By William O’Toole
Wicklow welcomed Waterford to Aughrim this afternoon knowing that a win was essential if they were to keep their hopes of returning to division three of the National football league.
For Waterford, all that was at stake was pride and the Deise men very nearly spoiled the party, until a Seanie Furlong goal completely changed the complexion of the game and kept Harry Murphy’s men in the hunt going down to Tipperary.
The home side made a bright start and went into an early four point lead thanks to Glynn, McGraynor, Furlong and Darren Hayden. Waterford signaled their intent early doors though and they rattled the Wicklow crossbar early on. A free from Shane Ahern and a point from Paul White reduced Wicklow’s advantage to two but a McWalter free helped steady the home side.
Wicklow’s first real goal chance came mid-way through the first half when a Paul Earls free rattled the crossbar. Tony Grey was having a mighty game for the visitors and two points from the Stradbally kept them in contention.
Two points from Seanie Furlong gave Murphy’s men a bit of breathing space and then they had a real opportunity to put some distance between sides. Tony Grey pulled down Conor McGraynor and got a black card for his troubles but Glynn sent the penalty wide. The home side went in with a four point lead at half time.
Points from Hayden and Finn after the restart helped Wicklow go six in front but the Deise men got on top after that. A free from Shane Ahern and points from Wayne Hutchinson and Liam Ó Lonáin had Wicklow under pressure.
However, a rasper of a shot from Seanie Furlong that would raise the green flag for the first time in the game and two points from Kevin Murphy put Wickow in the clear and put an end to a brave Waterford effort.
Another Furlong goal put the game to bed and the win keeps Wicklow in the hunt going for promotion down to the premier county. It will be no easy task as they must beat newly promoted Tipperary and hope Antrim leave the banner county empty-handed. It promises to be an exciting end to the league.
Wicklow 2-14 Waterford 0-12