Allianz Hurling League, Round 1
Ceatharlach 3 – 19
Cill Mhantáin 0 – 17
Wicklow made the short journey down to Netwatch Cullen Park on Sunday afternoon to take on the hosts Carlow, in the opening round of the Allianz 2A National Hurling League. This was always going to be a very stern test for Eamonn Scallan’s charges, with Carlow coming down from the Liam MacCarthy last season to ply their trade in the Joe McDonagh Cup this coming season.
Blustery cross-field windy conditions weren’t very suitable for the small ball game throughout. Both sides traded chances in the opening moments but to no avail. Carlow’s Chris Nolan opened the scoring with a point in the 7th minute. Carlow’s next two points came from defensive mistakes by the Wicklow rear-guard. Wicklow got off the hook when Chris Nolan gathered possession from a short puck-out and his shot somehow blazed over the crossbar.
It would be the twelfth minute before Christy Moorehouse registered Wicklow’s first score, a point from a placed ball. Carlow replied with a brace of points before Christy Moorehouse landed the Garden County’s second and third points before the Galway official signalled for the 1st waterbreak, as the hosts led 0-7 to 0-3.
Another pointed free by Christy cut the deficit to three on the restart. It was a shoot out between both opposing free takers as every free was blown up early with little or no advantage being allocated by the Galway official. Christy Moorehouse and Marty Kavanagh exchanged pointed frees before the half time whistle sounded with the scoreboard now reading 0-13 to 0-8 in favour of the Barrowsiders.
Carlow took a stranglehold on the game on the restart when Marty Kavanagh landed a major from an acute angle, after sidestepping two defenders, firing low to the back of the net. Bray’s Eoin McCormack landed the Garden County’s first point from play in the next attack after collecting a great pass in from Shaun Cranley. Wicklow introduced a trio of fresh legs to the fray, however the hosts rallied with scores from Jack and Marty Kavanagh and Craig Wall to build up a ten point cushion as the 2nd half water break was signalled, the scoreboard now read 1-17 to 0-10.
Another major soon followed from the hurl of the Carlow number 13, who was on song through-out the 70 odd minutes. Glenealy’s Danny Staunton fired over two long range points before a Ross Smithers goal sealed the deal for Tom Mullally’s side, however Wicklow rallied in the closing moments with Andy O’Brien landing an outrageous point before Mikey Lee split the posts, with both men laying down markers for a starting spot next day out. Andy O’Brien found the target again before a brace of points from Michael Boland closed out the game. Wicklow will play Meath in Round 2 in Aughrim this coming Saturday at 3pm.
WicklowMOTM : Shaun Cranley (Eire Óg Greystones)
Scorers for Wicklow :
Christy Moorehouse 0-8,(8f), Andy O’Brien 0-3, Danny Staunton 0-2 (1f), Michael Boland 0-2, Eoin McCormack 0-1, Michael Lee 0-1.
Carlow : Brian Tracey; Dion Wall, Paul Doyle, Michael Doyle, Ger Coady, David English, Ross Smithers (1-00), Jack Kavanagh (0-2), James Doyle, John Michael Nolan , Aaron Amond, Craig Wall (0-3); Martin Kavanagh (2-09,8f), Kevin McDonald, Chris Nolan (0-03)
SUBS : Gary Lawlor, Eoin Hosey, Jack McCullagh, Niall Bolger, Tony Lawlor.
Wicklow : Cian Staunton (Glenealy); Warren Kavanagh (Glenealy), Michael Mangan (Stratford/Grangecon), Martin O’Brien (Annacurra), Gary Byrne (Glenealy), John Henderson (Bray Emmets), Pádraig Doran (Carnew Emmets), Shaun Cranley (Eire Óg Greystones), Luke Evans (Kilcoole), Daniel Staunton (Glenealy), Andy Walsh (Eire Óg Greystones), Mark Lennon (Bray Emmets), Eoin McCormack (Bray Emmets), Christopher Moorehouse (Bray Emmets), Michael Boland (Bray Emmets).
SUBS : Andy O’Brien (St. Patricks), Jack Doyle (Carnew Emmets), Mikey Lee (Bray Emmets), David Maloney (Bray Emmets), Mark Murphy (Stratford/Grangecon)
Ref : Shane Hynes (Galway).