Un­der-21 hurlers fall short against Kil­dare

Sec­ond-half fight­back not enough to thwart Kil­dare

Wicklow People (West Edition) - - SPORT - RICHARD CLUNE at Pearse’s Park, Ark­low


AT half-time, with Wick­low nine points be­hind Kil­dare, it looked like an­other heavy beat­ing was on the cards for a Wick­low team.

Kil­dare dom­i­nated the first half, their strength and su­pe­ri­or­ity around the mid­dle third of the pitch set the foun­da­tion for at­tacks and starved Wick­low of pos­ses­sion. Seanie Ger­maine and Jonathan O’Neill, as a two-man full-for­ward line, barely touched the ball dur­ing the half and even when they did their mark­ers were on top.

The vis­it­ing team could have been fur­ther ahead as well, they hit eight wides to go along with their 1-09 to­tal at half-time and a cou­ple of goal chances went a beg­ging.

The half-time break changed the game how­ever and Wick­low were level in the 57th minute. The de­fence gained an up­per hand on the Kil­dare for­wards, lim­it­ing them to only one point in a twenty-minute pe­riod, and the mid­field be­gan win­ning some break­ing ball to set up at­tacks.

Enda Dono­hoe con­verted a 65 to equalise in nor­mal time but a cou­ple of in­jury time Kil­dare points broke Wick­low’s hearts and the dream of go­ing one step fur­ther than last year was shat­tered.

Kil­dare played with a breeze in the first half that was stronger pitch-side than in the stand and after an even open­ing ten min­utes they took con­trol of the game.

It was two points each by the tenth minute, two Dono­hoe frees bal­anced out a Kil­dare free and ex­quis­ite Jack Sheri­dan side line.

Kil­dare went on to score 1-06 with­out re­ply in the next fif­teen min­utes, some Wick­low in­dis­ci­pline grant­ing James Burke an­other three con­verted frees while Sheri­dan re­peated his party piece from the side line.

The goal came cour­tesy of full for­ward Shane Ryan who bus­tled his way past a cou­ple of Wick­low play­ers and hit the roof of the net.

Christy Moore­house pulled one back for Wick­low late in the half, their only score from play in 30 min­utes, but Brian Cor­mack was on hand to re­store Kil­dare’s nine point lead at half-time, 1-09 to 3.

Wick­low came out in the sec­ond half and started well, scor­ing three points to Kil­dare’s two.

It looked like it would be in vain though, the deficit too high a hur­dle to over­come. That was un­til they hit 1-02 in three min­utes and suddenly the hur­dle wasn’t so daunt­ing.

For the first 40 min­utes or so Dono­hoe went back as a sweeper to cut out the dan­ger posed by a Kil­dare for­ward line that pos­sessed a cou­ple of play­ers with Christy Ring Cup medals.

How­ever, his in­flu­ence was negated some­what when his man fol­lowed him and the Kil­dare played with seven for­wards.

At times, Dono­hoe was a cor­ner-back. Sea­mus Mur­phy did ex­plain af­ter­wards why they left him there for so long and there was a method in the man­age­ment’s mad­ness that looked strange from the stand.

Dono­hoe moved into the full-for­ward line after he con­verted a free in the 42nd minute and then he latched onto a Seanie Ger­maine pass for the goal.

Padraig O’Toole added a point and the deficit was down to three.

James Burke con­verted a 65 to ex­tend the lead to four be­fore Dono­hoe replied with a 65 of his own.

Mid­field­ers Christy Moore­house and O’Toole added an­other point each and then Dono­hoe hit a sec­ond 65 to level the game.

Wick­low had the next two chances, Ger­maine from a tight an­gle un­der pres­sure and O’Toole from dis­tance. Un­for­tu­nately both went left and wide. Kil­dare had a cou­ple of chances of their own which they put over the bar.

It’s the end of the road for many of this team at U21 level, they were un­able to repli­cate the glory of 2015. They will how­ever go on to se­nior level and Sea­mus Mur­phy is look­ing for­ward to work­ing with them next year.

Scor­ers – Kil­dare: James Burke (5f, 1 65) 0-06; Shane Ryan 1-02; Jack Sheri­dan (2sl) 0-02; Sean Lawlor, Cathal Melville, Barry Cor­mack, Kevin Ahearne 0-1 each.

Wick­low: Enda Dono­hoe (5f, 2 65) 1-07; Christy Moore­house, Padraig O’Toole 0-02 each; Gary

Hughes 0-1f.

KIL­DARE: Mark Doyle; Si­mon Lacey, Richard Ho­gan, Lor­can Be­han; Diar­muid Greene, Aran Kelly, Reece Gavin; Sean Lawlor, Jack Travers; David Mur­phy, James Burke, Cathal Melville; Barry Cor­mack, Shane Ryan; Jack Sheri­dan. Subs: Sean Mac Don­nacha for Lor­can Be­han (18 mins); Conor Kielty for Jack Travers (36 mins); Kevin Ahearne for Reece Gavin (41 mins).

WICK­LOW: Cian Staunton; Aaron Kin­sella, Matthew Tre­anor, Brian Kear­ney; Padraig Byrne, An­drew Ka­vanagh, Oisin Fur­long; Christy Moore­house, Liam Benville; Luke Evans, Padraig O’Toole, Gary Hughes; Enda Dono­hoe, Seanie Ger­maine, Jonathan O’Neill. Subs: Padraig Doyle for Liam Benville (22 mins); Aaron Byrne for Luke Evans (37 mins). REF­EREE: T Walsh (Water­ford)

Luke Evans tak­ing a free for Wick­low.

Wick­low’s Jonathan O’Neill gathers pos­ses­sion.

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