New York 0-10 Wexford 0-5
Emma Clarke inspired New York to an historic victory in the All-Ireland ladies junior football championship semifinal against Wexford at St Brendan's Park in Birr, Co. Offaly last Saturday evening.
The Cavan native scored seven points, including five in the second half, as New York booked their place in a first junior final since 1999. She was part of a tremendous team display as New York shut down a Wexford side that had scored 14-43 in the championship up to this fixture.
Philip Sheridan's team will now look forward to playing Wicklow in the Croke Park decider on September 25.
New York had a changed lineout as they faced into the monumental challenge of Wexford. Joanne Monaghan was back in the lineout after an injury scare, while Fiona O’Dwyer was introduced at full forward with Molly O’Rourke moving out to the wing.
New York were playing into the wind in the first half but managed to register the first score, once again a point from Clarke. They did not add to their total until the 25th minute when New York hit the target again with a converted free from Clarke.
Wexford could not use the wind to their advantage and only managed three points in the first half, with only one of those coming from play.
Both defenses took lessons from Donegal on creating a blanket defense and it was not pretty for the spectator. It was practical for New York, however, and they were only one down 0-3 to 0-2 with the wind advantage coming their way for the second half.
Wexford were first on the board in the second half with a converted free, but then Clarke came alive, hitting three unanswered points, two from play and one free.
O’Rourke found her range adding a point to put New York ahead 0-6 to 0-4. New York never looked back as Clarke added another two from frees.
Further points from O’Rourke and Aine Dwyer helped to seal the victory. Dwyer’s was a tremendous drive from distance.
Wexford had quite a bit of possession but could not convert into scores with a total of 16 wides over the course of the game.
Wexford did have a goal disallowed for a square ball early in the second half and sub Dawn Bergin would later strike the base of the upright.
But New York were far more clinical in possession, and after drawing level at 0-4 apiece in the 38th minute, they went on to claim a comfortable win.
New York: 1 Alison Leydon, 2 Louise Lilly, 3 Tracy Ann McCullagh, 4 Imelda Mullarkey, 5 Jesse Garcia, 6 Cathriona Brady, 7 Joanne Monaghan, 8 Linda McKeon, 9 Aine O'Dwyer (0-1), 10 Molly O'Rourke (0-2), 11 Kelly Roche, 12 Courtney Traynor, 13 Emma Clarke (0-7, 4 frees), 14 Fiona O'Dwyer, 15 Meave De Búrca. Subs: C. McBrien for Monaghan (42), M.T. O'Rourke for Roche (59), M. McVann for F. O'Dwyer (60+3), M. Brennan for McKeon (60+5).
Jackie Kennedy’s granddaughter has uncannily similar looks