A late scoring burst of 1-2 without reply eventually saw defending Leinster and All Ireland champions Wexford past a spirited Offaly side in the provincial decider in St Brendan’s Park last Saturday afternoon.
Offaly went into the game as rank outsiders but with twelve minutes to go a goal from a penalty from Elaine Dermody drew them level and set up a grandstand finish. John Troy’s side had matched their much vaunted opponents throughout the game and they were well positioned to cause an upset as the game entered the final phase.
However in the closing minutes Wexford’s greater experience told and thanks to a goal on the rebound from Lenny Holohan three minutes from time and the fact that they played with 16 players for a time, the girls from the South East made the long journey home as Leinster champions.
While Offaly will be bitterly disappointed to lose a game that was in the balance into the final three minutes, the fact that they pushed the defending Leinster and All Ireland Champions so close is a positive sign for the All Ireland Championship ahead.
They matched Wexford for fitness, strength and commitment and it was just the greater experience of the visitors that told in the final decisive minutes.
It is easy to forget that this is just Offaly’s second season in the senior ranks after back to back promotions from Junior and Intermediate which highlights just how far they’ve come in a short space of time.
See this Tuesday’s Offaly Express for full report from the game