Wick­low fall to Car­low as scores prove hard to find

Bray People - - SPORT -

CAR­LOW WICK­LOW 1-17 0-12

WHILE there was very lit­tle cause for op­ti­mism as the tiny Wick­low sup­port de­parted Net­watch Cullen Park last Satur­day night hav­ing watched the county foot­ballers slump to a 1-17 to 0-12 de­feat at the hands of a thriv­ing Car­low side, it’s im­por­tant to break the game into two halves when ex­am­in­ing what went wrong for John Evans’ side.

It can’t be a big sur­prise that Car­low got the bet­ter of Wick­low given the county’s tra­jec­to­ries in re­cent years. Tur­lough O’Brien’s men are in a dif­fer­ent place to Wick­low at this mo­ment in time and for myr­iad of rea­sons.

How­ever, Wick­low did show im­prove­ments in cer­tain ar­eas last week­end fol­low­ing the Laois game, but there has been no im­prove­ment, nor does there look like there will be or can be, in the scor­ing de­part­ment, and that is the most cru­cial el­e­ment of their down­fall.

Laois won 12 of Wick­low’s kick­outs in Joule Park, Aughrim. Car­low won two. Work was ob­vi­ously done on that aspect of the game in the in­ter­ven­ing pe­riod and it helped Wick­low to a not un­healthy po­si­tion of trail­ing the home side by a sin­gle point at 0-05 to 0-04 with 20 min­utes on the clock.

Iron­i­cally, de­spite the kick outs be­ing the most im­proved area for Wick­low, it was a short kick out to Jamie Snell from Mark Jack­son that saw Snell slip and al­low Car­low gather with the ball be­ing fed out to Paul Brod­er­ick and the ball was in the back of the net. 22 min­utes gone, 1-06 to 0-04.

In fair­ness to Wick­low, the heads didn’t drop, and they bat­tled on to go in at the break trail­ing by 1-08 to 0-07 and you felt that if John Evans’ side could get in for a goal there was no telling what might hap­pen. Wor­ry­ingly though, Car­low were so abra­sive all over the field and so en­thu­si­as­tic for the fight and with Wick­low not re­ally show­ing any po­ten­tial from play aside from the few ex­cel­lent ef­forts from out the field, deep down it was hard to see where the scores were go­ing to come from be­yond placed balls.

Car­low started bet­ter in the sec­ond half, Eoghan Ruth pop­ping over a great score sec­onds af­ter Mark Jack­son pre­vented the home side grab­bing their sec­ond goal when he got the foot to Jor­dan Mor­ris­sey’s ef­fort af­ter cor­ner-back Conor Lawlor had cut through Wick­low with a sear­ing run from mid­field.

Pres­sure from Dean Healy won Wick­low a 45 af­ter Eoin Murtagh had thwarted the ex­cel­lent Sean Gan­non as he ram­paged down on goal at the other end mo­ments ear­lier.

Mark Jack­son was sum­moned from the goals and some­thing very in­ter­est­ing hap­pened as he made his way up to the 45. Gan­non fol­lowed Jack­son on his run up and shouted at the Balt­in­glass man all the way de­spite Jamie Snell’s at­tempts to pre­vent him. Jack­son went wide from the 45 and Gan­non had an­other few words to of­fer as the Wick­low goal­keeper made his way back to goals.

If Mark Jack­son is to take the ma­jor­ity of Wick­low frees and 45s then he is go­ing to have to be pro­tected - if not by the of­fi­cials, then by his own play­ers. The game was still very much in the melt­ing pot at this stage and when Ross O’Brien lifted over a beauty of a score mo­ments later it could have been 1-09 to 0-09 in­stead of 1-09 to 0-08.

At this stage Car­low had switched Paul Brod­er­ick with Sean Gan­non and lovely in­tel­li­gent for­ward play from Gan­non got him out in front of Jamie Snell to col­lect a ball from deep and he turned and lofted over a fine point.

Things took a turn for the worst for the vis­i­tors then when John McGrath picked up what looked to be a very harsh black card from Leitrim ref­eree Ea­mon O’Grady on the ad­vice of his lines­man. O’Grady did Wick­low no favours in this game it should be noted and added to the sense of real frus­tra­tion felt by the small Wick­low fol­low­ing that made the jour­ney over.

John Evans rang the changes at this stage, in­tro­duc­ing Padraig O’Toole for Conor Healy and then Mark Kenny for McGrath. Pat Burke had en­tered the fray for Bren­dan Kennedy in the open­ing half.

From here, Car­low pushed on re­lent­lessly. Brod­er­ick (two) and Dar­ragh Fo­ley from frees were an­swered by a su­perb John Crowe ef­fort with 16 gone in the sec­ond half.

Two min­utes later it was cur­tains for Wick­low as Dean Healy saw red for a clumsy tackle on Bren­dan Mur­phy on the stand side. As tough as the task looked with 15 on 15, it was im­pos­si­ble with a man down.

Car­low fired over some ma­jes­tic scores for the re­main­der of the game while Wick­low were kept go­ing through Dar­ren Hay­den and Mark Jack­son, but there was never any hope of any­thing but a com­pre­hen­sive Car­low vic­tory.

There’s no other way to say it other than that Wick­low are in a very poor place at the mo­ment. There is no threat up front. De­ploy­ing James Stafford on the edge of the square is made fu­tile by the lack of sup­port for the Rath­new man when a rare high ball is pumped in long. Like­wise with Seanie Fur­long.

Wick­low are over-re­liant on draw­ing fouls within Mark Jack­son’s range. Mis­takes are killing the team at key mo­ments in games and when ques­tions are asked there seems to be a deep lack of con­fi­dence within the psy­che of the squad and no real strong foun­da­tion to fall back on.

Pos­i­tives for Wick­low were, as al­ways, the per­for­mance of Mark Jack­son, while Eoin Murtagh looked very ca­pa­ble in his sweep­ing role de­spite a lack of time func­tion­ing within that de­mand­ing po­si­tion.

The Dunlavin man showed courage to claim sev­eral 50-50 balls over the course of this game. Theo Smyth worked hard, Ross O’Brien like­wise while Dar­ren Hay­den chipped in with three scores and his usual self­less shift

Car­low’s goal came from a mis­take and al­though they cut through Wick­low twice in the sec­ond half, the full-back line worked hard all night.

Sec­ond from bot­tom to­day with two draws from five games, all Wick­low have left to play for against Lim­er­ick and Leitrim is pride. Two wins would give John Evans’ men a real boost as they be­gin their prepa­ra­tions for the cham­pi­onship. Set­tling on a sys­tem and a start­ing 15 and find­ing a way of work­ing scores are the mas­sive chal­lenges fac­ing the Wick­low man­age­ment, with the night­mare sce­nario of a rock bot­tom fin­ish look­ing very pos­si­ble at this stage.

Scor­ers - Car­low: Paul Brod­er­ick 1-7 (5f), Dar­ragh Fo­ley 0-3 (1f), Sean Mur­phy 0-2, Jor­dan Mor­ris­sey, Bren­dan Mur­phy, Eoghan Ruth, Sean Gan­non, Daniel St Ledger (f) 0-1 each.

Wick­low: Mark Jack­son 0-5, (4f,


Wides: Wick­low 7 (4), Car­low 8 (5)

Kick­outs won: Wick­low 22, Car­low 13 (own); Wick­low 5, Car­low 2 (oth­ers).

Frees: Wick­low 15, Car­low 22 Cards: Wick­low: two yel­lows, one black, one red; Car­low: one yel­low.

Turnovers: Wick­low 10, Car­low 15.

Breaks won: Wick­low 11, Car­low 10.

Goal chances: Wick­low 1, Car­low 3.

Marks: Wick­low 4, Car­low 3. 45s: Wick­low 2, Car­low 0. Steps: Wick­low 1, Car­low 1. Dropped Short: Wick­low 1, Car­low 1.


Jor­dan Mor­ris­sey point (.50) Dar­ragh Fo­ley point (4.30) 1 ‘45’), Dar­ren Hay­den 0-4, (3f), James Stafford, Ross O’Brien, John Crowe 0-1 each.

Rob­bie Mol­loy; Chris Crowley, Shane Red­mond, Conor Lawlor; Jor­dan Mor­ris­sey, Daniel St Ledger, Ciaran Mo­ran; Bren­dan Mur­phy, Sean Mur­phy; Sean Gan­non, Dar­ragh Fo­ley, Eoghan Ruth; Paul Brod­er­ick, Dar­ragh O’Brien, John Mur­phy. Subs: Mark Ren­nick for Crowley (55min); Diar­muid Walsh for O’Brien (58min); Cian Lawler for Brod­er­ick (58min); Benny Ka­vanagh for Mor­ris­sey (59min); Jamie Clarke for B Mur­phy (65min); Mark Furey for Ruth (70+2).

Mark Jack­son; Bren­dan Kennedy, Jamie Snell, Paul Mer­ri­gan; Eoin Murtagh, Dean Healy, Ross O’Brien; Rory Finn, James Stafford; Conor Healy, Dar­ren Hay­den, John Crowe; Theo Smyth, Seanie Fur­long, John McGrath. Subs: Pat Burke for Kennedy (30min); Padraig O’Toole for Healy (43min), Mark Kenny for McGrath (BC, 46); David Booth­man for Stafford (63min); Gearoid Mur­phy for Fur­long (63min); Saoirse Kearon for Mer­ri­gan (70+2) Ea­mon O’Grady (Leitrim)

Mark Jack­son point (45) (6.20) Bren­dan Mur­phy point (7) Paul Brod­er­ick point (f) (9.30) James Stafford point (10) Dar­ren Hay­den point (f) (14) Paul Brod­er­ick point (17) Dar­ren Hay­den point (f) (20) Sean Mur­phy point (21) Paul Brod­er­ick goal (21) Paul Brod­er­ick point (f) (24) Dar­ren Hay­den point (25) Mark Jack­son poi­int (f) (28) Dar­ragh Fo­ley point (34) Mark Jack­son point (f) (35) Eoghan Ruth point (36) Ross O’Brien point (41) Sean Gan­non point (42) Paul Brod­er­ick point (f) (45) Dar­ragh Fo­ley point (f) (48) Paul Brod­er­ick point (f) (49) John Crowe point (50) Daniel St Ledger point (f) (55) Paul Brod­er­ick point (57) Paul Brod­er­ick point (58) Dar­ren Hay­den point (f) (60) Sean Mur­phy point (65) Mark Jack­son point (f) (68) Mark Jack­son point (70)

Wick­low’s Dean Healy gets away from Car­low’s Sean Mur­phy in Net­watch Cullen Park. Pho­tos: Joe Byrne

John McGrath feels the pres­sure from Car­low’s Bren­dan Mur­phy.

Wick­low’s Conor Healy fires off a shot as Sean Gan­non closes in.

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