League Preview: Wexford Youths -v- Shelbourneby Dave Donnelly
Wexford Youths welcome Shelbourne to Ferrycarrig Park with revenge, and three points, in mind as phase two kicks off with one of the biggest clashes in Irish football (kick-off 6.30pm).
It’s third against second as the two likeliest pretenders to Peamount United’s throne meet up for the second time this season.
The first meeting between the sides inflicted Youths’ first defeat of the season as they went down 2-1 to the then-league leading Reds.
Goals from Ciara Grant and Emily Whelan, either side of Youths captain Kylie Murphy, gave the hosts victory on the day.
Youths sit four points behind second-placed Shels and, though they have a game in hand, it’s by no means a gimme at home to Galway.
Tom Elmes’ side did finish phase one on a high note as they ran out 2-0 winners away to DLR Waves last Saturday.
A goal in either half for Blessing Kingsley and Aoibheann Clancy were enough for Youths to take all three points.
Trina Duggan and Aoife Slattery miss out on Saturday for Wexford but Elmes has an otherwise full squad to choose from.
Shelbourne remain two points behind league leaders Peamount United as the business end of the season kicks off.
A 6-1 defeat to Peamount three weeks ago saw Dave Bell’s side knocked off top spot for the first time this season.
Another defeat, a narrower 1-0 reverse, followed at Peamount in the FAI Cup but the Reds returned to winning ways in style on Saturday.
Braces from Emily Whelan and Jess Gargan, as well as goals from Noelle Murray, Ciara Grant and Mia Dodd, saw Shels to a 7-0 win away to Treaty United.
With Peamount facing a tough trip to Galway, both teams will have a close eye not only on the team(s) above them but below them as well.
The sides met once already this season, at Tolka Park, where goals from Ciara Grant and Emily Whelan saw the Reds to a 2-1 win.
Grant is Shels’ top scorer with four goals from her eight games, while Ellen Molloy is Wexford’s leading markswoman with five goals from seven appearances.
Wexford Youths 13/10; Draw 13/5; Shelbourne 13/10.
Wexford Youths 3 – 2 Shelbourne
Injured: Trina Duggan, Aoife Slattery.