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The Kildare & District Football League kicked off the defence of their FAI Angela Hearst Inter league trophy 2019 title win at the spiritual home of KDFL Women’s football Mullarney Park, Castledermot, home of Castle Villa AFC against the Wexford Women’s League on Sunday afternoon in glorious conditions in front of a large attendance and came away with a credible hard earned draw. Kildare playing short some key players due to injuries sustained over the last number of weeks.

The youthful Kildare side started the brighter in this game played at a frantic pace with Sofie Lawlor and Brooke Dunne combining well to release Sophie Di Stefano on the left wing, who whipped in some great crosses to create some decent early chances to score the opener but the Wexford goalkeeper and centre halves were in fine form.

After twenty minutes Wexford forced a succession of corners and penned in the KDFL half to create some great chances themselves but found defenders Lucy Cahill, Bernie Hyland, Ciara Smullen and Sofie Lawlor in no mood at the back to give up an opener.

At the half hour stage the Wexford side should have taken the lead when they worked some great passes together to release their striker but Donna Hickey in the Kildare goal pulled off an outstanding double save from point blank range to keep the game scoreless. Wexford pressed for the remainder of the half but could not find their way past a stubborn Kildare defence back up by the very capable Hickey in goal and the half petered out, the sides going in deadlocked at the break.

Kildare again started the brighter in the second half and Brooke Dunne was playing some great diagonal passes into Louise Scully and Sofia Di Stefano but the Wexford defence was excellent in dealing with the threat of the pacey wingers.

The game entered the final fifteen minutes with defences on top and a tough midfield battle been played out with Emma Mooney and Jenny Conroy cancelling out the Wexford midfield.

Then as Wexford were playing out from the back the excellent Molly Nason got her reward for her constant pressing when she dispossessed the Wexford defender and expertly finished to the bottom right corner past to give Kildare the lead and put them 1-0 up on the seventy seventh minute.

This spurred Wexford into life and they peppered a stubborn Kildare defence marshalled brilliantly by Bernie Hyland for the next ten minutes and with only three minutes left on the clock they forced a deserved equaliser with some neat play down the right with the Wexford striker unselfishly squaring the ball to her strike partner Alisha Cullen to finally beat Hickey in the Kildare goal to leave the final score 1-1, a deserved share of the spoils between these two top teams. Best for Wexford was the impressive centre halves Chloe Mythen and Chloe Moynihan while Kildare were best served by Sofia Di Stefano, Bernie Hyland, Sofie Lawlor and player of the match Donna Hickey in the Kildare goal.

Kildare are idle in the next round as Wexford will entertain Tipperary, with the final game in the series taking place weekending 22 May when Kildare travel to take on Tipperary.

Kildare League

Donna Hickey, Sophie Lawlor, Ciara Smullen, Bernie Hyland, Lucy Cahill, Brooke Dunne, Louise Scully, Jenny Conroy, Molly Nason, Emma Mooney, Sophia Di Stefano. Subs; Mairead Scully, Shauna Mackey, Tara Dunne.

Wexford Womens League

Grainne McCabe, Chloe Mythen, Chloe Moynihan, Nicky Dunphy, Lauren Stafford, Hayley Nolan, Megan Cahill, Nicola Davitt, Leanne O Reilly, Natasha Byrne Rossiter, Niamh Tormey. Subs; Katie Murphy, Alisha Cullen, Gemma Corrigan, Roisin Furlong, Annie Breen, Mary Goodhall, Sarah Donnelan.

Officials; Billy Conlon, Alan Finn, Wayne Doyle (ISRS Kildare/Laois Branch)

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