Friday 23 March 2018

Wicklow way off target

Louth 0-15 Wicklow 1-2

Johnny Magee, Wicklow manager. Photo: Sam Barnes/Sportsfile
Johnny Magee, Wicklow manager. Photo: Sam Barnes/Sportsfile newsdesk

Louth kept their promotion quest on track with a comfortable win over Wicklow in Drogheda.

It was a clash of two unbeaten sides, but Wicklow scarcely raised a gallop, managing just three scores in 80-odd minutes, and just one from open play.

It wasn't a lack of chances that cost Johnny Magee's men, as they regularly cut their hosts open, but a final tally of 12 wides told its own story.

Louth too squandered a couple of gilt-edged goal chances in an opening half that lacked any real quality, but with Ryan Burns on song over dead balls and Declan Byrne landing a couple of fine long-range scores, they were in control at the break, leading 0-7 to 0-2.

A brace of points from Ronan Holcroft nudged them seven ahead before Paul Cunningham grabbed Wicklow a lifeline, slotting home a penalty awarded rather harshly against Kevin Toner for a footblock.

The corner back made amends 10 minutes later, denying Gary Allen a certain goal with a terrific block.

Wicklow could make no headway in the closing stages. Louth duly tagged on four more points, including a couple of superb efforts from McEneaney.

SCORERS - Louth: R Burns (5f) 0-5; R Holcroft 0-3; J McEneaney, D Byrne 0-2 each; D Maguire, B Flanagan (f), C McKeever 0-1 each. Wicklow: P Cunningham 1-1 (1-0 pen); J McGrath (f) 0-1.

LOUTH-C Lynch 7; P Rath 7, P Reilly 7, K Toner 8; D Maguire 7, D McMahon 7, E Lafferty 7; D Byrne 7, J Stewart 9; J Bingham 6, R Holcroft 8, J McEneaney 7; A Reid 6, R Burns 7, C McKeever 6. Subs: R Moore 6 for McKeever (57), K McLaughlin for Reilly (65), M Rafferty for Burns (70), C Bellew for McEneaney (70+), B Flanagan for Reid (70+).

WICKLOW - R Lambert 7; A Murphy 7, E Murtagh 6, S Kelly 6; D Healy 6, P McLoughlin 6, C Murphy 6; D Woods 5, A McLoughlin 6; D Haydon 6, J McGrath 5, M Kenny 6; P O'Connor 6, P Cunningham 7, M Lennon 6. Subs: N Gaffney 6 for Woods (29), M O'Connor 6 for Haydon (43), R O'Brien 6 for A McLoughlin (50), J Crowe 6 for Healy (55), G Allen 7 for M Lennon (57), C Fitzgerald for McGrath (65).

REF - B Tiernan (Dublin).

Irish Independent

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