LMC Report – Wicklow 2-13 Wexford 1-9

Leinster Minor Championship in Aughrim

Wicklow 2-13

Wexford 1-9

Minor match report is sponsored by the in Wicklow Town.

Wicklow produced an outstanding team display to see off neighbours Wexford in the opening round of this year’s Leinster Minor Championship at a sun kissed Aughrim yesterday afternoon.  The Wicklow panel looked to give away size advantage in almost every position as the teams lined up but the Garden County showed spirit that made the Slaneysiders size advantage insignificant.

Wexford were quick out of the blocks and with a stiff wind advantage took an early three point lead which was causing concern among the disappointingly low home support.  The Garden went in search of their first score and looked to have it guaranteed when the referee awarded a 20 yard free in front of the posts.  Connor McGraynor stepped up but chose to shoot from the hand which is always a worry so close in and indeed he missed badly to leave Brian Doyle’s men without a score.  The big Avondale midfielder was quick to make amends and made a strong direct run from midfield to open the home sides account with a good score.  Wicklow’s tails were up and further points for McGraynor, O’Rourke (2), Murphy and Henderson pushed Wicklow ahead 0-6 to 0-3 with the Model County struggling for a score and kicking some outrageous wides under good pressure from the Wicklow rear guard.  Both teams then traded scores in the dying minutes to leave the score at Wicklow 0-7 Wexford 0-4 at half time.

Wicklow remained unchanged for the second half and with the wind at their back set about recording a famous victory.  Once again they were slow out of the blocks with Wexford closing the deficit to just a single point.  With that Wicklow rallied and half back Martin O’Brien launched a high ball towards the full forward line only to see it bounce in front of the keeper and over the bar.  The ground was rock hard after the recent run of good weather and players were misjudging the ball in the air and the bounce all day with both teams guilty.  Wicklow got into their rhythm again and in a five minute purple patch they had three goal chances only to leave empty handed.  The Model goalkeeper saved brilliantly twice with the other effort cannoning off the crossbar after a good break by Kilmacanogue full forward Niall Meldon.  While without a score all day Meldon laid on a number of scores by laying off or breaking ball.  Points from McGraynor and O’Rourke pushed Wicklow further ahead before complacency kicked in.  Wicklow took a short goalkick to the stand side but a bout of panic set in as Wexford closed down and a hand pass to nothing was gathered by the Wexford midfielder who burst through and buried a goal to leave the minimum between the teams again.  Considering the game the Wexford stopper was having chances of our own goal looked unlikely but this is sport and following a fine move Tinehely man Paddy O’Rourke fired into the visitors net to put the Garden back in the driving seat.  The teams traded a further point a piece before calamity happened on the Wexford goal line.  A high ball over hit into the keeper’s arms was carried over the line as per the umpire and as the Wexford goalie was coming out the field with the ball the umpire was behind him waiving the white flag.  The Wicklow fans could hardly believe their luck as their team faced into the last few minutes with a 6 point lead which was quickly added to by the two O’Rourke (St Nicholas and Tinehely) scores.  Wexford poured forward but were desperate for goals and despite Wicklow having Martin O’Brien sent off for a second yellow the Garden County soldiered into the next round on a score line of Wicklow 2-13 Wexford 1-9.

Despite not featuring in the 700 words above I have to comment on the performances of Aaron Murphy and Mikey Mangan who were outstanding today.  Mangan may well have been man of the match and was involved in everything that Wicklow done well.

Leinster Quarter Final – Laois v Wicklow in Portlaoise on the 22/5/2010

Wicklow Team – Miley, O’Toole, O’Connor, Manley, O’Brien, Ryder, Kelly (Replaced by Stephen Murphy), McGraynor, Henderson, Murphy, Mangan, Crowley (Replaced by Christy Power), O’Rourke, Meldon (Replaced but missed by who – Last minute!), O’Rourke.

Don’t miss Wicklowgaaonlines hotel offer for the Carlow Championship game in Portlaoise – Click here

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