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Edel Kennedy’s strike was enough for Wexford Youths AFC to land the inaugural Continental Tyres Women’s National League Shield final with a 1-0 win over Shelbourne Ladies.

 
The reigning WNL champions added the Shield to the Continental WFAI Cup they won last November as their successful streak rolled on.
 
The opening stages of the first Shield final at Ferrycarrig Park was a close affair with Claire O’Riordan finding the side netting for Wexford after 11 minutes.
 
While Orlaigth Conlon blocked Pearl Slattery’s close range strike after Wexford failed to clear Siobhan Killeen’s 32nd-minute corner, kept it nil all.
 
Wexford opened the scoring on 34 minutes, Ruth Fahy rising high to head a free kick off the inside of goalkeeper Amanda McQuillan’s post.
 
Kennedy raced to plant the ball into the empty net, her first goal in the shield campaign and her eighth goal in all competitions this season.
 
O’Riordan came close to doubling the lead three minutes later getting between Pearl Slattery and McQuillan to head Fahy’s cross goal bound, Keeva Keenan clearing off the line.
 
Shels came close to equalising 60 seconds after the restart, Tamara Furlong with a reflex save to deny Slattery’s header from Killeen’s corner.
 
O’Riordan showed great trickery on 50 minutes to nick the ball from Shels stopper McQuillan outside the box, McQuillan’s sliding tackle saw the ball fall to Linda Douglas.
 
Douglas however couldn’t get a shot away at the empty goal thanks to the pressure of Killeen.
 
Wexford settled into the second half with O’Riordan stinging the fingers of McQuillan on 59 minutes, the Wexford centre forward blasting straight at the Shels keeper.
 
Second-half substitute Alex Kavanagh made Furlong go full stretch to keep out her edge of the box effort, as Shels searched for an equaliser.
 
Leanne Kiernan pulled her attempted chip of Furlong wide with three minutes remaining, a big chance going a begging.
 
However it was to Wexford’s day as they now aim to complete a clean sweep of Continental Tyres Women’s National League trophies this season.
 
Wexford Youths AFC: Furlong, Gleeson, Kennedy, Conlon, Hansberry, Sinnott, Murphy, Cassin (Walsh 86), Douglas (Frawley 68), Fahy, O’Riordan (Wall 74).
 
Shelbourne Ladies FC: McQuillan, Keenan (Donnelly 61), Slattery, Walsh, Beirne, Killeen, Graham, Lynch (Kavanagh 74), Murray, Watters (Kiernan HT), Creagh.
 
Referee: Michelle O’Neill.

 

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