Five-star DDSL too good for Wick­low

Bray People - - SOCCER ROUND-UP - DANIEL GOR­MAN At White­hall

THE WICK­LOW League was un­cer­e­mo­ni­ously dumped out of the FAI Youth In­ter­league by a ram­pant DDSL last Wed­nes­day night.

The Dublin­ers charged into a 4-0 lead in­side the open­ing 20 min­utes of the con­test at a freez­ing White­hall. A shell­shocked Wick­low side pulled one back cour­tesy of an own goal in the 25th minute but the hosts’ four-goal cush­ion was re­stored within min­utes and from there on in the re­sult was never in much doubt.

Al­though the sec­ond half pos­ses­sion sta­tis­tics weighed heav­ily in Brian Byrne’s side’s favour, they were un­able to trans­fer that pres­sure onto the score­board, al­though had Clive Cram­mond tucked away his 57th minute spot-kick the fi­nal half hour would have been a lot less com­fort­able for Rory Kerr’s side, who en­joyed a dream start.

With just four min­utes on the clock, Wick­low wing wizard Adam Han­lon care­lessly lost po­si­tion on the edge of his area.

Luke Byrne seized the op­por­tu­nity, quickly pass­ing the ball in­side to Mark Hughes and he would have made his Welsh name­sake proud with a ven­omous thun­der­bolt that flew into the top cor­ner of Cor­mac O’Brien’s net.

But like a lion pur­su­ing a wounded an­i­mal, the DDSL quickly went in for the kill.

Niall Con­dron was in space 25 yards from goal. He laid the ball onto Dar­ragh Keena, who spot­ted O’Con­nor’s run in be­hind the de­fence and he slipped it through for his strike part­ner who ca­su­ally steered the ball past O’Brien to make it 2-0 with just eight min­utes elapsed.

O’Con­nor then grabbed his sec­ond thanks to a large slice of good for­tune. Keena bril­liantly picked out man of the match Lor­can Shan­non’s run down the right wing. Shan­non then re­turned the favour when his low cross ar­rived at the feet of Keena to tap home. His ef­fort was met on the goal-line by Paul Rice, but his at­tempt to hack clear re­bounded in off O’Con­nor.

Wick­low, who had to plan with­out in­flu­en­tial mid­fielder Eric Mol­loy af­ter the mid­fielder was se­lected for in­ter­na­tional duty, must have felt that they were stuck in a bad dream but Dublin cer­tainly weren’t rest­ing on their lau­rels and on 19 min­utes they snatched a fourth.

An­other Shan­non run in be­hind was what cre­ated the chance, al­though this time he was found by Hughes’ clever ball over the top. Shan­non’s cross was be­hind the strik­ers on this oc­ca­sion but Con­dron turned back to re­trieve it and the wide-man took a touch be­fore slam­ming it be­yond O’Brien’s de­spair­ing dive from 18 yards.

The vis­i­tors were of­fered a glim­mer of hope in the 25th minute when DDSL goal­keeper Dean Smith came to claim a Wick­low free-kick and got nowhere near it, with the end prod­uct be­ing Pa­trick Seery un­will­ingly de­flect­ing the ball into the net with his head.

That glim­mer was quickly quashed though. Four min­utes later Paul Rice gave away a free-kick near to the right-hand cor­ner flag.

Mark Hughes curled over the set-piece and Matt Hol­land rose to guide a header past Cor­mac O’Brien, who may be dis­ap­pointed with his at­tempt to keep out Hol­land’s ef­fort.

Keena and O’Con­nor both went close to ex­tend­ing the lead with half-time fast ap­proach­ing. First, the for­mer scooped over af­ter be­ing found by Con­dron’s cut-back.

Then, the lat­ter’s neat flick from an­other Con­dron set-up bulged the side net­ting.

Clive Cram­mond forced Dean Smith into a save in the 43rd minute, the first time the DDSL shot-stop­per had been called into ac­tion all evening.

Early in the sec­ond pe­riod, Andy Mul­li­gan pre­vented his side from go­ing fur­ther be­hind. Con­dron once again got in be­hind the WDL back­line and drew O’Brien out of his goal be­fore find­ing O’Con­nor. But O’Con­nor was de­nied a hat­trick when Mul­li­gan hooked the striker’s back-heel off the line.

Clive Cram­mond looked to have pos­si­bly found a way back into the game for his side on 57 min­utes when the winger was brought crash­ing down to earth in the penalty area, but Smith got a very strong hand to Cram­mond’s 12yarder and the dan­ger was averted.

Wick­low con­tin­ued to probe in the fi­nal half hour but they never re­ally threat­ened the hosts, who com­fort­ably saw out the re­main­der of the game to seal their place in the next round.

Top Form: Lor­can Shan­non (DDSL): A con­stant men­ace.


1. Dean Smith, 2. Matt Hol­land, 3. Luke Byrne, 4. Pa­trick Seery, 5. Kevin Far­ragher, 6. Matt Cal­laghan, 7. Lor­can Shan­non, 8. Mark Hughes, 9. John O’Con­nor, 10. Dar­ragh Keena, 11. Niall Con­dron. SUBS: Paul Mof­fet for Cal­laghan (45); Keith Boyle for Keena (69); Sean Chal­lenger for Con­dron (82). Not used: Shane Fin­negan, Stephen Wat­ters, Jack Kier­ans.


1. Cor­mac O’Brien, 7. Ciaran Byrne, 12. Paul Rice, 2. Ian Reid, 13. Ryan Byrne, 15. Adam Han­lon, 5. Keith Arm­strong, 9. Clive Cram­mond, 11. Andy Mul­li­gan, 8. Dara Ver­ney, 10. Alan Sun­der­land. SUBS: Dar­ragh O’Don­nell for Mul­li­gan (65); Niall Mur­phy for Ver­ney (85). Not Used: Nathan Con­dell, Cian Ryan, Rob­bie Byrne, Gavin McDe­vitt, Dar­ragh O’Leary, Jonathan De­lahunt, Matti Blanchia. VENUE: White­hall, Dublin. REF­EREE: David David­son.

Wick­low League Youths, who lost out to DDSL.

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