U-17s dumped by Lilywhites
Kildare 6-15 Wexford 1-8
Wexford were dealt quite the lesson in St. Conleth's Park, Newbridge, on Wednesday as a physically imposing Kildare team brushed them aside in the Leinster special Under-17 football competition quarter-final.
While the final result indicated triple scores between the sides, in reality it wasn't even that close as the hosts always had at least two or three gears in hand. They did the damage against the breeze in the first-half and were able to coast through the second, winning pulling up.
For Wexford mentors it must have made fairly depressing viewing. Their side gave it what they had, there was no lack of effort, but there was simply a chasm between the teams, especially in the physical stakes.
The Lilywhites set their stall out in the first few minutes. Páidí Behan glanced a punch finish past Joshua Burke in the third minute and that goal, as well as three points, moved the home side six ahead after just seven minutes.
The Wexford goal led a charmed life for the next while as only Kildare misses stemmed the bleeding. At the other end Liam Coleman nailed a long-range point, added a free, and Todd Hynes also registered a pair of dead-balls to make it 1-4 to 0-4 after 19 minutes.
Then things went pear-shaped. Billy Maher looked to be clearly in the square when Shane O'Sullivan released his pass in the 24th minute but the resulting goal stood. Behan added a long-range effort that airmailed Burke as Kildare stretched to 3-9 to 0-4 ahead.
Wexford's best move of the half, which ended with a classy one-two between provider Fiachra Hourihane and scorer Seán Delaney, left the visitors 13 points behind at the break, with a breeze to face after the resumption.
Todd Hynes cancelled out an earlier Kildare free in the 36th minute but eventually the victors sprinted further ahead when Darragh Kirwan's shot dribbled over the line, off substitute goalkeeper Aaron Breslin.
Seán Forde registered a nice left-footed point in the 44th minute but it seemed to anger the hosts and they responded with a quick major. Billy Maher was the goalscorer, firing home the rebound after Breslin saved Shane O'Sullivan's initial shot (5-13 to 0-7).
St. Martin's clubman Diarmuid Barry flashed home a consolation goal after a quickly-taken free by Forde sent him clear. At the other end O'Sullivan got the type of goal - an audacious lob - his performance deserved and he's definitely a name to keep an eye on for the Lilywhites.
An injury time fracas saw Kildare's Cian Powell and Wexford's Seán Delaney pick up straight red cards, while substitute Mark Boyle got his second yellow in the incident and he was also dismissed for the Slaneysiders.
Going for goals, the visitors had other chances to net, none better than when James Lawlor conspired to fire wide from point-blank range in the fifth minute of added-time, but Wexford were a beaten team by then and it was Kildare who advanced to a Leinster semi-final against Meath.
Wexford: Joshua Burke (St. Fintan's); Liam O'Connor (St. Mary's, Rosslare), Tommy Ryan (Gusserane), Niall Murphy (Ferns St. Aidan's); Seán Delaney (Naomh Eanna, 0-1), Diarmuid Barry (St. Martin's, 1-1), Páuric Hughes (Ballinastragh Gaels); James Lawlor (Ferns (St. Aidan's), Liam Coleman (Castletown, 0-2, 1 free); Michael Carroll (Glynn-Barntown), Brendan Corcoran (Réalt na Mara), Eoghan Herlihy (Oylegate-Glenbrien); Todd Hynes (St. Mary's, Maudlintown, 0-3 frees), Seán Forde (Ballinastragh Gaels, 0-1), Fiachra Hourihane (Oylegate-Glenbrien). Subs. - Aaron Breslin (Monageer-Boolavogue) for Burke (31), Mark Boyle (Castletown) for Corcoran (31), Cathal Mernagh (Castletown) for Herlihy (31), Ryan Furlong (Sarsfields) for Mernagh, black card (33), Robert Cogley (Bannow-Ballymitty) for Hourihane (48), Mick Curran (Glynn-Barntown) for Carroll (54), also David Pettit (Our Lady's Island), Pádraig Bailey (Geraldine O'Hanrahans), Danny Ryan (Oylegate-Glenbrien); extended squad: Conor Morris (St. Patrick's), Stephen Mordaunt (Ballinastragh Gaels), Eoin Codd (Gusserane), Frank Kavanagh (Castletown), Sam Audsley (St. Martin's), Ciarán Kavanagh (HWH-Bunclody).
Kildare: Eric Evans; Karl Hartley (0-1), Conor Lynch, Leon Tsang; Justin Reilly, D.J. Earley (0-1 free), Brian Milmoe; Cian McQuillan (0-1), Adam Steed; Sam McCormack (0-1), Shane O'Sullivan (1-4, 0-2 frees), Jack Doyle (0-1); Billy Maher (2-3, 0-1 free), Páidí Behan (2-2), Darragh Kirwan (1-1). Subs. - Oisín Byrne for Tsang (31), James Behan for Doyle (42), Cian Powell for McQuillan (48), Eoin Conneff for P. Behan (50), James Ebbs for Reilly (54), Conchur Ó Giolláin for Maher (55).
Referee: Gary Hurley (Westmeath).