Wicklow edge Division Four winner takes all clash with Wicklow
Midfield combination of Padraig O’Toole and Dean Healy provide springboard for visitors
Wicklow’s Dean Healy impressed during his team’s win over Wexford. File photograph: Inpho
Wicklow stepped up to the plate delivering a fully deserved three point victory over Wexford to seal the Division 4 title and promotion.
The Garden County needed the final round win to secure both, with Wexford also playing for the title and promotion, but it never looked in doubt as they controlled this game for the most part. Particularly when playing into the elements through the second half.
Wexford - mainly through the scoring of Ben Brosnan from placed balls - remained in the contest in the first half. But thanks to Conor Byrne, Seanie Furlong and goalkeeper Mark Jackman who scored two huge frees, it was Wicklow who led 0-6 to 0-4 at the interval.
When Wexford opened the second half with two quickfire points from Mark Rossiter and a Brosnan free to draw level (0-6 each) it looked as if the homeside would take control, but the midfield combination of Padraig O’Toole and Dean Healy provided the springboard for the visitors.
They got to grips with the game on the resumption, continually driving their side forward and scoring a point apiece in the process.
With Rory Finn adding two well executed points while Furlong did his bit with the frees the eventual winners led 0-13 to 0-7 with five minutes remaining. Wexford finished strongly with two Brosnan frees and another point from Nick Doyle - but it was Wicklow who held firm for a deserved victory.
Wicklow: M Jackman (0-3 frees); P O’Keane, J Snell, E Murtagh; A Maher, N Donnelly, R Finn (0-2); P O’Toole (0-1), D Healy (0-1); D Devereux (0-1), M Kenny, D Hayden; E Darcy, S Furlong (0-3 frees), C Byrne (0-2). Subs: G Murphy for Darcy (55 mins), C O’Brien for Byrne (58 mins), R O’Brien for Murtaghh (66 mins), J Sheeran for Furlong (68 mins), O Manning for Maher (72 mins).
Wexford: P Doyle; M O’Connor, G Sheehan, E Porter; G Malone, B Malone, S Ryan; N Hughes, D Waters; A Tobin (0-1), B Brosnan (0-6, 0-4 frees, 0-1, 45), K O’Grady; A Tobin (0-1), M Rossiter (0-2), J Tubritt. Subs: E Nolan for Tobin (38 mins), N Doyle (0-1) for Waters (42 mins), C Carty for Ryan (44 mins), J Bealin for Tubritt (52 mins), P Hughes for Rossiter (60 mins).
Referee: D Hickey (Carlow).