Wexford began life in the intermediate Ladies football Leinster championships with an excellent five point win over a resilient London side in Ruislip on Sunday afternoon last. Indeed with seven minute remaining the game was still in the melting pot after London had goaled through Fiona Morrissey, but Wexford’s top scorer on the day Maria Byrne grabbed her second goal of the game with five minutes left to see Wexford home.
The game was played in sticky humid conditions which test both sides fitness to the maximum. Wexford and London were both guilty of several missed chances in the opening half of the game, with supporters having to wait for ten minutes for the opening score of the game with Wexford finding the net courtesy of a fine effort from Kilmore’s Maria Byrne who buried the ball past London goal keeper Lucy Hawkes.
Caitriona Murray from Baile Dubh Tire making her championship debut for the purple and gold hit Wexford’s only point of the opening half, as the home side were guilty of seven wides on the bounce before they eventually got off the mark with a nice point from Orla McWeeney.
London grabbed another point before the break through ex WIT and Meath player Shannon Ni Donnacha, a score which left Wexford leading 1-1 to 0-2 at the break despite having played into a strong breeze in the English capital.
Wexford upped the tempo on the resumption and fired over two quick points as Captain Roisin Murphy and Maria Byrne pointed for the Model County. Rebecca Mills and Chantelle Martin swapped points for their respective sides as Wexford moved 1-4 to 0-3 in front. London continued to impress with two fantastic points from Shannon Ni Donnacha.
Maria Byrne was again on hand for the visitors to point as Wexford held a one goal lead as the game entered the final quarter. Caitriona Murray added another point for Wexford to push them four points in front before London hit a vital goal as Fiona Morrissey broke inside the cover to goal past Brid Byrne from Ballyhogue.
Wexford were only a point in front at this juncture however when they needed a bit of class it was provided by Maria Byrne as she latched onto a high ball into the forwards and hung the ball in the London net. Byrne completed the scoring with another fine point before the end.
Wexford manager Shane McCormack will be delighted to get over London and can now firmly set his sights on another away trip to Kildare his native county and this game will be played on July 5th most likely in Hawkfield GAA centre just outside Newbridge.
Brid Byrne (Ballyhogue), Maeve Quill (Shelmalier), Marica Cullen (St Anne’s), Georgina Hearne (Horeswood), Ciara Neville (Shelmalier), Niamh Mernagh (Horeswood), Caoimhe Denton (Baile Dubh Tire), Roisin Murphy (Shelmalier) (0-1), Kellie Kearny (Shelmalier), Ellen O’Brien (Adamstown), Maria Byrne (Kilmore) (2-3), Marcella Cullen (Adamstown), Chantelle Martin (Adamstown) (0-1 free), Caitriona Murray (Baile Dubh Tire) (0-2), Niamh Moore (Kilmore) subs Mairead Moran (Bannow Ballymitty) for Cullen, Katie Redmond (Crossabeg Ballymurn) for Moore.