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Thursday 23 November 2017

Wexford are the team to beat

SSE Airtricity U-15: Wexford FC 2 Limerick 0

Wexford F.C. Under-15s, who beat Limerick in their top of the table clash in Ramstown on Saturday
Wexford F.C. Under-15s, who beat Limerick in their top of the table clash in Ramstown on Saturday
Brody Murphy of Wexford F.C. bursts forward between Limerick duo Adam Fitzpatrick and Jake Prendergast

Wexford became the team to beat in the SSE Airtricity Under-15 League as they dispatched Limerick with two second half goals in Ramstown on Saturday afternoon last.

Before kick-off, both teams sat deadlocked at the top of Group 3 with maximum points and as manager Billy Molloy acknowledged after his sides win over Cork the previous weekend, "Something had to give".

Molloy was certainly correct and it was his side who took the initiative and now sit alone at the summit of the table after four straight wins.

If these four games have shown anything, it is that this Wexford team can find a way to win in many different circumstances. After battering Cobh and coming from two behind against Kerry, they were under-par against Cork but still ground out a win.

On this occasion, Wexford had to be patient. After arguably their performance of the season in the opening half they still found themselves level, despite hitting the post twice.

It was Darragh Levingston who eventually broke the deadlock and made the second, the Wexford captain was superb from start to finish as he led his team to the top of the group.

Wexford's first half performance was impressive and they hit the ground running. James Dowling was the first to go close, he flicked the ball over his own head and volleyed wide after just four minutes.

Levingston hit the woodwork for the first time with a curling effort from the edge of the box just after Dowling's chance and Limerick 'keeper Sean Hamm had to deny Brody Murphy with Wexford's next onslaught.

Levingston thumped the post again in the 20th minute, turning the away side's defence before seeing Hamm touch his powerful shot onto the frame of the goal and behind.

With a Murphy attempt cleared off the line from the resulting corner, Limerick threatened the Wexford goal for the first real time, Adam Fitzpatrick's shot from distance clipped the outside of Cian Browne's woodwork.

Kyle Scallan headed wide before the break and Levingston sent another shot over the crossbar as Wexford's pressure continued.

Limerick's goal was eventually breached after the restart, as two goals in just three minutes gave Wexford what would be enough to record the win they deserved.

More stellar work out of possession earned Levingston the ball back 40 yards out from goal. He took a touch closer and unleashed a rocket with his right foot which dipped under the Limerick crossbar.

Less than a minute later he had hit the woodwork again. His free-kick from 40 yards had the goalkeeper rooted to the spot only for the crossbar to deny the Ex-Gorey Rangers man for the third time.

The captain played a huge part in Wexford's second. The attacking midfielder was fed on the wing by the superb Sean O'Brien Murphy before delivering a cross onto the head of James Dowling at the back post for the hosts second.

Wexford will reach the half-way point of the group stages after their next game away to Waterford on Saturday at 2pm. Another win on the road would leave them as big favourites to top the group.

WEXFORD: Cian Browne; Sean O'Brien Murphy, Kyle Scallan, Dylan Whelan, Shane Gibson; Evan Farrell, Luke Greene, Graham O'Reilly, Darragh Levingston (capt.), James Dowling; Brody Murphy. Subs (rolling): Brian Byrne, Cormac Bruce, Cian Kinlough, Cormac Doyle, Darragh O'Donoghue, Darragh McGuire, Rian Fitzpatrick, David Murphy.

LIMERICK: Sean Hamm; Ronan Geary, Scott Kirwan, Jake Prendergast, Riain O'Connell; Adam Fitzpatrick (capt.), Joey Rushe, Adam Brennan, Wassiou Ayawe, Filip Mostowy; Josh Quinlivan. Subs (rolling): Oisin Enright, Michael Molloy, Dean McNamara, Andri Haxhiaj, Gerard Quaid, James Griffin.

REFEREE: Ger Morris (Wexford).

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