HomeFootballSmall and Kinsella dominate as Wicklow see off Offaly

Small and Kinsella dominate as Wicklow see off Offaly

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Wicklow maintained their winning ways in the Leinster Minor football championship when seeing off Offaly in the preliminary quarter-final in Echelon Park Aughrim.

Having emerged unbeaten from Group 3, where they enjoyed wins over Carlow and Wexford, Jonathan Daniels’ side secured a place in the quarter-final proper where they will face Louth next Monday night with this comfortable victory over the Faithful County.

The home side led from pillar to post and never looked in trouble at any stage, leading by five at the break at 1-6 to 1-1, Offaly’s goal from the impressive Cian McNamee on the stroke of half-time giving the visitors a lifeline.

Wicklow looked sharp and well organised with midfielders Mark Kinsella and Patrick Small dominating throughout, both returning 1-1 apiece after 60 productive minutes, and Thomas Tisdell looking very lively inside.

Kinsella won the penalty for the first goal of the game, slotted home by Small with 21 minutes gone for a 1-3 to no score lead, Offaly not registering a point until the 24th minute, through Dylan Dunne.

Mark Kinsella’s flicked goal two minutes into the second half made it 2-6 to 1-1 and although Offaly scored the next three points, two rapid-fire scores from the excellent Small (one free) extinguished their mini revival in a flash.

The visitors searched desperately for a foothold, but they were unable to breach a solid Wicklow rearguard with Mathew Fox in flying form at full-back, and substitute Jim Kinsella’s 27th minute goal finally put the game to bed and sent the Garden County through to face Louth in the last eight.

Scorers – Wicklow: P Small 1-3 (1-0 pen, 1f), M Kinsella 1-1, J Corrigan 1-0, T Tisdell 0-2, M Keogh, C Doody and P Keogh 0-1 each. Offaly: C McNamee 1-2 (2f), D Dunne (1f), S Wyer 0-2 each, S Horkan 0-1.

Wicklow: J Jacob; C Murphy, M Fox, R Smyth; C Doody, M Keogh, C O’Brien; M Kinsella, P Small; JJ Brady, L Reynolds, S O’Brien; L Nolan, T Tisdell, P Keogh. Subs: R Kinsella for C O’Brien (h-t), J Corrigan for P Keogh (45), T Doyle for Nolan (54), S McLaughlin for L Reynolds (59), E Ward for Smyth (59).

Offaly: M Kelly; K Kilmurray, J O’Donoghue, T Kelly; C Daly, P Kenna, L Fitzgerald; C Burnes, E Cullen; L Moore, E Rouse, S Wyer; D Dunne, C Egan, C McNamee. Subs: C Egan for Kilmurray (10, inj), S Horkan for Cullen (43), S Hanniffy for Egan (50), C Whittle for Daly (50).

Referee: L. Murphy (Carlow)

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