A Historic Win for Wexford U21 Footballers

Wexford 1-09 – Longford 0-11

James Breen (Adamstown) accepts the Seamus Flood Cup from former Cathaoirleach Comhairle Laighean, Sheamus Howlin, following Wexford’s win over Longford in the Leinster Final of the 2011 Cadbury U21 Football. 

The 6th April 2011 will go down in history as one of the greatest nights for U21 Football when the Wexford boys took the Seamus Flood Cup back to the south east for the first time ever when they overcame a resilient team from Longford in the Cadbury U21 Leinster Final.   Wexford had previously contested four Finals with no success so tonight is one to savour.

The game played under lights in O’Moore Park, Portlaoise was very entertaining with both sides showing skill and determination.  It was Longford to got off to a good start with an early point which was followed shortly by the leveller from Paudie Kelly. The Wexford boys then got a boost with an opportunist goal from Killian Kehoe, son of the Manager Kevin to leave the sides at 1-01 to 0-1.  Wexford were in great form at this stage but it was the Longford men who got the next two scores before Kevin O’Grady hit over to leave the sides at 1-02 to 0-3.  Both Conor Carty and Michael O’Regan, who had a fantastic evening, got their names on the score sheet before half time with the scoreboard registering Wexford 1-05 and 0-5 for Longford.  The sides were evenly matched with Wexford missing more opportunities than their opponents.  The second commenced with the lights now coming on and Wexford had wind advantage.  Paudie Kelly opened the scoring for this half but Longford quickly replied and again Paudie Kelly hit over the bar. At this stage Wexford had a 1-7 to 0-7 lead but Longford came back into the game and had a golden fifteen minutes when they really took control scoring four points to level the sides and the Wexford followers getting a little worried.  Fair play to the Wexford management and the team for keeping composed at all stages.  With nine minutes remaining and the sides level Michael O’Regan from a long range free gave the Wexford supporters something to cheer for and this was followed with a Kevin O’Grady point.  The final whistle was greeted with huge cheering from the Wexford crowd who now advance to play either Tyrone or Cavan in the All-Ireland Semi-Final.  Martin Skelly, Cathaoirleach Comhairle Laighean congratulated both teams on a great night’s football and asked Sheamus Howlin, former Cathaoirleach to present the Cup to the winning captain James Breen while Michael O’Regan received the Cadbury Man of the Match Award.

The Wise Men Behind the Team:

L to R: Syl Doyle (Ballyhogue), Mick Walsh (St. Martin’s), Jack Kavanagh (Castletown) and Kevin Kehoe (Gusserane O’Rahilly’s – Bainisteoir) 

Wexford: Richard Farrell (Castletown), James Breen, Capt. (Adamstown), Seán Gaule (St. Anne’s), Michael Furlong (Adamstown), Derek Butler (Geraldine O’Hanrahan’s), John Leacy (Glynn-Barntown),Conor Carty 0-1 (Castletown), Matthew O’Hanlon (St. James’), Michael O’Regan 0-2 (1f) (Glynn-Barntown), Liam Óg McGovern (St. Anne’s), Emmet Kent 0-1 (Clongeen), Paudie Kelly 0-3 (St. Martin’s), Kevin O’Grady 0-2 (1f) (St. James’), Killian Kehoe 1-0(Gusserane O’Rahilly’s), Brendan Halpin (Castletown). Subs: Declan Murphy (Horeswood) for Brendan Halpin, Tiernan Rossiter (St. Mary’s Rosslare) for Killian Kehoe. Also: Myles Roche (Ballyhogue), Barry O’Gorman (Taghmon-Camross), James Boggan (St. Martin’s), Christy Lane (St. Mary’s Maudlintown, Aidan Jones (Kilanerin), Darragh Cullen (Naomh Éanna). Extended Panel: Alan Nolan (Taghmon-Camross), Darragh McDonald (Naomh Éanna), Martin Atkinson (HWH Bunclody), Liam Donnelly (Shelmaliers), Graham Carty (St. Mary’s Maudlintown), Anton Stafford (Clongeen), Colm Kehoe (Cloughbawn), Shane Bradley (Adamstown), Brian Berney (St. Martin’s), Michael Bowler (Duffry Rovers) and Andrew Shore (Davidstown-Courtnacuddy).

Referee: Gary McCormack (Dublin)

Mentors: Kevin Kehoe (Bainisteoir), Syl Doyle, Jack Kavanagh, Mick Walsh, Brendan Kehoe (Trainer), Goalkeeper Coach: Gavin Morris, Physio: Sandra Doyle.

Cadbury Hero of the Match Michael O’Regan, Wexford is presented with his award by Cadbury representative Finbar O’Rourke after Wexford defeated Longford in the Cadbury Leinster Under 21 Football Championship final at O’Moore Park, Portlaoise, 06 April 2011