Monaghan man Seamus ‘Banty’ McEneaney led Wexford to a 2 point win over Leitrim in Division 4 of the Allianz football league. Meanwhile The Leitrim senior football team dropped their first league points of the 2017 season in Carrick-on-Shannon this afternoon when they were defeated by Wexford on a full time score of 0-16 to 0-14.
Seamus McEnaney described the win a possible season defining moment and it was a victory that his side had to dig deep to win, and indeed the men from the “Model County” can also be thankful to their experienced core of players which included Ciaran Lyng, Pj Banville and Daithi Waters. There is no disputing the fact that their combined contributions turned out to be the eventual difference. Wexford played against a bitterly cold wind in the first half and trailed by 0-8 to 0-5 at the interval. The visitors received two hammer blows in the first thirty five minutes when Ben Brosnan was forced off due to injury and James Stafford was shown a straight red card by Longford official Patrick Maguire.
Heres Wexford manager Seamus McEneaney in conversation with Shannonside Northern Sound Sports John Lynch.
Leitrim in fairness probably deserved something from this encounter as their defending and discipline was superb throughout. Their scores in the first half came from Gary Plunkett, Dean McGovern, Ryan O’Rourke and Emyln Mulligan who started at corner forward.
Wexford found it difficult to penetrate a Leitrim side that set up with somewhat cautious approach and in fairness it worked well with Wexford working hard for their scores which included two early points from Ciaran Lyng and Ben Brosnan that settled the visiting side down. However their scores dried up for long spells in the opening period and further scores from PJ Banville and Lyng were their only successes for the remainder of the first half.
The tempo of the second half failed to drop at any stage as the two sides battled with huge honest endeavour. After twenty minutes of the new period Leitrim enjoyed a 0-12 to 0-11 lead. Mark and Gary Plunkett scored delightful points and with Dean McGovern and Mulligan going on to raise white flags the home side were working will all their energy to keep their noses in front in a rip roaring encounter.
The Wexford experience and the strength of their bench eventually started to tell and in the final fifteen minutes they outscored the Connacht side by 0-5 to 0-2. Michael O’Regan was sprung from the side-line and his ability to score from long range was a major asset for Banty’s charges. PJ Banville really stood up to the mark with two crucial points in Wexford’s purple patch and when the ever impressive Ciaran Lyng and Eoghan Nolan struck for further late scores Wexford had done enough to seal the win despite Leitrim substitute Nevin O’Donnell converting a late free.
So Wexford maintain their one hundred percent start and will take stopping in their bid for promotion. Leitrim will be unhappy not to have taken something from this encounter. They had the numerical advantage for the last forty minutes of the game, and one or two near misses coupled with Wexford taking advantage of two short kick outs that went astray will all be incidents that the Leitrim management team will be studying ahead of their next match which will be away to Westmeath.
The Leitrim manager Benny Guckian spoke with John Lynch after the match.
It’s not all doom and gloom however and there are real signs that Benny Guickan’s side are a team that are improving and may well yet feature in the promotion battle.