Airtricity Under 17 National League
Wexford 5 Carlow Kilkenny 2

A dream start came with a nightmare finish as Carlow Kilkenny tasted defeat in their opening game of the under-17 National League.

The local side were flying high when they trooped in at half-time 2-1 up against 10-man Wexford at a blustery Gorey, but a powerful second half comeback that yielded four goals for the hosts saw them go home empty-handed.

It was a wretched day for Carlow Kilkenny, who stepped into their first under-17 game with plenty of promise. With Ross O’Brien and Lee Day leading the offensive charge they had Wexford on the backfoot early on, but the hosts were sharp in attack too - Brian Byrne sprang the offside trap to race on to James Dowling’s cutting 11th minute pass but Oliver Oleksiewicz got down to make a smart save.

The visitors kept pushing and made the breakthrough midway through the half. A blistering move along the left saw Rory O’Dowd and Lee Day cut the hosts open with a quick one-two before O’Dowd was hauled down in the box.

Adam McCarron stepped forward to take the kick and make history, scoring the club’s first league goal at this level with a cool strike into the bottom right corner.

Wexford stepped up their game, James Dowling rattling the post with a 31st minute shot from a tight angle. Dowling was involved again when Wexford drew level 12 minutes from half-time, skilfully bringing down Graham O’Reilly’s diagonal ball before knocking it across goal for Brody Murphy to volley home.

Just when it looked like the game would stay level until half-time, Wexford were behind again. Goalkeeper David Murphy saw red for kicking out at Lee Day following a Carlow Kilkenny corner. Worse was to come for Wexford, as McCarron fired home his second penalty of the game.

Wexford went for broke in the second half and their bravery paid off with two quick goals set up by Brian Byrne corners. His first found the net via a deflection off the unfortunate McCarron before, two minutes later, another spilled loose in front of Graham O’Reilly.

Wexford were on top now, doubling their lead when Brody Murphy drilled a raking 68th minute shot under Oleksiewicz and ended up inside the netminder’s right hand post. Brian Byrne saved the best for last, unleashing a thundering drive that rocketed into the net via the far post 14 minutes from time.

Carlow Kilkenny will be hoping for better fortune when they entertain Waterford at IT Carlow this Saturday.

Wexford: David Murphy; Shane Gibson, Graham O’Reilly, Dylan Casey, Sean O’Brien; Brody Murphy (Kyle Clancy, 68 mins), Patryk Remiasz, Luke Green (Sean Redmond, 89 mins), Robert Bulmer (Kyle Cooke, 43 mins); James Dowling (Evan Farrell, 65 mins), Brian Byrne (Paddy Redmond, 89 mins).

Carlow Kilkenny: Oliver Oleksiewicz; Adam McCarron, Fionn McCaffrey (Dylan Stickel, 85 mins), Niall Rowe, Nicky Leonard; Cian Franey (Evan Connolly, 68 mins), Rory O’Dowd; Lee Day (Eoghan Byrne, 85 mins), Eamon Lalor (Myles Hutton, 59 mins), David Morrissey (Oscar Brennan, 59 mins); Ross O’Brien.

06/03/2019 19:26