Wicklow Beat Carlow In NFL

National Football League Div 4

Wicklow 1-9

Carlow 0-10

Dr Cullen Park


Wicklow produced a spirited and gutsy performance to see off neighbours Carlow and keep their promotion hopes alive at a sunny Dr. Cullen Park writes Alan O’Brien.

Playing conditions were perfect for this tussle of near neighbours with both teams on four points in the league. Wicklow were the quickest out of the blocks and Tony Hannon was on song, tormenting the home defence with an unanswered 1-2 to give Harry Murphy’s men the perfect opening 12 minutes.

Despite the dominance on the scoreboard Wicklow were losing the midfield battle and ill discipline in the tackle let Carlow back into the game. JJ Smith pointed for the home side and then three frees in a row brought a roar from Luke Dempsey’s charges.

Leighton Glynn deployed at half forward was getting on the ball and pointed Wicklow’s first point from play after 30 minutes as the Garden came back into the game. Carlow were using their kick outs well mixing it up between short and long balls and they had plenty of practice as Wicklow hit six wides in the first half.

Wicklow sent on Paddy Dalton at half time for Peadar Burke as they looked to defend a slim 0-1 lead against the wind. Carlow levelled the match from a ’45 after two minutes of the second period and had the lead 3 minutes after that with Anthony McLoughlin conceding the free.

Austin O’Malley was sent on for Joey Kelly with Wicklow now chasing the match and the response was excellent. Hannon lashed over a free before pointing an excellent score from play. With Wicklow now rampant and the midfield battle breaking even Rory Finn popped up to stretch the lead.

Play was suspended for five minutes as Anthony McLoughlin was treated for a bad knee injury and when the game resumed Ciaran Hyland was given a straight red card for an off the ball incident flagged by the umpire.

Despite playing with a man less Tino continued his fun in the sun with another point to give Wicklow a 0-3 cushion. However in true Garden County style we done it the hard way and Carlow roared back into the match with the next two points to leave 0-1 in the game. Tony Hannon again pointed as did Carlow although the home teams score looked wide of the post.

Five minutes was held aloft on the fourth officials board and with only the minimum between the side the tension was unreal. However Wicklow played possession football and worked the ball to Dean Healy who fired over and send the travelling support into raptures.

The Dr. Cullen Park voodoo is no more and with a Championship clash with Meath coming it’s no harm. Another two points on the board and something to play for in the League with Leitrim next up. Anthony McLoughlin suffered what looked a bad knee injury and we wish him well. John McGrath also returned so all round it is was a good day for Cill Mhantáin.

WW Team: Flynn, Hyland, A McLoughlin (N Gaffney), Byrne, Healy, M McLoughlin, Chester, Stafford, Finn, Hayden, Burke (P Dalton)(P Dalton for J McGrath), Glynn, Hannon, Furlong, J Kelly (O’Malley)

Carlow Team: TO’Reilly BJMolloy McElligot BLambe DMulvany SRedmond TBolger BMurphy DFoley BMurphy PReid EFinnegan DHayden SGannon JJSmith

1 Fermanagh 5 5 0 0 108 42 10
2 Clare 6 5 1 0 85 67 10
3 Leitrim 5 3 2 0 84 51 6
4 Wicklow 5 3 2 0 89 58 6
5 Limerick 6 3 3 0 101 70 6
6 Waterford 5 3 2 0 85 69 6
7 Carlow 5 2 3 0 69 55 4
8 London 5 0 5 0 43 79 0
9 Kilkenny 6 0 6 0 23 196 0
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