independent

Friday 15 December 2017

Furlong ends on high

WEXFORD YOUTHS 3

Furlong 47, 52, 90 LIMERICK 1

Tracy 33 (pen.)

A DANNY Furlong hat-trick completed a superb season for Wexford Youths as they beat Airtricty League Division 1 champions Limerick in Jackman Park on Saturday last.

The treble meant that Rosslare man Furlong finished the season as the league's top scorer with 14 goals, ahead of Waterford United striker Seán Maguire.

In what was an encouraging season for the Ferrycarrig-based side, they achieved their highest league position in their history to date in fourth place, ending behind just Limerick, neighbours Waterford and Longford Town and ahead of Finn Harps, Athlone Town and Galway duo Mervue United and SD Galway.

The finishing position, in manager Shane Keegan's first season in charge, is in stark contrast to the disastrous year of 2011, in which Youths managed just four wins all campaign, and 14 points in total as they finished tenth.

This game didn't exactly start like the visitors might have hoped as the league champions put them under pressure from the off.

That pressure finally told in the 33rd minute when Shane Tracy tucked home his ninth penalty of the season to give the home side the lead.

It was enough to see the hosts lead at the interval but the turning point arrived just before the break as Pat Purcell was sent-off for a professional foul.

That was the fillip Youths needed as Danny Furlong grabbed the first of his treble just seconds after the resumption.

With over a thousand home supporters tucked into Jackman Park to celebrate their side's league title, Furlong dampened the mood further in the 52nd minute, firing home his second goal to give Wexford the lead.

Any hopes of a fightback from Limerick were ended when Shaun Kelly picked up two yellow cards in six minutes to leave the hosts with nine men, and Furlong rounded of the perfect night with his hat-trick in added time.

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