Division Four roundup: Late Wexford free beats Leitrim
Antrim punish first half Carlow wides, as Wicklow and Louth both secure wins
David Power’s Wexford team started off their Division Four campaign with a win on Sunday. Photograph: Inpho
Wexford 0-14 Leitrim 1-10
David Power’s Wexford team showed patience and perseverance to eventually edge their way to a one point victory over a battling Leitrim outfit in Bellefield on Sunday.
Leading the game by three points having played with a strong breeze through the opening half Wexford were then hit with a Shane Quinn 30th minute goal which left them with a mountain to climb upon the resumption.
Leitrim had opened impressively with early points from Quinn and Emlyn Mulligan, but with Kevin O’Grady coming into the game up front for the homesidethey were level after nine minutes. Wexford then played their way into a 0-8 to 0-5 lead, mainly through the accuracy of O’Grady and Donal Shanley, when Quinn powered his way forward. His initial shot was well saved by keeper Anthony Masterson but he somehow got a boot to the breaking ball to find the net from close in. Shanley and substitute Conor Gaffney exchanged pointed frees to leave the homeside leading 0-9 to 1-5 at the interval.
While Ben Brosnan increased his sides lead within one minute of the restart, Leitrim responded with points from Nevin O’Donnell, Adrian Croal and Kevin Conlan to lead 1-9 to 0-10 after 40 minutes. The sides were deadlocked though as the game entered the closing minutes, but Donal Shanley pointed a game-winning free in additional time after ’keeper Brendan Flynn was penalised for over-carrying.
WEXFORD: A Masterson ; R Tierney, N Rossiter, R Vallejo; B Malone, S Donohoe, K Butler; C Kehoe, N Hughes; P Curtis, A Flynn (0-2), K O’Grady (0-6, 5f); B Brosnan (0-2), D Shanley (0-4f), K Rowe. Subs; J Tubritt for Curtis (inj. 23); D Waters for Hughes (35); P J Banville for Rowe (50); J Rossiter for Tierney (55); T Rossiter for Brosnan (64); S Ryan for Tubritt (67).
LEITRIM: B Flynn; M Murphy, N Woods, M McWeeney; K McGrisken, B Prior, S Quinn (1-1); D Wrynn, D Sweeney; N O’Donnell (0-3, 1f), E Mulligan (0-2), K Conlan (0-1); C Gilheaney, A Croal (0-1), B Mulvey. Subs: C Gaffney (0-2) for Mulvey (20); G Reynolds for McGrisken (53); R Flynn for O’Donnell (53); R Gallagher for Sweeney (60); J McGrail for Prior (64).
Referee: K Murphy (Cork).
Louth 2-9 London 0-9
A couple of quickfire first-half goals were to prove crucial as promotion hopefuls Louth labored to an opening round win over London in Darver.
The Exiles started brightly, opening the scoring through Scott Conroy and Sean Hickey, but Declan Byrne and Jim McEneaney gave Gavin McEvoy no chance with two smart finishes, to open a rather flattering five-point cushion for the hosts, 2-2 to 0-3.
The goals were a big blow to London, who were set up quite defensively by Kerry native Ciaran Deely and despite closing the gap to three points twice in the second-half, they never truly looked capable of causing an upset.
They did cut Louth’s lead to four at the break, 2-3 to 0-5, but early second-half points from James Stewart, McEneaney and Darren McMahon kept the hosts in command.
London rallied with a brace from Mulvey and a point from Adrian Moyles, but Louth’s fitness seemed to tell in the final quarter as they snuffed out any threat of a comeback.
LOUTH: C Lynch; P Rath, P Reilly K Toner; D Maguire, D McMahon (0-1), E Lafferty; T Durnin, J Califf; D Byrne (1-3), J Stewart (0-1), A Reid; C McKeever, J McEneaney (1-3, one free), C Grimes. Subs: G McSorley for Durnin (12), R Moore (0-1) for Califf (59), J Bingham for Rath (62), R Holcroft for Byrne (68).
LONDON: G McEvoy; P Butler, D McGreevey, D Quinn; C Carty, D Ryan (0-1), C Dunne; J Moran, L Mulvey (0-3, one free); A Moyles (0-2), S O’Grady, A Hanlon; S Hickey (0-2), S Conroy (0-1), P O’Hara. Subs: A Dunne for Quinn (50), J Lynch for S Conroy (50), S Buckley for C Dunne (60), C Healy for Hickey (66).
Referee: P Faloon (Down).
Having endured a poor O’Byrne Cup campaign, Wicklow began their league campaign well with a two point victory over Waterford.
Waterford played with a strong wind in the first half but couldn’t make it count on the score board as they kicked seven wides. The visitors led by a goal at half time, 1-4 to 0-4, their goal coming from a mistake in the Wicklow defence.
Wicklow reeled off six frees in the second half, four from John McGrath, as Waterford’s indiscipline caused them problems.
With fifteen minutes to go Wicklow led by four, as Eddie Doyle made an impact off the bench when he won two frees and kicked over a point from play.
Waterford did well to come back though, playing into the wind and a man down after Tadhg T Ó hUallacháin had been sent off. They hit the post late on having reduced the deficit to two, but Wicklow held out for a nervous finish and two valuable points.
WICKLOW: R Lambert; A Murphy, R O’Brien, C Hyland 0-01; D Healy, P McLoughlin, C Murphy; R Finn 0-04 (3 frees), A McLoughlin; D Hayden, John McGrath 0-05 (5 frees), S Kelly 0-01; P Byrne, P Cunningham, M Kenny.
Substitutes: N Gaffney for P McLoughlin (15-20 Blood), E Doyle 0-01 for P Byrne (40 mins), J Crowe 0-01 for D Healy (50 mins), D Gaffney for A McLoughlin (64 mins), G Allen for M Kenny (68 mins), D Woods for John McGrath (72 mins).
WATERFORD: S Enright; T Ó hUallacháin, T O’Gorman, James McGrath; D Allen, S Prendergast, R O’Ceallaigh; C Prunty, T Prendergast; M O’Gorman, D Breathnach 0-02, M O’Halloran; G Crotty, JJ Hutchinson, P Whyte 0-05 (4 frees, 1 45).
Substitutes: P Hurney 1-00 for D Allen (12 mins), D Allen for M O’Halloran (HT), D Power for JJ Hutchinson (50 mins), B Looby for James McGrath (62 mins), S Corcoran 0-01 (1f) for P Hurney (65 mins).
Referee: S Lonergan (Tipperary)
Carlow 0-10 Antrim 1-12
Antrim’s long trip to Carlow was rewarded with two points after the home side shot nine first half wides when favoured by the strong wind.
Tipped as potential promotion candidates, Antrim carried a greater game plan. They contained Carlow in that opening half and were far better at working the ball into scoring positions than their opponents.
Carlow’s Derek Hayden pointed his side in front for the only time on 25 minutes, yet directly from the resultant kick-out Antrim gained possession and a high hanging ball into the home goal area caught ‘keeper Craig Kearney in two minds and there was the lurking Kevin Niblock to collect and crash the ball into an empty net.
By half time Antrim were 1-4 to 0-5 ahead and with wind advantage to come were very much in control.
With centre forward Michael McCann orchestrating the play and helping himself to 0-5 from play, Antrim stormed into a 1-10 to 0-7 lead after 55 minutes. They had lost Kevin Niblock to a dead leg on 53 minutes after a strong clash between the St Galls clubman and Carlow full back Daniel St Ledger and he must be a doubt for next week’s home game against Wexford..
Antrim appeared to relax in the final 15 minutes allowing Carlow to rally and come within three points (1-10 to 0-10) after 64 minutes.
But the northern visitors finished the scoring with well-taken points form play by midfielder Conor Murray and left half back Paddy McAleer.
Both sides ended with 14 men after Antrim’s Niall McKeever and Carlow’s Brendan Murphy (Carlow), the game’s two biggest men, who were in direct opposition, were each issued with second yellow cards.
ANTRIM: C Kerr; K O’Boyle, C Burke, J Lavery (0-1); J Carron, J Crozier, P McAleer (0-1); S McVeigh, C Murray (0-3); M Fitzpatrick (0-1, free), M McCann (0-5), M Sweeney; K Niblock (1-1), N McKeever, T McCann.
Substitutes: R Murray for Sweeney (34); M Armstrong for Carron (h/t); B Neeson for Niblock (injured) (53); S Burke for Armstrong (68).
CARLOW: C Kearney; B J Molloy, D St Ledger, K Nolan; G Kelly, D Hayden (0-1), B Kavanagh; Brendan Murphy (0-1), D Foley (0-3, frees); A Kelly (0-1), J Murphy (0-1), E Finnegan; D O’Brien, P Broderick (0-2, 0-1 free, 0-1 sideline), C Blake.
Substitutes: S Gannon for Broderick (injured) (34); J J Smith (0-1, free) for Finnegan (h/t); H Gahan for O’Brien (39); Brian Murphy for Blake (injured) (65); M Fitzgerald for Hayden (injured) (70+1).
Referee: P Maguire (Longford).