Wicklow U-14s beat Wexford but lose to Laois
BALLINAKILL was the venue when Wicklow under-14 footballers hosted Wexford and Laois in a Leinster football blitz on Saturday last. First up on the day Wicklow matched off with the cream of Wexford underage talent.
Wexford got off to the perfect start when they had the ball in the back of Joe McDonald’s net with only one minute gone.
Moments later they should have doubled the score but luckily the ball rebounded off the crossbar. Wicklow began to work their way into the game and Adam Hughes led the way with a well taken point in the fourth minute.
One minute later and Wicklow moved into a lead that they would not relinquish when Tadgh O’Toole combined with Daniel Ging and his pin point pass to Jordan Deans resulted in the first Wicklow goal.
Darragh Rochford added another point before Wexford got in for another point. Wicklow were dominating the exchanges with Colm Keogh and Karl Furlong in great form clearing up any incursions by Wexford while Adam Carroll Shane O’Rourke and Andrew Conway ensured plenty of good ball to the strong running Conor Kearney who added a goal and point either side of a Daniel Ging point.
Credit to Wexford they did not lie down and they hauled themselves back into the game with three points.
Their stubborn resistance was however, short lived, and with Ging displaying some super form and adding another point before Deans finished the ball to the back of the net after Jordan McGarr saw his excellent shot parried by the Wexford net minder to leave Wicklow with a 3-05 to 1-04 half time lead.
The second half began as the first ended with the Wicklow lads dominating. James Hedderman was in outstanding form and his ability to pluck the high ball from the sky was one of the main reasons that they were so successful while at the back Mark Reid ensured that no Wexford attack would get through on goal.
At the other end of the field Ging continued to apply pressure and his brilliant pass to Jordan McGarr and the Blessington lad wasted no time in firing low and hard to the back of the net. McGarr then became provider when he set Pauric Murray free on the edge of the square and the big full forward almost burst a hole in the net with his powerful shot.
Six minutes later Eoin Higgins got in on the act when he added a third goal. Wexford tried hard to put pressure on the Wicklow back line but to no avail Pauric Murray and Andrew Conway added two more points before McGarr completed the rout with a further goal and point to see wicklow run out victors with a 8-08 to 1-04 scoreline
In the second game of the day Laois took on the Wexford lads and ran out convincing victors on a 6-14 to 1-05 score line. Wicklow then crossed swords with the lads from the O’Moore County.
By this time both sides were showing signs of fatigue. Wicklow were first off the mark with points from Adam Hughes, Darragh Rochford and Pauric Murray but this was cancelled out when Laois broke through the defense and goaled to level the game. Leo Hanney and Conal Cahelloir played out of their skin and were instrumental when Ian Merrigan replied almost instantly with a fantastic point. It was Laois who finished strongest with a goal and point to leave the half time score Laois 2-01 to Wicklows 0-04.
The second half saw Wicklow playing into an increasingly stronger wind and despite some really strong play by Adam Heffernan, Joe Phelan and Conor Devlin it was Laois who done all the scoring and they added a further goal and two points.
Wicklow: Joe McDonald, Karl Furlong, Tadgh O’Toole, Colm Keogh, Adam Carroll, ShaneO’Rourke, Andrew Conway, Adam Hughes, James Hedderman, Darragh Rochford, Daniel Ging, Conor Kearney, Adam Heffernan, Pauric Murray, Jordan Deans. Jordan McGarr, Joe Phelan, Ian Merrigan, Mark Reid, Henry Healy, Conor Devlin, Conal Cahelloir, Eoin Higgins, Leo Hanney.
The Wicklow under-14 team who took on Wexford and Laois in Ballinakill at the weekend.