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Wicklow 2-16 Fermanagh 1-11
Wicklow blew Fermanagh out of the water with a sensational display of football to take the National League Division 4 title in Croke Park yesterday afternoon writes Alan O’Brien.
Peter Canavan’s men beat Wicklow in Enniskillen earlier in the campaign and raced out of the blocks to lead 0-2 to no score after 7 minutes. The game was very open with Wicklow making the running in the open space and a long ball into Seanie Furlong seen him collect and fire past Ronan Gallagher to put Wicklow into a lead that they would never give up. With Fermanagh reeling from the goal Furlong added three more points with Leighton Glynn also getting in on the act. In a rampant 12 minute spell Wicklow silenced the travelling support and sent their own fans wild with a stunning 2-6 to a solitary point from the Lakelanders. The Garden Counties second goal was score by Ciaran Hyland who fisted to the net after his initial effort was well saved. James Stafford brought the shooting boots to the party as well and fired a score off each boot as everything a Wicklow man touched went to gold.
With the game looking over as a contest before half time Fermanagh to their credit rallied and the impressive Tomas Corrigan led the chase. Corrigan’s pass set Eoin Donnelly through for a goal and before he turned from provider to scorer with 0-3 as the Wicklow rearguard felt the pressure coming on. With time ticking down in the first half Fermanagh had amazingly reeled Wicklow in with only 0-1 between the teams but Tony Hannon doubled that advantage just before half time to send Wicklow in at the break two points to the good.
Any hope of a continued revival for Fermanagh was shot down in the opening exchanges of the second half as a hungrier Wicklow ran riot against a Fermanagh team struggling to cope with the intensity that Wicklow showed. Hannon extended Wicklow’s lead with two great scores before the key moment of the second half. Fermanagh broke through on goal with only 0-4 between the teams, the forward shaped to shoot but dummied and stepped to his right to fire off his shot. John Flynn in the Wicklow goal stood tall, refused to buy the dummy and dived bravely at the feet of his opponent saving brilliantly and raising a huge roar from the stands.
Wicklow raided forward with Hannon and Seanie pointing to extend Wicklow’s lead before Rory Finn got in on the act with two wonderful scores. Fermanagh took 22 minutes to register their first score of the second half from the boot of substitute Paul Ward. As the party started in the stands Seanie put the icing on the cake with final score of the match just before Leighton Glynn took to the steps of the Hogan stand to collect our trophy as Croker danced to Wicklow’s tune.
Wicklow: J Flynn; C Hyland, A McLoughlin, A Byrne; D Healy, M McLoughlin, S Kelly; J Stafford, R Finn; L Glynn, D O’Sullivan, D Hayden; T Hannon, S Furlong, J McGrath. Subs: P Burke for O’Sullivan (48), P Earls for McGrath (62).
Fermanagh: R Gallagher; N Bogue, B Cox, N McGovern; C Quigley, R McCluskey, B Mulrone; S Lyons, E Donnelly; D Keenan, S McCabe, R Jones; E Maguire, S Quigley, T Corrigan. Subs: B Owens for McGovern (h-t), D Kille for Jones (48), M McGrath for Mulrone (52), P Ward for Maguire (52).
Referee: F Kelly (Longford)