Allianz HL D2B Final: Wicklow defeat Derry
Allianz Hurling League Division 2B Final
WICKLOW 1-9 DERRY 0-8
By Odhran Crumley at Inniskeen
Michael Boland’s goal in the dying embers of the game sealed victory and promotion to Division 2A for the Wicklow hurlers ahead of the 2020 season.
Weather conditions in Inniskeen were putrid as Derry held a strong, swirling wind advantage in the first half.
This point can be further emphasised by the wides tally with Derry shooting wide of the target 13 times in comparison to Wicklow’s eight.
In truth, the Oakleafers never took full advantage of that breeze and only led by two at the break.
John McEvoy’s men raced into an early three point win courtesy of a brace from Richie Mullan and a long range strike from Sé McGuigan.
Christopher Moorehouse opened the Garden County’s account on eleven minutes from a free before two further placed balls from Mullan guided his side into a 0-5 to 0-1 lead.
Enda Donohue and substitute Eamon Kearns added scores on the whistle to inspire their team.
Two rapid fire scores from Eoin McCormack at the beginning of the second stanza drew Wicklow level before Brendan Rogers opened Derry’s account in the 46th minute of the game.
Mullan and Rogers shot over as Derry edged two in front despite the obvious disadvantage due to the conditions.
Eamon Kearns levelled, and extra time looked ominous, but Wicklow struck for a goal as Donohue’s long delivery fell to Michael Boland who pulled on the breaking ball to rattle the back of the net.
Moorehouse landed a late free to put the icing firmly on the cake for the Leinster men after a topsy, turvy battle of which all involved deserve serious credit for producing in such testing conditions.
Scorers for Wicklow: Michael Boland 1-0, Christopher Moorehouse 0-2 (2fs), Eoin McCormack 0-2, Andy O’Brien 0-2, Eamon Kearns 0-2, Enda Donohue 0-1.
Scorers for Derry: Richie Mullan 0-5 (4fs), Brendan Rogers 0-2, Sé McGuigan 0-1.
WICKLOW: Cian Staunton, Brian Kearney, Billy Cuddihy, Martin O’Brien, Garry Byrne, Stephen Kelly, Warren Kavanagh, John Henderson, Jack Doyle, Eoin McCormack, Enda Donohue, Daniel Staunton, Christopher Moorehouse, Andy O’Brien, Jonathan O’Neill.
Subs: Eamon Kearns for B Kearney (10), Michael Boland for J O’Neill (50), Luke Evans for E Donohue (64), Ronan Keddy for C Moorehouse (70).
DERRY: Sean Kelly, Paddy Kelly, Sean Cassidy, Ruairi McCartney, Conor Kelly, Brian McGilligan, Liam Og Hinphey, Thomas Brady, Paul Cleary, Gerald Bradley, Richie Mullan, Mark McGuigan, Cian Waldron, Sé McGuigan, Meehaul McGrath.
Subs: Brendan Rogers for B McGilligan (26), John Mullan for T Brady (HT), Naoise Waldron 6 for P Cleary (45), Niall Ferris for S McGuigan (69)
REFEREE: Thomas Walsh.