Title-chasing Wexford Youths had to settle for a share of the spoils as they were held to a scoreless stalemate by Galway in a hard-fought Continental Tyres Women's National League encounter at Ferrycarrig Park.

The draw was enough to put Wexford a point clear at the top of the table, but having lost 3-2 to reigning champions Shelbourne during the week, the Slaneysiders were hoping to bounce back with a win that would would give them a semblance of breathing space at the summit.

The hosts were short on attacking options, with Claire O'Riordan, Aoibhin Webb, Aisling Frawley and Rianna Jarrett absent due their involvement with the Irish World University Games squad.

Galway were also missing key players with Shauna Fox also making the trip to Taipei, while Lisa Casserley was due to join her in the tournament in the Taiwanese capital but was forced to miss out due to injury, with Jarrett taking her place.

The westerners, who are on a high after recently beating UCD Waves to earn their fourth win of the campaign, were first to threaten with Lynsey McKey hitting a shot into the side netting after Grainne Barrett's corner fell into her path.

In the 12th minute, Wexford FC had their first sight of goal and it was also from a set piece, as Emma Hansbery's corner was met by the head of Kylie Murphy, but the effort was blocked, with Nicola Sinnott following up with an acrobatic looping effort that was comfortably cleared off the line.

In the 35th minute, Lauren Dwyer plundered possession and her shot from just outside the area was creeping just inside the left-hand post, but Tina Hughes got a hand to it to turn the ball around the post.

Then in the 41st minute a few hearts skipped a beat among the Galway contingent when Kylie Murphy picked out Linda Douglas with a searching pass and the winger was upended inches outside the area.

Emma Hansbery tooked the resulting free-kick but her dipping effort flew over the crossbar.

Lynsey McKey then manufactured a good opportunity for the visitors a minute before the interval when she made room for herself and sent in a teasing cross from the left, but Sadhbh Doyle failed to get a firm connection on her header.

Wexford Youths created the first opening of the second-half, but Edel Kennedy's 50th minute shot was narrowly off target, and on 65 minutes the home side came within a hair's breath of taking the lead.

Dead-ball specialist Hansbery fired in a sensational 30-yard free-kick which Tina Hughes tipped on to crossbar, with substitute Katrina Parrock following up, but her strike was deflected wide.

Moments later Sophie Lenehan had to make an even better save at the other end, when she dived full length to claw away Graine Barrett's powerful header from a Lynsey McKey cross.

Lenehan was again forced into a spectacular instinctive stop when Aislinn Meaney's delivery was deflected towards her own goal by Jess Gleeson, but the netminder reacted quickly to avert the danger.

Lynsey McKey threatened deep into injury time as she hared forward with menace, but a timely challenge from Jess Gleeson stopped her in her tracks.

Wexford Youths Women: Sophie Lenehan, Nicola Sinnott, Orlaith Conlon, Jess Gleeson, Lauren Dwyer, Kylie Murphy (capt.), Becky Cassin, Linda Douglas, Orla Casey, Emma Hansbery, Edel Kennedy. Subs. - Katrina Parrock for Kennedy (57), also Jenny O'Keeffe, Sadbh McCarthy, Siobhán Doolan.

Galway WFC: Tina Hughes, Rachel Baynes, Chloe Singleton, Keara Cormican, Meabh De Burca (capt.), Tessa Mullins, Sadhbh Doyle, Grainne Barrett, Therese Hartley, Aislinn Meaney, Lynsey McKey. Subs. - Lucia Lobato for Hartley (56), Lucy Hannon for Barrett (73), Aoife Walsh for Baynes (79), also Megan Carroll.

Referee: Seamus Kelly.

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