Deadly Davy O’Sullivan bags hat-trick for wonderful Wicklow Rovers

Whitegates side in hot pursuit of league leaders Kilbarrack

Davy O'Sullivan is in flying form for Wicklow Rovers.

Gavin FordeWicklow People

Wicklow Rovers 3

Dundrum 1

Wicklow Rovers turned it on in the second half to come from behind against Dundrum to earn an important three points in the LSL Division 1B Saturday at Whitegates on Friday evening.

Currently sitting in second spot and seven points behind league leaders Kilbarrack United but with three games in hand, Rovers were in top form in the last few weeks and needed another three points at home to continue their title push, but they were second best in the early stages of the first half. Dundrum took the lead after just ten minutes on the clock.

Rovers’ backline failed to clear a cross into the box as Richard Quinn tried to head the ball away but only as far as Dundrum’s Kevin Burke who managed to get to the ball before the oncoming Wicklow keeper and tapped the ball past Sweeney into the back of the net.

The hosts did have some chances of their own shortly after the goal, their best chance early on came through Davy O’Sullivan who went on a great run down the left side beating the keeper, but the final finish went wide of the post in the 12th minute.

The travelling side’s sloppy defending in the 20th minute resulted in a penalty to Rovers. An outstretched leg from John Barry was enough to send Tom Smullen tumbling to the ground, Adam Cox stepped up to take the peno for his side, but his strike was brilliantly saved by Dundrum keeper Oisin Cronin who did well to get a strong hand to Cox’s effort.

Dundrum should have doubled their lead in the 35th minute, a ball across the box from Dane Caroll picked out Charlie Byrne who just had to tap the ball past Sweeney in goal but somehow blasted over the bar.

Dundrum came to regret not taking their chances in the final minute of the first half as the hosts grabbed a leveller. Striker David O’Sullivan cut inside into the penalty area before firing past Cronin in the Dundrum goal, game on at Whitegates.

A couple of minutes into the second half and Rovers found themselves being awarded another penalty. A handball in the box gave the referee no choice and pointed to the spot, this time O’Sullivan took the spot kick and placed the ball into the bottom corner with a tidy finish. 2-1 to the home side.

Dundrum seemed to have lost all their momentum in the second half, it almost looked like a different team. Their counter-attacking that had worked well in the first half had all but stopped and their defending was poor.

The home side dominated possession in the late stages of the second half and just needed another goal to seal the three points.

Five minutes before the final whistle a corner from Nathan Sullivan was met by the head of Davy O’Sullivan who nodded home for his third and his hat-trick. A superb display throughout from the striker and he earned his side an important three points, and a push toward the title.

Rovers are in action again next Friday night as they take on Ashbourne United at 7.45pm at the Archerstown Astro as they hope to make it five wins in a row and put some pressure on league leaders Kilbarrack United and stay clear of Leicester Celtic in second.

Wicklow Rovers: 1. Paul Sweeney, 2. Jim Foley, 3. Ian Brannigan, 4. Richard Quinn, 5. Jamie Snell, 6. Peter Finnegan, 7. Nathan Sullivan, 8. Tom Smullen, 9. Adam Cox. 10. Davy O’Sullivan, 11. Ciaran McGettigan. Subs: Sam Brown for A Cox (58), Fundi Nilo for I Brannigan (75).

Dundrum: 1. Oisin Cronin, 21. Conor Gavin, 16. Gary Cahill, 4. Phillip Sherrin, 17. John Barry, 18. Dan Early, 7. Daniel Bickers, 5. Dane Carroll, 9. Kevin Burke, 10. Adam O’Leary, 13. Charlie Byrne. Subs: Callum Daly for C Byrne (55), Alex Cullihane for D Carroll (55).

Referee: Brian Whelan