Tesco All-Ireland Camogie Premier Junior Championship semi-final
Wexford 3-18 Roscommon 0-8
Roscommon’s dreams of an All-Ireland final appearance in Croke Park on Sunday week were well and truly dashed by a hugely impressive Wexford side in this one-sided semi-final played in perfect weather conditions at Clane, Co. Kildare last Sunday.
An excellent win against Cavan in the quarter-final raised expectations among Frank Browne’s squad but they never got going against a slick and very skilful Model County side who never looked in trouble after the opening ten minutes.
Roscommon deployed Rachel Fitzmaurice as a sweeper and early on she played very well and got on plenty of ball, but Wexford carried well out of defence and once their quicksilver forwards got enough possession, Roscommon were in all kinds of trouble.
After almost ten scoreless minutes, Megan Cullen pointed for Wexford and when the same player powered through the Roscommon defence to score the opening goal of the game two minutes later, the writing was on the wall, even at that early stage.
Wexford opened up after the first water break and Ailish Neville got their second goal in the 20th minute when her long-range shot ended up in the Roscommon net. Indeed, it took Roscommon thirty minutes to get their only score of the first half, a point from a Shauna Fallon free. But by the time the interval came the score was Wexford 2-7 Roscommon 0-1.
The second half was very pedestrian as both sides brought on a number of subs. Roscommon did have a goal chance in the 36th minute but Nicola Crean’s penalty was saved by Lara O’Shea and was cleared and that was the end of any flickering hope for Roscommon.
Wexford’s third goal arrived in the 44th minute from Chloe Cashe. Roscommon did tag on a couple of scores before the finish and Niamh Watson scored some good points, but the game was already long over and Wexford were bound for Croke Park on the 12th September.
After the game, Roscommon manager Frank Browne was very candid about what needs to be done for Roscommon Camogie to progress.
“We won’t be making any excuses at all. In the first quarter we could have got a few scores but we hit a few into their goalkeeper’s hands, and then suddenly they got a goal and another few scores and our heads dropped a little. We missed a penalty early in the second half and maybe if that went in we might have had a chance but we knew that after that it was matter of how much we were going to lose by. But they (Wexford) are a really good side. They are well able to hurl and we have to up our standards here.
“As a group we are only evolving and we had a couple of glitches in our preparations last week and when that happens it’s not ideal. But we have no excuses. We were well beaten. We go away and lick our wounds and come back stronger.
“Today wasn’t a good day but look, Roscommon have a minor team in an All-Ireland final, so the future is bright and if we can get a few players from that panel it will supplement us. We haven’t used any minors on our panel this year and we feel that was the right thing to do.
“But when we look back at the year we have made progress. We got to the league final, and to an All-Ireland semi-final and our primary aim next year is to get out of Division Four and we need to aim to get to a Premier Junior final too and I aim to keep working hard at it,” he concluded.