NHL 3B final: O'Neill-inspired Wicklow power to title

May 01, 2010
Jonathan O'Neill hit 0-13 as Wicklow captured the NHL Division 3B title at Parnell Park this afternoon following an emphatic victory over a Louth team that finished with just 12 players.

Wicklow 3-18
Louth 2-9

Despite having three players dismissed, two of which were for second bookings, the Wee County remained in the game until Andy O'Brien's second goal finally ended their hopes.

Casey O'Brien's Wicklow were quickly out of the starting blocks and led by seven points after former Railway Cup player Don Hyland netted in the ninth minute. With O'Neill in unerring form from placed balls and Andy O'Brien tormenting the Louth full back line, the Garden County continued to dominate and the game looked over as a contest when O'Brien beat two defenders to fire home their second major three minutes before half-time.

But a Shane Callan goal directly from a sideline cut closed the deficit to 1-4 to 2-12 at half-time.

Down referee Declan Magee was the centre of attention after the restart when he sent off three players inside the first nine minutes. Wicklow sub Sean Kinsella, who had been on the field only two minutes, received a straight red card along with Louth's Wesley Morrissey, while Wee County defender Mark Wallace also got his marching orders for a second yellow.

Despite their numerical disadvantage, Paddy Kelly's Louth pulled back a goal through substitute Collins Connolly with 17 minutes remaining, but their challenge died when full forward Callan was dismissed three minutes from the end and it was left to O'Brien to wrap up the victory with Wicklow's third goal in injury-time.

Louth: E McArdle, M Wallace, A Carter, A Wallace, D Rafferty, R Byrne, E McCarthy, D Horan, D Dunne, S Fennell (0-1), G Rellis, W Morrissey (0-1), D Murphy (0-4, 4f), S Callan (1-2), K McNally (0-1).
Subs: C Connolly (1-0) for Rellis (53), A Callan for McNally (60), G Kerrigan for McCarthy.

Wicklow: T Kennedy, E O'Neill, J Connors, W Collins, M Collins, L Kennedy, G Bermingham, M O'Neill, E Kearns, R Keddy (0-1), J O'Neill (0-13, 10f), T Doyle (0-1), A O'Brien (2-3), D Hyland (1-0), E Glynn.
Subs: J Connors for Hyland (32), G Keogh for Connors (h-t), S Kinsella for Collins (h-t), R Nolan for Connors (60), N Driver for Glynn (67).

Referee: D Magee (Down).

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