/ GAA

Wexford boss rues missed opportunity

Updated: Wednesday, 06 Jun 2012 21:30 | Comments

Jason Ryan's side will face Longford once again next Sunday
Jason Ryan's side will face Longford once again next Sunday

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Manager Jason Ryan was left ruing a wonderful missed opportunity to see off Longford at the first attempt in Sunday's Leinster Football Championship quarter-final in Croke Park.

The Model men were pegged back by an injury-time free by Sean McCormack after taking the lead in the dying minutes at GAA headquarters.

A replay has been scheduled for next Sunday in Tullamore following the 0-15 to 2-09 draw but Ryan said Wexford could have avoided that scenario.

"You know, we felt we put ourselves in a position to win the game at the most important time – that was coming into the last few minutes," Ryan told RTÉ Sport.

"We didn't really grasp the opportunities that came our way, we lost a few balls we shouldn't have and we're very disappointed with that, and we maybe didn't quite keep our discipline at key times, as well. But we're delighted to be still in the Leinster Championship," added Ryan. 

"We're still there, we've time to train and prepare for the replay and it gives us extra time with the players."

"I wouldn’t say the finish of the game is where we let it go, it was earlier in the game where we had an awful lot of possession and we coughed it away cheaply.

"It’s something we’ll have to work on over the next few days to get right for (the replay)."

Ryan praised defender Graeme Molloy for an improved display in the second period after allowing the Longford forwards too much space and time on the ball in opening 35 minutes.

"Graeme Molloy was outstanding in the second half, and he reduced the threat that he [Brian Kavanagh] had. We tightened up in a number of other areas as well but I think an awful lot of credit has to go to Longford in the second half for the amount of possession that they won around the middle of the field from kick-outs," said the De La Salle clubman. 

"It’s something they’ve improved dramatically on since the Laois match and certainly on the league final, and that gave them primary possession. In other games they haven’t had that and they’ve been turning over teams but it’s something that we’re going to have to improve the next day. We have to win more primary possession from kick-outs.

"At one stage they were something like seven-two up on kick-outs – that’s just too much of a gap. It’s giving away too much primary possession but, like I said, it’s something for us to work on."

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