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Dublin: 6°C Friday 14 May 2021

Parrock strike proves decisive as Wexford Youths seal league and cup double at the Aviva

Tom Elmes’ side secured the Women’s FAI Cup on Sunday afternoon to add to their Women’s National League title.

Wexford celebrate Katrina Parrock's opening goal.
Wexford celebrate Katrina Parrock's opening goal.
Image: Tommy Dickson/INPHO

Wexford Youths 1

Peamount United 0

Aaron Gallagher reports from the Aviva Stadium

WEXFORD YOUTHS SECURED a historic league and cup double on Sunday afternoon at the Aviva Stadium as Katrina Parrock’s deft finish from close range proved decisive against rivals Peamount United.

The victory sees Tom Elmes’ side finish 2018 on an immense high having secured the Women’s National League title for the fourth time in five seasons earlier last month, as well as the WNL Development Shield.

Wexford suffered just a single defeat all season in their successive league campaign, however a fractured foot suffered by star striker Rianna Jarrett looked like a major setback heading into this weekend’s final.

Jarrett’s shock late inclusion in the team proved a mighty boost for the Ferrycarrig Park club, with the Ireland international scoring an impressive 27 goals during an injury-hit campaign.

Despite the boost of Jarrett’s presence, Peamount took the game by the scruff of the neck right from the off — Amber Barrett, Aine O’Gorman and Megan Smyth-Lynch linking up excellently during a dominant opening half an hour in front of goal for the Dubliners.

Efforts reigned down on Sophie Lenehan’s goal during the opening spell, with a host of ambitious long-range efforts from Smyth-Lynch testing the young shot-stopper.

Lenehan stood the test and kept Wexford in the game with repeated heroics, including an athletic, last-ditch fingertip save to deny former Ireland striker O’Gorman with a dangerously curled strike.

In fact, Wexford didn’t register a shot on goal until the hour-hour mark, with insturmental captain Kylie Murphy bending a powerful left-footed effort spinning just over the crossbar.

Despite Peamount’s upper-hand in the shots department, Wexford snatched the lead during a crazy spell ten minutes before the break when Elmes’ side had the ball in the back of their opponents net twice in quick succession.

Initially, Edel Kennedy seemed to have given Wexford the lead when she toe-poked the ball past goalkeeper Naoisha McAloon after she had the ball knocked out of her hands.

Subsequent replays showed that her own defender Chloe Maloney had been the player to brush the ball out of the keeper’s grasp, however an illegal push in the back from Wexford striker Jarrett on Maloney was picked up on by Westmeath referee Vicki McEnery to disallow the goal.

Katrina Parrock celebrates scoring a goal with teammates Source: Tommy Dickson/INPHO

Youths were distraught at the decision, but were elated just moments later when they breached Peamount’s goal again just a minute after Kennedy’s goal was ruled out after 35 minutes.

Katrina Parrock capitalised brilliantly from close range after Emma Hansberry’s cross was helped on its way by the head of Jarrett — Parrock taking one touch and then another to slip the ball beyond the fingertips of goalkeeper McAloon for 1-0.

Peamount will have felt hard done by just before half-time when star striker Barrett was pushed down inside the box moments before the interval. Racing through on goal, the 22-year-old Donegal forward came together with Lolly Conlon, however referee McEnery waved play on.

Barrett thumped the pitch in frustration at the decision, but her side responded in the second half to try and snatch an equaliser in order to try and repeat their League Cup victory over Wexford just a month ago.

Efforts from Barrett and O’Gorman up front kept Wexford on the back foot during a tense and fraught second half, however a defence patrolled by Oralith Conlon and Lauren Dwyer kept heads cool and their clean sheet firmly in tact.

Rianna Jarrett with Louise Corrigan Source: Tommy Dickson/INPHO

Elmes’ side were content to keep a tight grip on their one goal advantage, with injuries suffered by captain Murphy, striker Jarrett, as well as defender Conlon the key moments in a tight second 45 minutes where neither side gave an inch.

James O’Callaghan’s side enjoyed the lion’s share of chances late on, trying desperately to draw level and push the game into extra-time in what was the club’s first FAI Women’s Cup final in six years.

Claire Walsh and Derbhaile Beirn were sprung from the bench and succeeded in giving their side extra legs in the dying stages. Barrett was taken down inside the area in the 94th minute, with Peamount feeling a late penalty should have been given, but to no avail.

Wexford prevailed, however, to secure their first cup success since 2015, adding the Continental Tyres Cup to their league and Shield successes during a prolific 2018 for the Ferrycarrig Park side.

WEXFORD YOUTHS: Sophie Lenehan; Orlaith Conlon, Lauren Dwyer, Kylie Murphy, Edel Kennedy, Emma Hansberry, Aisling Frawley, Nicola Sinnott, Rianna Jarrett (Orla Casey 71), Doireann Fahey, Katrina Parrock (McKenna Davidson 79).

PEAMOUNT UNITED: Naoisha McAloon; Lauryn O’Callaghan (Louise Masterson 90), Louise Corrigan, Chloe Maloney, Lucy McCartan (Claire Walsh 57), Niamh Farrelly, Amber Barrett, Elenor Ryan-Doyle, Aine O’Gorman, Karen Duggan, Megan Smyth-Lynch (Derbhaile Beirne 64).

Referee: Vicki McEnery.

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Aaron Gallagher

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