Wicklow 1-18 0-16 Sligo, Aughrim
Mick O’Dwyers Wicklow marched on in the championship with a 5 point victory over Sligo on Saturday afternoon. Report to follow…..
Sligo (SF v Wicklow): P Greene; C Harrison, N Maguire, R Donovan; P McGovern, B Kennedy, N Ewing; E O’Hara, S Gilmartin; B Eagan, M Breheny, D Rooney; S Coen, T Taylor, A Marren.
Sligo, who won the Connacht Championship in 2007, were dumped out of provincial competition at the first stage by Leitrim this time around. Now, they face this unenviable trip east to meet Mick O’Dwyer’s mountain men.
Due in part to suspension, Kevin Walsh has rang the changes after the shock home defeat. Brian Kennedy, Noel Maguire and Brendan Egan have all been recalled into the starting line-up. Tony Taylor has been moved to full forward in the re-shuffle.
Wicklow fell at the first hurdle to Kildare almost a month ago and O’Dwyer has baited the traps for the visit of Sligo.
The multiple all Ireland winner has already announced that this will be the last of his five years in charge of Wicklow and that has distracted the attention of many in the build up to this qualifier.
The Kerryman has, however, sought to play down the significance of this possibly being his last match at the helm. He has focused instead on putting the favourites tag back on the Connacht side.
“A lot of our players are injured,” he told the Irish Examiner, “I have a whole list of them who won’t be playing on Sunday and injuries can decimate you completely.
“Of course, Tom Walsh went back to Carlow, Paddy Dalton has a bad ankle injury, Austin O’Malley is out through suspension, Patrick McWalter is out with a cruciate ligament, Damien Power has been gone for a long while, Jack Dalton is gone as well as is Michael McLoughlin.
“That’s seven of my top players gone so I’m bringing in a lot of young fellas and we’re hoping that things will go well and we’ll be able to put in a performance.”
As of this morning (Friday) Wicklow have yet to name their starting team, but even without the seven players highlighted by O’Dwyer, they will surely push Sligo all the way.
SLIGO: P Greene; C Harrison, N Maguire, R Donovan; P McGovern, B Kennedy, N Ewing; E O’Hara, S Gilmartin; B Egan, M Breheny, D Rooney; S Coen, T Taylor, A Marren.