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A Rianna Jarrett double earned Wexford Youths a precious three points as they kept the pressure on leaders Peamount United with a hard-fought victory over Cork City in their Só Hotels Women’s National League encounter in Ferrycarrig Park.

Everything looked to be going according to plan for Tom Elmes' side when Jarrett broke the deadlock shortly after the midway point in the first-half, but they were rocked back on their heels before the interval when Eabha O'Mahony equalised from the spot.

The champions are made of stern stuff though, and Jarrett expertly added her second twenty minutes after the break, and that moment of magic proved to be the winning goal.

Katrina Parrock had a gilt-edged opportunity to fire the hosts in front with six minutes on the clock when Rianna Jarrett squared the ball into her path, but the winger was denied by a fine double save from goalkeeper Maria O'Sullivan.

Cork went close to taking the lead two minutes later when Christina Dring volleyed narrowly wide of the right post, but the Youths managed to get their noses in front in the 28th minute.

The goal came from a predictable source, with Doireann Fahey finding Rianna Jarrett with a cross from the left wing, and the Irish international had time to allow the ball to bounce in front of her before confidently depositing a shot into the far corner of the net.

Wexford began to play with more purpose and Jarrett threatened to add a second eight minutes before the break when she made room for the shot and forced O'Sullivan to knock her powerful effort around the post.

However, Cork City were right back in it four minutes later when Eabha O'Mahony clinically blasted a penalty to the right-hand corner of the net after Christina Dring's neat foot work drew a foul in the box.

The home side got back on the front foot after the change of ends and came close to regaining the initiative in the 58th minute when McKenna Davidson found Jarrett on the right wing with a beautifully-flighted pass.

Jarrett whipped an inviting cross into the box which Kylie Murphy threw herself at, but the captain's effort was always rising over the top.

Wexford introduced Edel Kennedy and Aisling Frawley from the bench just after the hour mark and moments after entering the fray the former wriggled free on the edge of the area, but her shot was straight at O'Sullivan.

The Slaneysiders were back in front in the 65th minute and it was a piece of brilliance from Jarrett that did the damage, as she turned on a sixpence just inside the penalty area and planted an unstoppable shot into the corner of the net.

The striker almost produced a carbon copy a minute later when she gathered a pass from Kennedy, but her shot went the wrong side of the right post.

Jarrett clearly had a hat-trick in her mind and she curled over a free-kick with 19 minutes remaining and moments later she cut inside and forced a fine save out of O'Sullivan, while Lauren Kelly almost got in on the act, but she scooped Doireann Fahey's cross over the crossbar.

To their credit Cork City continued to give it their all and substitute Maggie Duncliffe fizzed a speculative, first-time effort wide, and there was controversy deep into injury time as Christina Dring's shot hit the back of the net, but referee Fran Sinnott had blown for a free in to the visitors a fraction of a second earlier.

Wexford Youths: Maeve Williams, Becky Cassin, Ciara Delaney, Orlaith Conlon, Doreann Fahey, Aoife Slattery (Edel Kennedy 61), McKenna Davidson (Aisling Frawley 61), Kylie Murphy (capt.), Lauren Kelly, Katrina Parrock (Lauren Dwyer 81), Rianna Jarrett.

Cork City: Maria O'Sullivan, Nathalie O'Brien, Ciara McNamara, Emma Farmer, Shaunagh McCarthy, Danielle Burke (Maggie Duncliffe 74), Zara Foley, Eabha O'Mahony (Eadaoin Lyons 88), Riona Crowley (Rachel O'Regan 46), Katie McCarthy (capt.), Christina Dring.

Referee: Fran Sinnott.

 

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