Disciplined U-12 outfit in pole position
North Dublin Schoolboys travelled to Curracloe recently, confident they could continue their unbeaten run in the Under-12 inter-league competition.
Wexford 1 North Dublin 0
However, a disciplined performance from Wexford Schoolboys (also unbeaten) put them in pole position in the group, as they now prepare for joint leaders Drogheda in their final game.
Willie Murphy's Wexford side played with more width than their visitors and backed up some fine football with wholehearted hard work and solid defending. The back four of Tom Hernandez, Tim Ivers, Shane Doran and Jamie Lyng were resolute in the opening ten minutes as Dublin tried to gain the momentum.
Hernandez and Lyng used their wing play very well, linking up with wide midfielders Jay Hogan and Josh Doyle-Delaney to create some counter-attacks.
Rúairí Martin was strong and clever in the centre of midfield, and up front Cian Levingstone kept Dublin's central pair on their toes.
Dublin enjoyed a bit more of the possession in the opening quarter, but Wexford took the lead midway through the first-half.
Good pressing by Lyng and Hogan up the left wing forced the ball into the path of Martin whose clever chip over the Dublin defence found Levingston, and he in turn chipped the advancing goalkeeper.
With both sides playing good football, Dublin created some half chances but Wexford goalkeeper Shay O'Leary was rarely troubled.
At the other end the Dublin goalie was chipped again, this time by Hogan, but his effort went over the crossbar.
The second-half was evenly contested. Niall Kehoe, who had replaced the injured Doran in the first-half, was imposing his authority alongside the impressive Tim Ivers, while James Lawless added another dimension to the defence.
Wexford showed confidence in their squad, introducing Cillian Byrne and Leo Sinnott, who both filled the striker's role at different stages of the second-half, with Alex Power coming in at left midfield.
All three put the Dublin defence under pressure, with Byrne coming closest and bringing a fine save from the visitors' 'keeper.
Goalie O'Leary stood up to the captain's role when it mattered most. Dublin, chasing an equaliser and enjoying a dangerous five-minute spell late in the game, hit the post but then found O'Leary impossible to beat.
The home goalie made a terrific save, diving to his left to turn the ball around the post. Then from two corners he fielded a high ball under pressure and bravely raced off his line to punch another clear of danger.
Overall it was a very good team performance. Strong in defence, with an energetic midfield which created and defended, and up front there was always that threat of a goal. Also in the squad for this game were Aaron Howlin and Jayden Cheevers.