Hannon leads way with crucial Wicklow goal
Following a one-point defeat by Clare last week, Wicklow got their League show on the road at Aughrim yesterday with a seven- point win over Leitrim.
Centre-forward Tony Hannon led the Wicklow charge, scoring an impressive 1-4, with his opportunist second-half goal proving crucial.
Up to then Mick O'Dwyer's men had laboured to shake off a Leitrim side that always controlled the vital midfield play through the work of Tomas Beirne and David O'Connor.
The goal stretched Wicklow's lead to 1-7 to 0-5 and inspired them to play their best football of the game over the next 10 minutes as they increased their lead to 1-12 to 0-6 with further points by Seanie Furlong, Paddy Dalton, centre-back Brian McGrath and a lovely brace from Leighton Glynn, who had moved to corner-forward in the second half.
Although Hannon scored first for Wicklow with a point from a free, the westerners had the better of the exchanges in the first quarter, leading their opponents twice with points by midfielder O'Connor and free-taking centre-forward Michael Foley.
They were ahead 0-3 to 0-2 after 15 minutes.
Minutes later Glynn picked out Dalton with a great cross-field pass. Dalton fired in a sizzling shot from 30 metres, but Leitrim's Dermot Reynolds got down at the near post to make a super save, but at the expense of a '45. Wicklow lead 0-6 to 0-4 at the break before Hannon hit the back of the net in the second half to secure the win for O'Dwyer's side.
Scorers -- Wicklow: T Hannon 1-4 (2f 1'45), S Furlong 0-4 (f), L Glynn 0-2, JP Dalton, P Dalton and B McGrath 0-1 each. Leitrim: M Foley 0-3 (0-3f), D O'Connor, D O'Donnell, D Gilhooly, E Mulligan, C Regan, B Prior 0-1 each.
Wicklow -- M Travers; C Hyland, S Kelly, A Byrne; P McWalter, B McGrath, D Hayden; J Stafford, M English; L Flynn, T Hannon, JP Dalton; P Earls, S. Furlong, P Dalton. Subs: S Murley for English, S Canavan for Hayden, R Finn for Earls.
Leitrim -- E Lyons; D Reynolds, J McKeon, B Prior; D Beck, G Reynolds, J Glancy; T Beirne, D O'Connor; P McGuinness, M Foley, C Regan; D O'Donnell, J Glancy, D Gilhooly. Subs: W McKeon for Beck, E Mulligan for Glancy, D Sweeney for Gilhooly, S Foley for M Foley, Maguire for O'Donnell.
REF -- E Kinsella (Laois).