Stroll for Kil­dare

Wex­ford lads fail to reg­is­ter from play

Gorey Guardian - - SPORT - BRIAN CARTY in New­bridge

THE WEX­FORD Un­der-17 foot­ballers en­dured a dif­fi­cult start to their Elec­tric Ire­land Le­in­ster cham­pi­onship cam­paign when fall­ing to a com­pre­hen­sive 1-17 to 0-7 de­feat at the hands of a slick-look­ing Kil­dare out­fit in a one-sided round one en­counter played at re­splen­dent St. Con­leth’s Park, New­bridge, on bank hol­i­day Mon­day.

Wex­ford can have no com­plaints as they were sim­ply sec­ond-best against the phys­i­cally stronger and con­fi­dent hosts, with five of Kil­dare’s start­ing for­wards reg­is­ter­ing on the score­board, and the out­stand­ing Alex Beirne hav­ing free rein to dic­tate the game on his terms.

In fact, the 0-12 to 0-2 ad­van­tage that Kil­dare had built by half­time flat­tered Wex­ford, as Kil­dare’s Jack Smyth saw his 21st-minute penalty well saved by An­thony Larkin, and his col­league Muiris Curtin also had what looked like a per­fectly le­git­i­mate goal not given when his rasper seemed to come back into play hav­ing ca­reened off the back stan­chion.

While Wex­ford’s plight was ex­ac­er­bated by hav­ing to play two-thirds of the game with 14 men af­ter Ol­lie Ga­han re­ceived the sec­ond of his two yel­low cards for a de­lib­er­ate foot-block at the ex­pense of that penalty, the fact that the vis­i­tors didn’t trouble the score­board from play is a wor­ry­ing is­sue that needs to be ad­dressed.

And al­though 14 clubs were rep­re­sented on the day, it was no­table that tra­di­tion­ally strong un­der-age strongholds like Shel­maliers, St. Martin’s and Glynn-Barn­town had no play­ers on show, which per­haps points to an un­der­ly­ing is­sue at play.

Paddy McDer­mott opened the Li­ly­whites’ ac­count with a well-taken point af­ter 90 sec­onds, while Beirne scored twice and as­sisted an­other as the gap grew to 0-4 to nil by the sev­enth minute.

Curtin con­verted a free he won him­self on nine min­utes be­fore Jack Smyth cap­i­talised on a stray clear­ance from Larkin to point soon af­ter.

There was wel­come re­lief for an in­creas­ingly por­ous Wex­ford de­fence when Pádraig Be­han bar­relled through, only to hit the post with the goal at his mercy.

The as­sured free-tak­ing of Lee Jor­dan was per­haps the only pos­i­tive Wex­ford could glean from the try­ing cir­cum­stances, and he had two such scores on the board by the 19th minute to break his side’s duck, al­though they were firmly play­ing sec­ond-fid­dle by the in­ter­val thanks to four more Kil­dare points from play.

And the lead­ers con­tin­ued to at­tack with im­punity when play re­sumed, as quick points from Tom Browne and Beirne (two) pre­ceded the lat­ter cap­ping off an ex­cel­lent dis­play with a bril­liant goal on 42 min­utes when he linked up with sub­sti­tute Sam Mor­ris­sey be­fore sweep­ing clin­i­cally to the net.

His Naas club­mate, Drew Costello, carved open the Wex­ford de­fence too a minute later but his ris­ing shot can­noned off the met­al­work and out to safety.

Mean­while, a mark from Mor­ris­sey al­lowed Mar­cus Sweeney to be­come Kil­dare’s sev­enth dif­fer­ent scorer, al­though Jor­dan had four of the last five points, all from frees, on a dis­ap­point­ing day for Paul Carty’s charges.

Up next for Wex­ford is a home tie op­po­site Laois on May 23, with the time and venue yet to be fixed, while they travel to Long­ford the fol­low­ing week. Car­low com­plete the com­plex­ion of Group 2, with Wex­ford down to host their neigh­bours on July 3.

Wex­ford: An­thony Larkin (Starlights); James O’Leary (Our Lady’s Is­land), Robert Mur­phy (Ki­lanerin), Jamie Shee­han (Gusser­ane); Harry Kehoe (Vol­un­teers), Mark Kehoe (Gusser­ane), Ol­lie Ga­han (St. Pa­trick’s); Em­met Cullen (Gusser­ane), Ciarán Ka­vanagh (HWH-Bun­clody, capt.); Jack Fin­nu­cane (Sars­fields), Em­mett Nolan (St. Mary’s, Maudlin­stown), Niall Con­nolly (Rathgarogue-Cushin­stown); Conor Kehoe (Sars­fields), Lee Jor­dan (Starlights, 0-7 frees), Jack Do­ran (Naomh Eanna). Subs. - Adrian Breen (Ferns St. Ai­dan’s) for Fin­nu­cane (23), Paudie Casey (Oyle­gate-Glen­brien) for Breen, inj. (HT), Ja­son Dev­ereux (Our Lady’s Is­land) for Con­nolly (HT), Ciarán Re­gan (HWH-Bun­clody) for Kehoe (41), Lee Nolan (St. Mary’s, Maudlin­town) for E. Nolan (52), Seán Mur­phy (Vol­un­teers) for Do­ran (58), also Byron Sweeney (St. Mary’s, Maudlin­town), Adam Mullins (Our Lady’s Is­land), Jack O’Leary (St. Fin­tan’s).

Kil­dare: John Ball; Oisín O’Lough­lin, Seán Hill, Jack Hamill; Daniel Caulfield, Liam Brod­er­ick, Paddy McDer­mott (0-1); Drew Costello, Mar­cus Kiely (0-1); Tom Browne (02), Alex Beirne (capt., 1-5), Michael McGovern; Muiris Curtin (0-5, 2 frees), Pádraig Be­han (0-1), Jack Smyth (02). Subs. - Sam Mor­ris­sey for Smyth (41), Nick Jack­man for Brod­er­ick (49), Aaron Kennedy for Be­han (54), Seán Moore for Hill (54), Jack Cleary for Costello (59).

Ref­eree: Stephen John­son (Louth).

The Wex­ford Un­der-17 foot­ballers be­fore their heavy first round de­feat to Kil­dare in New­bridge.

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