Sunday 21 July 2019

Double header heaven

Wicklow teams prepare for a feast of football

It's going to be double header heaven in Aughrim this Sunday when the Wicklow Senior men's and women's football teams complete a historic first as they do battle in two massively important games in their respective national leagues.

James Kelly's women's team is out first at the county grounds at noon where they will look to bounce back from a disappointing defeat to Roscommon in Kiltoom last Saturday in their Division 3 opener.

Four goals from a rampant Roscommon attack proved fatal to the Wicklow cause as did the loss of Jackie Kinch and Claire Walshe ahead of that game.

The Garden County women will face Down on Sunday with the Mourne women coming to Aughrim on the back of a 6-7 to 3-12 victory over Offaly in Birr on Sunday and will need to call on all their resources and experience once team captain Niamh McGettigan leads her troops out in front of what is hoped will be a significant crowd at the county grounds.

That game is followed by the Wicklow Senior men's team in their third Division 4 fixture of the year when they welcome Limerick to the Aughrim venue on the back of last weekend's heartbreaking defeat to Leitrim.

A late 1-2 killed off the Wicklow challenge that had been superb up to that point, but Ryan O'Rourke's messy goal immediately after Conor McGraynor had bombed Wicklow into the lead with a monster score proved fatal for John Evans' charges.

Limerick collected their second win of the campaign last weekend when they accounted for Wicklow's victims in the opening round, Waterford.

A Patrick Begley goal in the closing stages saw the Treaty side edge a tight clash with the Déise at Rathkeale in a game where the home side were only behind for less than 60 seconds before leading all the way to the finish.

The loss of Anto McLoughlin in the first half was very damaging to Wicklow's chances although they looked to have weathered that particular storm as the 70-minute mark approached. Sources say that the Blessington man is unlikely to be fit for Sunday after damaging tendons.

A win on Sunday for John Evans and his charges would do untold good for the Wicklow cause ahead of their journey north to face the men of Derry who accounted for London last weekend. If they show the same work ethic and sharpen up in attack, victory is very possible.

Wicklow People