Brave Wick­low young guns will learn from ex­pe­ri­ence

Bray People - - SPORT -


WEX­FORD booked a trip to Kil­dare as a re­ward for a com­pre­hen­sive vic­tory over an in­fe­rior Wick­low side in Aughrim on Thurs­day.

Sport­ing a far big­ger side and panel the Model County played some clever foot­ball and only for the cross­bar of the Wick­low goal, the gap could have been much wider come the end of the hours foot­ball.

Wex­ford took the lead in the open­ing minute through Fi­achra Houri­hane with a lovely score off his left foot and backed it up a minute later with a score from other corner for­ward Todd Hynes. The tenac­ity of the Wex­ford back­line has to be noted from very early on. The in­ten­sity they opened the game at was fe­ro­cious al­low­ing Wick­low men no chance to clear their lines or find a team mate with of­ten times, at least three Wex­ford men could be seen around the ball. In the mid­dle of the field, mid­field part­ner­ship of James Lawlor and the in­spi­ra­tional Liam Cole­man dom­i­nated the air­ways win­ning or break­ing six of the open­ing seven Wick­low kick outs. Wing for­ward Eoghan Her­lihy chipped in with a point him­self and a cross field ball from the same man found Cole­man mo­ments later who fired off the cross­bar and away to safety. It was al­most fif­teen min­utes be­fore Wick­low opened their ac­count through Daniel Ging. The home side were mak­ing sim­ple el­e­men­tary mis­takes, car­ry­ing the ball into tack­les with a stronger op­po­nent, try­ing to em­u­late Ciaran McDon­ald with shots from out­side the boot but skew­ing them twenty yards wide and han­dling is­sues were all to the fore. A Cole­man free re­stored a three point lead for the away side be­fore an­other goal chance for them. A short kick out was in­ter­cepted by Michael Car­roll and the ball was worked to Todd Hynes but un­for­tu­nately for the lively corner for­ward it was fired wide.

Wex­ford wouldn’t have to wait long for a green flag though. A poor de­ci­sion to shoot from a Wick­low player was blocked by Wex­ford and a long ball sent Diar­muid Barry in a one on one with the Wick­low defence. Un­for­tu­nately for them, the ball popped up nicely to the St Martin’s man who re­leased Hynes who this time made no mis­take with the goal. The Wick­low re­sponse was im­me­di­ate and a long di­ag­o­nal ball into the goal area found Jack Man­ley who fired home within a minute of Wex­ford. The im­pres­sive Pau­ric Hughes from Bal­ly­nas­tragh Gaels was prov­ing a real thorn in the Wick­low side in the open­ing pe­riod. The wing back was in­volved in a lot of at­tacks and his rov­ing runs into op­po­si­tion ter­ri­tory al­most got him­self a goal on one oc­ca­sion. How­ever, he pro­vided an as­sist to Diar­muid Barry for Wex­ford’s goal on the stroke of half time which gave the trav­el­ling men an eight point lead at the break which was well de­served by their ef­forts. Full for­ward Sean Forde was also prov­ing a hand­ful for the Wick­low defence as he dic­tated play from the mid­dle third.

Wex­ford opened the sec­ond pe­riod in the same vein as the first with three points in as many min­utes at the start. Un­for­tu­nately for the home side one of the points came in an un­for­tu­nate way. Af­ter dis­pos­sess­ing a Wex­ford at­tack, Wex­ford turned the ball back over im­me­di­ately on the 14 for a point from Hynes. Wex­ford al­ways had an ex­tra cou­ple of sec­onds on the ball. When com­ing out of defence, they worked the ball fast through the hands leav­ing op­po­si­tion trail­ing. At­tack­ing, they had will­ing run­ners of the shoul­der mak­ing some of their scores a joy to watch. Other as­pects of the at­tack just show that when things are go­ing your way, they keep go­ing your way. A mis­con­trolled solo by Lawlor found its way back to him some­how with a Wick­low player clos­ing him down and he fired over a score. To Wick­low’s credit, they per­formed much much bet­ter in the sec­ond pe­riod. Oisin McGraynor added two points with one lovely score from a free. An­drew Ma­her and Tadgh O’Toole im­pressed, try­ing to drive col­leagues for­ward. James Hed­der­man bat­tled hard but the in­tro­duc­tion of Pau­ric Mur­ray was the spark needed for the home side. The Coolkenno man was a nui­sance from the mo­ment he crossed the white line, win­ning a free, want­ing and hav­ing the con­fi­dence to kick it him­self, grab­bing him­self two points and firing home a net buster of a goal to­wards the end of the game. Hard work from Ging, Hed­der­man and a pass from cap­tain O’Toole re­leased the full for­ward who fired home a rocket which bounced down­wards off the cross­bar and bounced be­hind the line of Joshua Burke’s goal. Wex­ford will have taken much con­fi­dence for this vic­tory as they travel to Kil­dare and as for Wick­low, they will learn a lot from this. Play­ers will im­prove from the sim­ple er­rors and hope­fully re­turn to the in­ter­county stage in years to come with the knowl­edge of the stan­dard of teams they will be fac­ing.

Wick­low’s Daniel Ging and Wex­ford’s Tommy Ryan com­pete for poses­sion.

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