Rianna Jarrett's goal midway through the second half settled a hard-fought game at Jackson Park on Sunday afternoon as Wexford Youths edged out UCD Waves.

Youths made it four wins from five in the league this season as they remain two points behind league leaders Shelbourne with a game in hand.

And it was Jarrett's fourth goal of the season that proved the difference, the striker providing the finish Wexford had lacked for the first 70 minutes with a well-placed shot in the corner.

UCD have improved immeasurably since they fell to a humiliating 7-0 defeat to Shels in Kilternan three weeks ago and they put up stout resistance against a classy Youths outfit.

Aisling Frawley, Orlaith Conlon and Jarrett herself all missed good chances during a first half in which Wexford overran their considerably less experienced opponents.

The Students, having withstood the first-half barrage, were bolder after the break but were undone when substitute Orla Casey unlocked the space for Jarrett to shoot past Erica Turner.

“It was a battle towards the end,” said Jarrett.

“They were always going to come out at half time and give a good go, and they did. I think we dealt with the pressure and they didn't create too many clear-cut chances, so we were happy with that.”

Jarret has endured three serious cruciate ligament injuries – two of them on Ireland duty – but is finally beginning to find her mojo again with a first injury-free pre-season behind her.

“I'm still not as fit as I should be. That's my third 90 minutes this season, so hopefully I can kick on now.

“I got tired towards the end but the more minutes I get in my legs – obviously with my legs I've more I have to do outside of training – but I'm just looking forward to getting a good run of games.”

Wexford travel to Shelbourne on Saturday as they begin the second round of fixtures, their opening day meeting at Ferrycarrig having been postponed due to the snow.