Use­ful work­out for Un­der-21 foot­ballers

Bray People - - SPORT -

DCU Fresh­ers 1-16, Wicklow 3-6: The Wicklow Un­der-21 foot­ballers had a use­ful work-out against a strong DCU team on the astro turf pitch at Bray on Thurs­day night. The fi­nal score­line shows the stu­dents win­ning by four points but that is a slightly mis­lead­ing statis­tic.

Lit­tle sep­a­rated the sides at any stage in what was a very even and com­pet­i­tive match. The sides were level four times in the first quar­ter be­fore a great goal by Bren­dan McCrea gave Wicklow a de­cent lead.

An­other goal, fin­ished by mid­fielder Shane Ho­gan, gave the home side breath­ing space, but not for long.

The stu­dents came storming back to kick over some great points and cut back the deficit. Wicklow led by 2-4 to 0-7 at half-time.

DCU drew level within min­utes of the re-start as Damien Byrne, Ron­nie Phillips and Pat Wo­gan be­gan to ring the changes. Then a third bril­liant goal, this time by Conor McGraynor, lifted Wicklow again and left them lead­ing by 3-5 to 0-11 at the three-quar­ter stage.

As the last quar­ter pro­gressed the trickle of sub­sti­tutes be­came a tor­rent and it was a fairly dis­or­gan­ised de­fence that let the stu­dents in for an equal­is­ing point and then the lead point, fol­lowed in in­jury time by a goal.

While the temp­ta­tion is al­ways there to give ever player present a run at some stage, past ex­pe­ri­ence should have taught us that re­duc­ing a team in strength to a point where they can no longer com­pete as they would like is not a good thing. At least it never worked in Wicklow at any level in the past.

The man­age­ment team is work­ing very hard and have built up, what looks on pa­per, a strong panel. They have an in­ter­est­ing line-up of matches for the team be­fore they take on Laois in the first round of the cham­pi­onship.

The team also played Car­low in a Car­low-run tour­na­ment last night (Tues­day).

Team: Paul Mi­ley (Val­ley­mount); Stephen Bo­han (Bless­ing­ton), John Man­ley (Ash­ford), Phillip O'Connor (New­cas­tle); Daniel Woods (Eire Og, 0-1), Ross O'Brien (Rath­new), Martin O'Brien (Annacurra); Kevin Dempsey (Barn­dar­rig), Shane Ho­gan (Ti­na­hely, 1-0); Aaron Nu­gent (Ash­ford), Conor McGraynor (Avon­dale, 1-2), Paddy O'Rourke (Ti­na­hely, 0-1); Bren­dan McCrea (Carnew, 1-2), Paddy Crow­ley (An Tochar), P.J. O'Ke­effe (Hol­ly­wood). Subs. used - Bren­dan Swords ( An Tochar), Theo Smith (Rath­new), Philip Murphy (Rath­new), Jimmy Kelly, Dar­ragh Fig­gis, Shane O'Rourke (all Dunlavin), Michael Man­gan (Strat­ford-Grangecon), Joey Doyle (Ash­ford).

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