Saturday 20 July 2019

Missed chances cost Garden dear


Wicklow boss John Evans in Carrick on Shannon
Wicklow boss John Evans in Carrick on Shannon

Brendan Furlong

Wicklow manager Johnny Evans has admitted an inability to take their chances cost them dearly in their senior football championship qualifier defeat to Leitrim on Saturday last.

While they may have been unable to break their championship duck, Evans will take further time out to reflect on his future with Wicklow football.

Evans' men have a dreadful record in the qualifiers, this was their sixth straight defeat and they have never won away from home.

But the sides lack of scoring power which was reflected upon by Evans was given further credence when keeper Mark Jackson emerged with seven of his side's 0-13 from placed balls, a sad inditment of the attack, particularly in light of their near miss with Kildare in the provincial championship when they also suffered a two point defeat.

'I am very proud of the lads,' said Evans. They battled extremely hard against Kildare, and again against Leitrim, and we have lost both games by two points.

'We had three goal chances and did not take them.

'Had we taken even one it would have got us over the line but in tight game one has to take their chances. The sides were level on eight to nine occasions which showed the importance of taking goal chances. In championship games, goal win games, and that's how important it is.

'Also one has to be able score from play. that's not been critical of the lads, for they put in a huge effort and deserved to take more from this game. We had plenty of possession but it's the manner in which this possession is utilised which is important.

This game somewhat mirrored Wicklow's season for not unlike the league they suffered narrow defeats. In several league games they were within a kick of the ball of winning which would have propelled them into a promotion challenge but for some reason they fell short despite a massive effort on the part of the players.

It's their inability to finish off clear-cut chances, created through some quality football, that has seen them end up with shattering defeats.

But Evans will not yet decide on his future with Wicklow football for some time.

'I am involved with the U20 team and will see out my commitments. We have a game with Clare in Aughrim on Saturday (2p.m.),

'Last Sunday we were due to play Limerick but owing to Leaving Certificate and player involvement with senior side we were unable to fulfil fixture. There was no point in fulfilling the fixture for the sake of it. We had a full panel for the Offaly game, which will also be available this Saturday.'

On his own future with Wicklow.

'To tell you the truth I have given it no consideration at this time.

'I will see out my commitments with the county, then take time out to consider my future.

'I will talk with the county management before arriving at a decision.

'But it's not something that's commanding my attention at the moment,' Evans said.

Wicklow People