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December 2019

Club News > Club Notes
With our Leinster Senior team not playing till midweek and our Wicklow League premier side’s game away to Arklow Celtic falling victim of the bad weather it was down to our under age teams to provide us with the action on the playing field. Our under 17 team entertained Arklow United at Whitegates on Saturday afternoon in the youth league. The lads gave a good account of themselves against the older team and ground out a 0-0 draw. Despite missing a few key players the lads dug in to gain a deserved point. The midfield quartet of Ben Sweeney, Jamie Murphy, Tom Flood and a man of the match performance from Daniel Basas were instrumental in gaining a point from the game. The defence was solid through out but when they were breached Jack Jennings in the Rovers goal was on hand to keep a clean sheet. The under 18’s game against Coolboy Rangers was called off.

Our under 13's travelled to Glencormac on Sunday knowing a win would crown them division 1 champions. The weather wasn’t great for either teams and Rovers played against the wind in the first half and started very brightly taking an early lead from a Lorcan Sinnott free kick that left the home keeper with no chance. The second goal arrived ten minutes later when great work from Danny Kavanagh down the right caused havoc in the Glencormac penalty area and the ball was turned into the net for an own goal. Rovers kept pressing and thought they had a third only for the woodwork to deny Eoin Kennedy. Half time came with a deserved 2-0 lead for Rovers. The second half started as the first ended with Rovers on the front foot and the woodwork again prevented a third goal. Glencormac did pull a goal back after some sloppy defending let in their best player on the day to reduce the deficit. Tactical changes and substitutions were made and Rovers got their third goal from Brendan Porter. The fourth arrived five minutes later when Danny kavanagh scored a beauty when cutting in from the left and putting the ball into the top corner. Once again the woodwork stopped another Rovers goal and with possibly the last kick of the game the home side pulled one back to leave the final score 4-2 to Rovers. The final whistle went to the delight of the players, coaches and parents and you could see from the celebrations what it meant to this little team. Although plying their trade in division 1 they have lost in 2 premier finals this season so to win this league and finish the season with a trophy meant a lot. There were sixteen men of the match out on the pitch as conditions were not great but a job had to be done and each player done everything they could to get their hands on the league trophy. Congratulations to Trevor, Mark and the lads on an excellent season, one winners and two runners up is a great return for all their hard work. The full Rovers squad is: Eoghan Doyle, Mel Early, Niall Connolly, Sean O'Toole, Dylan Ryan, Kyle Gormley, Charlie Kenny, Ben Doyle, Peter Quinn, Eoin Kennedy, Brendan Porter, Lorcan Sinnott, Charlie Czwalina, Daniel Kavanagh, Georgeie O'Neill and Evan Conyard. They are managed and coached by Trevor Conyard and Mark Kennedy.

Our under 16 girls went down 4-0 to league leaders Balbriggan FC, the girls were well in it at the half time break with the teams locked at 0-0. The girls matched their opponents all over the pitch but unfortunately for the girls the Dublin side finished the stronger when they hit the girls with four unanswered goals. Their effort didn’t deserve the final result but they can put this down as part of the learning process. Well done Hugh and the girls, keep up the good work.

With Christmas fast approaching the executive committee of Wicklow Rovers AFC would like to wish the managers, assistant managers, coaches, players, parents and supporters of the club a Happy Christmas and a Prosperous New Year. We would also like to wish a Happy Christmas and a Prosperous New Year to all the clubs, WDSL committee, WDFL committee, DDSL committee, LSL committee, MGL committee, DWSL committee, referees, Paul Dowling of the Herald, Dave Devereux, Brendan Lawrence and all the staff of the Wicklow People. Without all these people we could not provide football and media coverage week in week out for all the members of our clubs.

Our second Last Man Standing competition of the season will take place in the New Year with a date around the beginning of February more than likely the start date for the competition. Anyone interested in taking part should text their name and number to Jimmy Nolan at 087-9108706, alternatively you can contact any committee member or privately message us on our club facebook page. The entry fee is €10 with the jackpot again set at €500, same rules will apply. The start date for the competition will be confirmed in our club notes next week and will also be posted on our club website and facebook page.

Anyone with anything for our club notes, Facebook page, club website or our weekly online newsletter can contact me by email at jimmy.nolan09@hotmail.com or by text to 087-9108706. For all news regarding the club, check out our club website at www.wicklowrovers.com or the club facebook page.

Our Leinster Senior side had two games last week and the first game didn’t go too well at all, on Wednesday night a dreadful first half performance saw them 4-0 down at the break against Ardmore Rovers. This was a real Jekyll and Hyde performance as they came out in the second half totally transformed. Part of the reason for this was the introduction of Ciaran McGettigan for the second half as he proved a constant torment to the away defence. Ciaran had a good goal ruled out for offside with only the official been the only one who saw an offside, then he was pulled down on two occasions inside the penalty area, stonewall penalties on any other day. The lads did pull one back when Dylan Orr made a good run down the right and crossed back for Luke Byrne to fire home. On their second half display the lads should have been a lot closer but the damage was done in the first half leaving them with a mountain to climb. On Saturday the lads travelled to take on Kilbarrack Utd and they put in a much improved performance to earn a share of the spoils in a 3-3 draw. The lads fell behind on fifteen minutes but levelled matters when Ian Brannigan fired home a screamer. Just before the break Ciaran McGettigan gave Rovers the lead. The home side equalised five minutes into the second half and then edged in front on the hour mark. The lads showed great character to fight back and with five minutes remaining Ciaran McGettigan popped up with his second of the game and Rovers third to earn them a well deserved point. It was a good team performance but a special mention goes to Ian Brannigan for his thunderbolt of a goal and to Ciaran McGettigan, Tom Smullen and Luke Byrne who stood out.

Our Wicklow League side maintained their recent good form which sees them now unbeaten in five games after a 1-1 draw with Ashford Rovers at Whitegates on Sunday. The lads were very much understrength for this game but they should they have strength in depth to battle to earn a share of the spoils. It was a tough affair for both sides with the pitch cutting up under foot but it was Ashford who had the first real chance. The Ashford striker broke clear and was brought down inside the box. The resulting penalty however was blazed over. The scores were level at half time despite a lot of Wicklow possession. Soon after the break Wicklow went ahead with a fine finish by Stephen Finlay. Ashford however threw bodies forward and eventually won another penalty which was slotted home. Wicklow pushed to find a winner putting Ashford under pressure, the away side were reduced to ten men with the home side relentless in pursuit of a winner. Unfortunately for the lads it didn't materialise and the game ended 1-1.

Our two youth teams were in action on Saturday, the under 18’s weren’t at the races when they took on neighbours Wicklow Town at Finlay Park. The lads lost 9-1 against a very good Town side, having fallen behind early on Rovers hit back with an equaliser from Keane Furlong but that’s as good as it got for Rovers. The lads won’t be happy with their performance and will be hoping to get back to basics on the training ground to get ready for their next game. The under 17’s recorded an excellent win when they beat Aughrim Rangers 1-0 away. The lads started well but had to withstand some pressure from the home side in the latter stages of the first half. In the second half the lads came out of the traps fast and went in front when Sam Brown set up Adam O’Reilly who made no mistake after sixty minutes. Both sides had chances for more goals but the lads held out for three excellent points.

In junior action our under 12A’s added the A1 shield to their recent success in the Premier cup when they defeated Arklow Town A in their own backyard in Arklow. In a tightly contested encounter the lads nabbed the all crucial score at the three quarter point of the game with a seventh of the season from Sonny McHale. This was an evenly matched contest with one goal likely to be the difference between the sides. Well done to both sides on producing an entertaining game. Well done to Denis, Enda and the under 12A squad on their success and their double winning season. Our under 14’s took on Aughrim Rangers in the Premier Shield final in what was a repeat of the Premier cup final which Aughrim won. This proved to be a tight affair with no quarter given by either side. In normal time both defences were on top throughout. Neither keeper was really tested as space for the forward players on both sides was at a premium. At the final whistle the game finished scoreless and it was onto extra time, this is where Rovers should have won it as they finished the stronger team creating several chances but they just couldn’t apply the finishing touch. Now we had to go through the nerve wrecking penalty shootout and unfortunately for the lads they lost out 6-5 on penalties. Well done to Robbie, Peter and the under 14 squad on a good season.
Everyone at Wicklow Rovers AFC would like to extend their sincere sympathies to the family and friends of Willie Byrne, ‘’Avalon’’, Tomriland, Roundwood who sadly passed away recently. Willie was part of the great Rathnew Celtic side that won the Leinster Junior cup. Willie was one of the most gifted players of his era and was a true gentleman both on and off the pitch. He was highly respected by everyone who knew him. Our thoughts and prayers are with his wife Treasa, daughters Tracy and Sara, brothers Shay, George and Tony, sisters Margaret, Angela, Nuala, Joan and Sylvia and his extended family and friends at this sad time, may he rest in peace.
Anyone with anything for our club notes, Facebook page, club website or our weekly online newsletter can contact me by email at jimmy.nolan09@hotmail.com or by text to 087-9108706. For all news regarding the club, check out our club website at www.wicklowrovers.com or the club facebook page.
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