Tough start for Wick­low against ram­pant NDSL

Bray People - - SPORT - JAMES NOLAN

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.

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