Heart­break in Un­der-15 fi­nal

Wex­ford lose af­ter ex­tra-time

Gorey Guardian - - SPORT -


THERE WAS heart­break for Wex­ford F.C. in the SSE Air­tric­ity League Un­der-15 shield fi­nal on Satur­day as hosts Dundalk came from two goals down to snatch the crown in Oriel Park.

Mark Do­ran’s side came into the game on an im­pres­sive ninegame un­beaten run that saw them pick off scalps like U.C.D., Cabin­teely and Sligo Rovers. How­ever, de­spite get­ting them­selves into a win­ning po­si­tion, Wex­ford just couldn’t hold off the ta­lented hosts.

The Fer­rycar­rig Park club have had the bonus of field­ing a fairly set­tled side re­cently. Do­ran made just one change to the start­ing lineup that ac­counted for Sligo, with Liam Doyle com­ing into the team in the place of Seán Fitz­patrick.

It took the vis­i­tors a lit­tle time to set­tle into their im­pres­sive sur­round­ings and the as­tro pitch. Twice Dundalk tested the strength of the met­al­work in the open­ing ten min­utes as they looked to get them­selves in front.

As the first quar­ter came to an end, Wex­ford be­gan to get a lit­tle more ball and Evan Con­nolly missed the tar­get with an ef­fort from dis­tance.

Tyler Dun­phy is usu­ally a sec­ond-half im­pact sub­sti­tu­tion but, with things not go­ing to plan, Mark Do­ran called on his rangy at­tacker early.

Luke Mur­phy sprung into ac­tion to deny the hosts on two oc­ca­sions as the game moved to­wards the break.

Dun­phy was in­volved when Wex­ford opened the scor­ing in the 35th minute. He played in Liam Doyle and the at­tacker dinked over the on­rush­ing ‘keeper to break the dead­lock.

Dun­phy al­most made it two just be­fore the in­ter­val when he volleyed wide when un­marked in the box but, given the way the game started, go­ing in a goal to the good was an ex­cel­lent re­sult for Wex­ford.

When an­other vol­ley op­por­tu­nity fell to Dun­phy, from Evan Far­rell’s flick-on ten min­utes af­ter the in­ter­val, he made no mis­take with a classy fin­ish to the op­po­site cor­ner of the net.

How­ever, the two-goal lead lasted just 13 min­utes as Jake O’Sul­li­van pulled a goal back for the hosts.

Evan Far­rell headed over with Wex­ford look­ing to in­crease their lead with 15 min­utes re­main­ing, and, with the game tick­ing into the last ten min­utes, Dundalk equalised.

Far­rell missed the tar­get late on from the edge of the area but the game was des­tined for ex­tra-time.

Luke Mur­phy, who would even­tu­ally be named ‘man of the match’, made a cou­ple of fine saves in the first-half of over­time, while Tyler Dun­phy was de­nied by some solid ‘keep­ing at the other end.

With penal­ties look­ing a real pos­si­bil­ity, Dundalk took the lead with 93 min­utes on the clock when David Doyle net­ted from close range.

A bro­ken side, Wex­ford con­ceded a fourth right at the death as Dundalk took the shield.

De­spite the re­sult, this has been a hugely promis­ing year for the youngest of the na­tional league crop at Wex­ford F.C. They will be keen to keep those within this squad who move to Un­der-17 next sea­son and build again with the hand­ful who re­main at this age group.

Wex­ford F.C.: Luke Mur­phy; Dar­ragh McGuire, Seán Red­mond, Dy­lan Casey, Liam Doyle, Pa­tryk Remi­asz, Evan Far­rell, Conor Carew (capt.), James Cullen, Evan Con­nolly, Kyle Clancy. Subs. - Adam Phe­lan, Seán Adam Gour­ley, Harry Cur­tis, Seán Fitz­patrick, Tyler Dun­phy, Paddy Red­mond, Dy­lan McEvoy, Kyle Rankin.

Wex­ford F.C. goal­keeper Luke Mur­phy re­ceives his player of the match award from Ja­son Dono­hue.

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