‘It's torture!’ – Wicklow manager Oisín McConville admits it’s a tough watch as his side earns promotion
Allianz NFL Division 4 Wicklow 2-8, Waterford 0-8
Second-half goals from Dean Healy and Cillian McDonald saw Wicklow celebrate promotion back to Division 3 on a sunny afternoon in Dungarvan.
Players and management waited anxiously on the field at full-time for the result from Carrick On Shannon. The roars from the travelling fans in the stand eventually told them that Sligo had beaten Leitrim and they were going up.
Manager Oisín McConville admitted it was a tough watch on the sideline. "It's torture every weekend! I wish some week that we would just do the thing simply! I don't think they like to do it simple! Look, it's not about me, it's about those individuals who go out onto the pitch.
"All we can do is set them up as well as we can and condition them as well as we can. This thing is still in its infancy and a lot of these are very young players learning on the job."
The sides were level four times in the first half. Waterford captain Dermot Ryan kicked two from play off his left boot. Cian O'Sullivan slotted four dead-balls and goalkeeper Mark Jackson nailed two long-range frees as Wicklow went in 0-7 to 0-5 ahead at the break.
Déise netminder Paudie Hunt tipped away a shot from Andy Maher before the home side lost Michael Kiely to a black card in injury time.
On 55 minutes, Dean Healy exchanged passes with Darragh Fitzgerald and buried the ball to the bottom corner of the Waterford net (1-8 to 0-6).
The Déise could only manage three second-half points with the breeze, via Murray, Brian Lynch and Curry. With four minutes remaining, the hosts lost the ball deep in their own defence and Eoin Darcy played the ball across the face of goal for Cillian McDonald to fist to the net.
Scorers – Wicklow: D Healy 1-1; C O'Sullivan 0-4 (3fs, 1 mark); C McDonald 1-0; M Jackson 0-2 (2fs); P O'Toole 0-1. Waterford: J Curry 0-3 (3fs); C Murray, D Ryan 0-2 each; B Lynch 0-1.
Wicklow – M Jackson 7; M Stone 6, E Murtagh 7, J McCall 6; C McDonald 7, P O'Kane 6, A Maher 6; D Healy 8, JP Hurley 6; E Darcy 6, S Murphy 5, A Murphy 5; C O'Sullivan 7, P O'Toole 6, M Kenny 6. Subs: D Fitzgerald 6 for S Murphy (41), C Maguire 5 for A Murphy (48), J Keogh 6 for O'Sullivan (56), J Gilligan for Maher (67), A McHugh for Healy (71).
Waterford – P Hunt 6; C Ó Cuirrín 6, D O Cathasaigh 6, L Fennell 6; D Ryan 7, B Looby 7, J O'Sullivan 6; M Curry 6, B Lynch 6; C Murray 7, D Corcoran 5, J Curry 6; E McGrath Butler 5, S Whelan Barrett 5, M Kiely 5. Subs: B Hynes 5 for Whelan Barrett (52), D Fitzgerald for Kiely (65), D Reidy for Corcoran (71), J Keane for Lynch (74), D Boland for Ó Cuirrín (74).
Referee: F Pierce (Offaly)