Micko draws some com­fort from dis­play

Bray People - - Sports - Peter KEOGH

A HOME draw against Water­ford, would in nor­mal cir­cum­stances be re­garded as a very poor re­sult for Mick O’Dwyer’s foot­ballers. But th­ese are not nor­mal times. Micko reck­oned that he was seven or eight play­ers short of his best 15 when he trav­elled to Case­ment Park two weeks ago.

On Sun­day he was forced to start without six of the team that had played in Belfast.

Four play­ers that took part in that match, Ciarán Wal­she, Dar­ren Hay­den, An­thony McLough­lin and Dean Siney were re­quired for U21 cham­pi­onship duty on the Sun­day, so Micko de­cided to rest them on Satur­day.

In ad­di­tion he was short of his full-back Stephen Kelly and full­for­ward Seánie Fur­long.

How­ever, cir­cum­stances forced him to bring on three of the U-21 play­ers dur­ing the match.

Tak­ing ev­ery­thing into con­sid­er­a­tion the boss was not too dis­ap­pointed with the point he got from the match.

Water­ford were a very fit team and made us work for ev­ery ball. Our lads tried hard and kicked some nice points but we did not get many goal­ing chances. Leighton was un­lucky with the one that fell his way. Some of the in­jury prob­lems are clear­ing up. Damien Power has got the all clear and re­turns to train­ing this week and Dara O hAn­naidh is not far off ei­ther. Paddy Dal­ton’s prob­lems are also im­prov­ing.

We should be a bit nearer to full strength by the sec­ond-half of the league.

Arthur French was happy with how the half-time switches worked. ‘ Paul (Earls) ap­peared much hap­pier at full-for­ward and had his best half hour this year. He did well to get a fist to that Ciarán Wal­she lob for the equal­is­ing point. Paul is based in Lon­don and is get­ting in very lit­tle train­ing,

‘Mick McLough­lin also shaped up well at cen­tre half back in his first run. The three U-21 play­ers, Ciarán Wal­she, Dar­ren Hay­den and Anothony McLough­lin, also did well but we would have pre­ferred to have found our­selves in the po­si­tion where we did not have to use the U-21 play­ers at all.’

As al­ways Arthur was up­beat and is ex­pect­ing bet­ter news on a num­ber of fronts shortly.

Wick­low have a bye in the third round of matched this com­ing week­end and their next match is away to Kilkenny on March 8.

Wick­low's Ciarán Hy­land blocks this shot by Water­ford's Liam O Lion­ain.

Wick­low's Leighton Glynn tries to hold off the chal­lenge of Water­ford's Conor McGrath.

Water­ford's Mark Pren­der­gast and Wick­low's Dean Od­lum bat­tle for pos­ses­sion.

Wick­low's Paul Earls (11) palms the equal­is­ing point as Water­ford goal­keeper Tom Wall closes in.

Wick­low's Ciarán Hy­land breaks out of de­fence as Water­ford's Der­mot Casey looks on.

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