Tough start for Wicklow against rampant NDSL
THE Under-12 Wicklow Schoolboy League representative team got off to a losing start in the SFAI Jim Cashin Cup as they fell to a rampant North Dublin Schoolboys League side.
The NDSL, Wexford Schoolboys League, Midlands and the South Dublin Schoolboys League make up a tough group for the young Garden County side.
Wicklow did not get off to the start they would have been hoping for but they have to take certain things into account.
The NDSL side they squared up to have been together for two whole years in preparation for competitions like these, while the WDSL side have only recently been assembled and have only been a unit for a measly four training sessions.
The managers, Mick Kearney and Gerry Lewins and newly drafted coach, Jimmy Nolan are also in the midst of their first crack of the whip in charge of a county squad. What was second nature to the NDSL squad was totally new territory for the Wicklow boys.
As predicted, the game kicked off at a quick pace. The NDSL opened the scoring after six minutes. John McDonagh picked up the pieces in the middle of the park. McDonagh found Val Aledekoun in the box who in turn slotted the ball past Chris Doyle to give the Dubs the early advantage.
Wicklow didn’t drop the heads following the early setback, in the space of a few minutes they earned two great chances to equalise. A miss kicked ball by NDSL custodian, Cathal Byrne was claimed by Max Kearney.
Kearney spotted Byrne a mile off his line and went for the lob from distance. Unfortunately for the Wicklow midfielder, his effort was off target and the score remained unchanged.
A matter of minutes, Wicklow saw themselves unable to convert a better opportunity, following great link up play involving a trio of Wicklow Rovers players. Samuel Bishop sprayed the ball out wide to Fionn Luddy, Luddy slickly flicked the ball passed the two advancing defenders to set Max Kearney up for a clear path to goal.
Kearney’s attempt on goal that followed went just wide of the post.
In the 16th minute, the Northern Dublin boys punished Wicklow for not taking their chances with a second finish of their own.
NDSL winger, Bosun Lawul showed great skill to leave the chasing full back behind. As soon as Lawul entered the box, he let fly with a powerful shot across Chris Doyle and into the far top right hand corner of the net.
Max Kearney was involved in an operation to try and unlock the NDSL resistance in the 22nd minute. Kearney’s cross found Arklow Town’s Ollie Matthews at the back post. Matthew’s powerful effort was well saved by Cathal Byrne, WDSL were denied once again.
North Dublin rubbed salt in the wounds of Wicklow once again, as they scored a third in the very next play of the game. A quick break up the field concluded with John McDonagh getting his name on the scoresheet, slotting into the bottom left corner of the net.
The first period followed a similar pattern throughout.
Whenever it seemed like WDSL were building up a head of steam and were prepared to hit NDSL with a flurry of attacks resulting in goals, the away side would bury them up the other end of the pitch.
In the 38th minute, NDSL completed their tally of goals for the day. Bosun Lawul’s shot was parried out by Chris Doyle. Val Aledekoun was first to reach the loose ball, to bury home his brace.
When things were all set in done, there was one major difference between the two sides that stood out like a sore thumb. Whenever WDSL made an error, the NDSL were always on hand to punish.
However, when the roles were reversed and it was NDSL making the mistakes, Wicklow were unable to capitalise.
North Dublin were a well organised side who were good passers of the ball and played the game at a very fast pace.
The WDSL are still getting used to each other and of course the massive contrasts between county football and club football. However, the player power is there to give the top counties a good run for their money on a good day.
Top Form: Shane Maher (WDSL) Maher put his heart and soul into every challenge and worked his socks off.
THE WDSL unDEr-12 tEAm.