Saturday 21 September 2019

Dominant U-16s fail to make breakthrough against NDSL


THIS WAS the Under-16s' fifth group game and they have just missed out on qualification, despite only losing one game, a 2-1 defeat to Kilkenny when they conceded an 86th-minute goal.

The performance against North Dublin Schoolboys was superb and it was difficult to comprehend how we did not score. We did manage to score one when the linesman signalled a goal, but a combination of weakness and inefficiency on the part of the officials, and the obvious pressure of the home team management, resulted in the absence of justice. Such is sport, such is life.

I was proud to be associated with the team performance on the day - I never doubted their ability but they came good on Saturday. They didn't lose because they didn't want to lose.

Apart from the fiasco of the goal that didn't stand, we would have had at least 20 strikes on goal - a frightening statistic.

The Wexford players showed character and hunger that augurs well for the future. Seán Allen had a solid game in goal, while Darren Foley, Richard Jeffers and Richard Farrell formed a back three that more than coped with anything the Dubs could throw at them.

Ian Sinnott and Aidan Lehane gave us a powerful defensive platform in midfield, allowing our four across the centre to get forward with pleasure. Denis Murray and Glen O'Brien tormented the opposition on the flanks, while Craig McCabe and Aidan Nolan had too much quality for the Dubliners in the centre.

Up front, our lone striker, David Miller, played the role to perfection.

It really was a great performance from a fine group of players - it's hard to credit that they didn't win.

If these players have an interest in maximising their potential, they could really flourish in the next two years.

I must give credit to the Emerging Talent Programme and Dave Harpur in general, Denis Carthy and Seán O'Brien in particular, for the good work they've done with these players.

I have a good feeling that these players will do Wexford football proud in the next few years.