Laois put up big win over disappointing Wicklow in one-sided NHL Division 2 final BROKENDREAMS
The League glory dreams of the Wicklow senior hurlers were torn to shreds in Thurles on Sunday as Laois eased to a 2-19 to 0-8 victory.
The hurlers had been pressing all the right buttons throughout an unbeaten campaign, only to see their gameplan come unstuck when they needed it most in the Division 2 final.
Loyal hurling fans who travelled to Thurles on Sunday were left as bitterly disappointed as team manager John Mitchell after seeing his side roundly beaten.
Mitchell put a brave face on the defeat after the final whistle, thoughh. 'We played some decent hurling at times and we showed that we could actually hurl. Of course when you get to a league final you would like to win it,' he said.
'We had two goal chances in the first half and they could have made a difference,' he added, but he conceded that on the day Laois were the better team all over the field.
At half-time Wicklow only trailed Laois by seven points, 0-11 to 0-4, after playing against the wind and Mitchell felt that they were still in there with a chance at that stage.
Earlier Wayne O'Gorman had laid on a great goal chance for Garry Doran with a pass across the face of the goal, and minutes later Jonathan O'Neill pulled his shot from the edge of the square wide when everyone was sure he must score a goal.
Had Wicklow snatched those goals, not alone would they have been just a point behind at the break, but more than likely they would have been the tonic to lift team which had been playing second fiddle to rampant Laois throughout the opening 35 minutes.
And to make matters worse Wicklow lost their goal poacher Wayne O'Gorman to injury in that first half and his loss added to their troubles.
John Mitchell rued the loss of O'Gorman. 'Laois played at a tempo that we were unable to cope with and we were struggling in a lot of areas.
'Seven points down at hal- time, we were still hopeful as we had played against a strong wind. But unfortunately we had lost our main scorer, Wayne O'Gorman, just before half time and we missed a number of chances early in the second half.'
The result was that Laois turned the screw tighter in that second half as they extended their victory margin to 17 points before the end.
Now John Mitchell will be hoping that his team will bounce back from this defeat in time for the Christy Ring championship which starts in June. And he and the team will have their eye on winning that competition, especially as Laois will not be one of the contestants.
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