Shield success for Garden side
THE Wicklow Under-16 hurling team travelled to Ferns to take part in the Under-16 development squad’s tournament. Wicklow were drawn in a group that was comprised of Westmeath and Meath.
The Wicklow team began the day against a string Westmeath team.
Unfortunately the team conceded a quick brace of goals and found it hard to recover from the early set back of the goals and saw Westmeath run out comfortable winners in the end.
The second of the group games saw the boys come up against Meath who, with the aim of a strong wind in the first half, opened a commanding lead by half-time.
With the second half under way and with the aid of the strong wind now in the Wicklow team’s favour, saw the lead beginning to reduce with strong performances from Brandon Ryan and a very hard working full-forward line of Brian Keogh, Liam Sommers and Torna Mulconroy.
Unfortunately, the Wicklow came up short with Meath’s first half dominance enough to see them over the line.
After suffering two defeats from two in the group games, Wicklow had then qualified for the Division 2 Shield semi-final.
After a break for the final group’s games and lunch, the next opponents for Wicklow were Down in the semi-final.
Wicklow started the game the better with early scores form midfielder Eoin Kavanagh and some very good play from wing forward Jake O’Kelly.
With the teams entering the final stages it was nip and tuck and some very good free taking from PJ O’Connor, the Wicklow boys got over the line and were heading for the Shield final.
The Shield final saw a rematch of the second group game where Wicklow faced off against Meath for the second time in one day.
Unlike the first game, Wicklow didn’t allow the Meath lads open a lead like the group game and saw the teams trading score throughout the game.
Again some hard work in the forwards proved to be the difference as Wicklow kept the pressure on the Meath team throughout the whole pitch.
Meath were presented with a clear goal scoring opportunity coming to the closing stages of the games only to have Wicklow goalkeeper pull off a magnificent save from close range and prevent Meath taking the lead.
Some excellent performances from Liam Sommers and Tom Moran coupled with some great late free taking form PJ O’Connor saw an excellent Wicklow Performance been rewarded with the and the Division 2 Shield.