Wicklow beat Down in NHL Div 2B final

By: William O’Toole

Wicklow claimed their first silverware since 2010 when they beat Down by two points in the Division 2B final of the Hurling League at Park Tailteann.

Casey O’Brien’s men had sufferd an eight point defeat when the two sides met in the group stages of the League  but they got their revenge when it mattered most.

Wicklow made a bright start and raised the first white flag of the afternoon 14 seconds in when Daniel Staunton pointed and that was followes by three points from Mikey Lee.

Conor Woods got the Ardsmen off the mark but Wicklow were in a determined mood and led 0-7 to 0-3 after 15 minutes.

Down cut the gap to just two points on two occasions but Mikey Lee  was lethal from placed balls, and six points from the Kilcoole man kept Wicklow in front.

Points from Sean Ennis and  Conor O’Neill reduced Wicklow’s lead to one but three points from Moorehouse and Lee sent Wicklow in with a three point lead at half-time.

Wicklow made a fast start to the second half and points from Wayne O’Gorman, Staunton and O’Brien put Wicklow into a six point lead.

It looked as though they were getting on top at this stage but a point from Conor O’Prey kept Down in touch but Moorehouse hit straight back for Wicklow.

Daniel Toner then pointed for Down, and 1-2 from the Ardsmen in two minutes, which included a well-struck goal from substitute Scott Nicholson,  had them right back in it.

With the just a point between the teams, quick scores from O’Brien and O’Gorman were crucial.

That swung it for Wicklow and further points from Jonathan O Neill and Staunton put them into a five-point lead.

Down rallied strongly after that and three further points got them closer but Wicklow never looked like getting caught and  were full value for the win

A straight red card for Moorehouse in the closing stages took some off the gloss off the win but O’Brien’s men will be full of confidence as they get ready for the Christy Ring Cup.

It was a great team performance that saw all six of the starting forwards on the score sheet.

Final score Wicklow 0-23 Down 1-18

(Pic.Sandra O’Neill)

 

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