Connolly screamer saves Wexford's day
A stunning 53rd minute free-kick from the left foot of Niall Connolly ensured Wexford claimed a point from their opening clash in the SFAI Under-15 Leinster Inter-League in Curracloe on Satuday afternoon last.
Wexford and District 1 Dublin District (DDSL) 1
The hosts were struggling to break down a classy Dublin side when Darragh Malone was fouled twenty yards from goal just to the right of centre. Connolly did the rest, curling an inch-perfect strike into the 'postage-stamp' to give his side a share of the spoils.
While Dublin, technically, looked a little further along in their development, there's no doubting that Wexford were worthy of the point. The Slaneysiders gave everything for the cause and will fancy their chances of making the playoff for a semi-final spot after this result.
The visitors had the better of the opening fifteen minute. Josh Giuri sent a classy finish to the Wexford net in the fifth minute but he was just offside from Sean Schutte's through-ball in the build-up.
Charlie Heffernan saved well from Troy Parrott after Adam Maher slipped him into the clear while James Furlong drilled a shot high and wide from just outside the box. Cian Foley had his sides first effort but his long-range rocket missed the target.
Foley did brilliantly two minutes later to rob possession high up the field. He released Ciaran Carty on goal but the attackers shot was deflected wide of the post. From the resulting Connolly corner Carty glanced wide.
That spell was as close as Wexford went to scoring in the half as the rain began to increase in volume. Several chances were spurned by Dublin as the half wore on with Schutte, Cian Kelly and Roland Idowu all failing to hit the target.
However, just when it looked like Wexford had survived until half-time, Kelly slipped Troy Parrott into the clear and the visiting attacker coolly slotted past the sprawling Heffernan into the Wexford net.
The home side started the second half brightly and had an opportunity when Carty played Connolly through only for Enda Minogue to save. Wexford battered the goal for the next few minutes but a combination of a sound 'keeper and a bit of luck kept them at bay.
Dublin had a couple of half-chances to put the game to bed before Connolly levelled and had a glaring opportunity right after the equaliser when Adam Maher got away but Heffernan made a stunning save diving low to his left.
Substitutes Gary Hall Roche and Dale O'Reilly went close to grabbing a winner for Wexford but that would have been harsh on the visitors who went home with their point after an entertaining game in difficult conditions.
WEXFORD: Charlie Heffernan; Daniel Halligan, Eanna Doyle, Ciaran Kavanagh, Harry Ellix; Paudi Casey, Cian Foley, Michael Delaney (capt), Niall Connolly; Ciaran Carty, Darragh Malone. Subs. (rolling) - Kieran Murphy, Gary Hall Roche, Dale O'Reilly, Lee Jordan, Ayman Siouame, also, Aaron Hall, Callum Murphy.
DUBLIN: Enda Minogue; Alex Dunne, Cian Kelly (capt), Cormac Moore, James Furlong; Brandon Holt; Josh Giuri, Roland Idowu, Sean Schutte, Adam Maher; Troy Parrott. Subs. (rolling) - Ross Molloy, Dylan Duffy, Jack Funge, Alex Rafferty, James Carr.
REFEREE: Kieran Dunne