Wexford Youths will look to bounce back from last week’s disappointing defeat to Peamount United with three points and an improved performance against Limerick (kick-off 6.30pm).
Manager Tom Elmes was in Switzerland on Friday to learn the identity of Youths’ Champions League group opponents but his thoughts have already turned back to domestic matters.
Last week’s home game against Peamount offered Youths an opportunity to cut the gap to the league leaders to just two points, while a point would have kept it to five points.
In the end, a wonderful strike from Eleanor Ryan Doyle – who scored both goals when Youths went down 2-1 at Greenogue in April – earned all three points for the Peas.
It’s vital, therefore, for Youths to return to winning ways ahead of the break in order to avoid falling further behind as anything more than eight points could prove unbridgeable.
Limerick picked up their second – and perhaps more significant – win of the season last week as they fought back from 2-0 down to beat DLR Waves at the Market’s Field.
Such an outcome looked improbable when Waves went 2-0 up with just 15 minutes remaining, but a remarkable turnaround was on the cards.
Lauren Keane pulled a goal back with 12 minutes remaining before two goals in four minutes from Aoife Horgan gave the Blues a lead they wouldn’t surrender.
The result lifted Dave Rooney’s side to six points, three behind both Waves and Cork City immediately above them.
“We fully expected to win,” Rooney told the league website following the win over Waves.
“Maybe I built it up a little too much with the girls. I had said that it had a cup final feel about it because we were back down at our level.
“I’ve always maintained that the top three [Wexford Youths, Peamount United and Shelbourne] are miles ahead – they are on a different level.
“Galway are working hard to bridge the gap but the rest of us are in development mode – Cork, ourselves, DLR and even Kilkenny are all looking to develop young players to come and play in the league. There is a league within a league.
“It’s a great result but it’s been coming for a while. We need to build on it though.”
The sides have met once so far this season, at the Market’s Field, with Youths running out convincing 6-1 winners.
Ireland striker Rianna Jarrett scored a hat-trick, while Kylie Murphy, Katrina Parrock and Vanesse Ogbonna were also on target for the visitors.
Wexford Youths 1/10; Draw 11/2; Limerick 11/1.
Wexford Youths 3 – 0 Limerick