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Wednesday 16 October 2019

Tough season for Under-19s

Dean Goodison

The season ended for Wexford F.C. under-19s on Sunday with a loss to Shelbourne in Dublin
The season ended for Wexford F.C. under-19s on Sunday with a loss to Shelbourne in Dublin

Another season for the Wexford F.C. Under-19s ended in Dublin on Sunday, as James Quinn's side slipped out of the shield competition at the first round stage against hosts Shelbourne.

The Ferrycarrig Park club came into the season on the back of two woeful campaigns in the Airtricity Southern Elite League, including an embarrassing term in 2018 that saw them win just one league game.

There were more shoots of hope this term. Wexford won twice and finished second from bottom of the table, but there is still a worrying drop-off from what teams are achieving at Under-15 and Under-17 level in the club.

It all started back in March when Andrew Farrell's late goal was the only bright spot in a disappointing 4-1 loss to Limerick in Ferrycarrig Park.

However, Ethan O'Neill gave Wexford the lead away to Cork City a week later in an encouraging 1-1 draw against a side which would eventually finish top of the table.

Kieran Murphy's 20th-minute strike down in Kerry a week later meant Wexford had four points from a possible nine, and at least were showing a defensive solidity they sorely lacked in 2018.

That continued away to Shamrock Rovers at the end of March, a 2-1 loss, with Josh Murphy getting the late Wexford goal.

It wasn't ideal, but any time you go to Tallaght and come away with a competitive result, it's acceptable.

For the first time all season, Wexford didn't score away to Cabinteely in week five, at least in the opposition's net, but goalkeeper Colum Feeney did manage an own goal as the hosts won 2-0 in Kilternan.

Kieran Murphy put Wexford F.C. ahead at home to UCD the following week, but two late goals condemned the hosts to their third straight loss.

A fourth ended April on a low note, as Kieran and Josh Murphy had their side level with Waterford at the break, but the R.S.C. boys ran out 4-2 winners.

Caellum Travers-Devlin put Wexford ahead in the Cup tie with Waterford, but late goals in normal and extra-time sent his side packing.

The Gorey lad got an equaliser ten minutes from time against Galway in week eight, but Wexford again slipped to a late defeat in Ferrycarrig.

Josh and Kieran Murphy had them two up away to Cobh in mid-May, but they were pegged back late on as Ramblers nabbed a draw.

Wexford finished with nine men as they fell 1-0 away to Bray a week later as the league hit the mid-season break.

After a seven-week intermission, Wexford came back to action with a late Shane Cahill goal proving to be enough to nab a draw in Limerick.

Things were ugly though when Cork came to Wexford a week later and smashed five past their hosts.

Arguably more disappointing was a loss to last-placed Kerry at the end of July.

Danny Bruce put Wexford ahead in the ninth minute, but the hosts again finished a man light as the Munster boys went home with a 2-1 win.

Wexford bounced back with their best result of the season in week 16. Kieran Murphy was on target in the 62nd minute as his side edged Shamrock Rovers in Ferrycarrig Park.

A goal-less draw against Cabinteely followed seven days later.

UCD were way too strong for Wexford in week 18, winning 3-0 in the capital. However, Waterford came to Ferrycarrig Park on September 1 and the hosts were able to hold them to a goal-less draw.

Liam Berry nabbed a consolation goal in the final minute when Wexford headed west to face Galway in week 20; it was their only goal in a 3-1 defeat.

They were unable to break Cobh down a week later as the Cork side went home with a 2-0 win.

Bray Wanderers led Wexford 1-0 at half-time in the final game of the regular season, but a second-half goal from Ethan Vickers gave Wexford a share of the spoils.

Through 20 games the Slaneysiders finished with two wins, six draws and twelve total points, enough to edge Kerry in last spot by three points, while sitting six back of Cobh Ramblers one spot higher in ninth.

It left Wexford in the shield, with a game against a Shelbourne side which finished sixth in the Northern Elite League table.

The Dublin club took the lead through Abdulrasaq Alamu in the 23rd minute and doubled it by the break thanks to Harry Groome.

Any hopes of a revival were extinguished when Deiric Hyland made it three just two minutes after the resumption.

Right at the end Cormac Whelehan added a fourth to end the Wexford season with a heavy defeat.

Wexford squad: Aaron Hall, Colum Feeney, Stephen Kearns, Paudie Casey, Danny Bruce, Josh Murphy, Kevin Kenny, Jake Hickey, Liam Berry, Callum Travers-Devlin, Ethan Vickers, Ethan O'Neill, Kieran Murphy, Andrew Farrell, Shane Cahill, Jake Kearney, Ciarán Paige, Torik Adegoke, Gabriel Okuribido.

Wexford People

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