Lauren Kelly steals the show as Wexford retain FAI Cup

Peamount denied double as Wexford hold on to silverware

 Wexford Youths’ Lauren Kelly celebrates scoring her side’s second goal. Photograph: Oisin Keniry/Inpho

Wexford Youths’ Lauren Kelly celebrates scoring her side’s second goal. Photograph: Oisin Keniry/Inpho

 

Peamount United 2 Wexford Youths 3

Former Peamount United player Lauren Kelly felt she “proved herself” by helping to retain the FAI Women’s Cup for Wexford Youths against her old club.

Although Peamount finished 15 points ahead of Wexford in securing the league title, a brace by Kelly, followed by Kyle Murphy’s 64th winner, denied them a double at Lansdowne Road.

Twice league champions Peamount clawed their rivals back to parity but were unable to muster a third equaliser.

“To go back and score twice against Peamount, I think I’ve prove myself,” said jubilant 20-year-old Kelly afterwards.

Rianna Jarrett, as the Republic of Ireland main’s striker, was the threat Peamount consumed their energies in shackling but her younger forward partner stole the show.

Winning manager Tom Elmes suggested afterwards exploiting the imbalance was a deliberate part of their game-plan. Not alone did Kelly bag a brace but had the time and space to create the third with a superb crossfield pass.

It had taken only three minutes to vindicate her manager’s faith.

The Kildare native shrugged off the challenge of Claire Walsh and slipped past Karen Duggan before fizzing a low shot through the legs of Louise Corrigan and past static Niamh Reid-Burke.

Peamount’s march to the league title was built upon their haul of 94 goals in 21 matches and they eventually showed their firepower.

When Wexford failed to clear their lines on 32 minutes, Duggan spotted the opportunity to unleash a rising shot from 20 yards which Ciamh Dolland got a hand on but couldn’t keep out.

Celebrations were only momentary as Wexford regained their lead within a minute. Ciara Rossiter’s left-wing cross was only half-cleared, enabling Murphy to lay the ball off for Kelly to loop a half-volley over the head of the back-peddling Reid-Burke.

Once again, the Dubliners mustered an equaliser through Eleanor Ryan-Doyle’s long-range effort seven minutes after the restart which Dolland could only fumble over her line.

Wexford, in particular Kelly, weren’t finish as her pass allowed Jarrett tee up Murphy to rampage into the box and slip home the winner.

Peamount United: N Reid-Burke; L O’Callaghan (N Barnes 68), L Corrigan, C Walsh, L McCartan (N Chemaou 55); N Farrelly, K Duggan, D Beirne; A O’Gorman, E Ryan-Doyle, M Smyth-Lynch.

Wexford Youths: C Dolland; L Craven, L Dwyer, N Sinnott, O Conlon; A Frawley (B Kingsley 86), K Murphy, E Kennedy, C Rossiter (M Davidson 62); L Kelly, R Jarrett.

Referee: Sarah Dyas (Louth).

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