Last place finish
Under-19 side end up in basement
Wexford Youths ended the SSE Airtricity Under-19 League Southern Elite Section in last place in the table after losing to Limerick in Jackman Park on Sunday.
Limerick 3 Wexford Youths 1
With a shield preliminary round clash away to Waterford just six days away, Youths boss Billy Molloy chose to rest several key players for the long trip to the Treaty county.
The makeshift side struggled against a physically imposing, talented Limerick team which came up just one win shy of making the cup competition for the top four finishers in the league stages.
Midway through the first-half the hosts took the lead with a deflected long-range effort flying past Corey Chambers to the top corner.
Limerick were enjoying the efforts from distance, and they scored their second from outside the area to lead 2-0 at the break.
Wexford made wholesale changes at the interval and performer much better after the change-around.
They did fall 3-0 down ten minutes into the second-half but soon started to play the better football.
Halfway through the period Adam Rochford broke in on goal but was denied by a fantastic last-ditch tackle. Wexford went even closer when Dean George cracked the post with a fine individual effort.
It was going to take something special to light up the afternoon for Youths and they finally got their consolation in the final five minutes. Paul Brennan, who has been one of the outstanding performers throughout this season, broke down the wing.
He beat the right winger and cut inside the full-back before he was taken down in the penalty area. Dean George stepped up to the spot-kick and coolly slotted it away to give Youths the consolation their efforts deserved.
The defeat leaves Wexford at the foot of the table after previous basement boys Waterford won their final game at home to Galway United. Youths won two of their 18 league games, drawing five. One of those wins was against next week's opponents.
Wexford travel to the R.S.C. on Saturday to play the first round of the shield competition, and if they win that they will visit Shelbourne seven days later in the quarter-finals.
Wexford Youths: Corey Chambers; Martin O'Connor, Owen McCormack, Neil Murphy, Paul Brennan; Vincent Quinlan, Eoin Donnelly, Cormac Kehoe, Ciarán Murphy; Dylan Bradley; Ciarán Lu. Subs. - Dean George for Bradley, Conor Sutton for N. Murphy, Adam Rochford for Lu, Michael Molloy for O'Connor, Paul Carton for Kehoe.