I accept cookies from this site