Wicklow manager Harry Murphy believes that Sunday’s Leinster Championship victory over Longford in Aughrim is a just reward for the hard work his side have put it.
A goal from Seanie Furlong just after half-time proved to be decisive as Wicklow were able to hold out for a 1-16 to 0-15 win. After a tough league campaign in which his side could only manage two draws, Murphy is delighted to have finally claimed a win.
“It’s great to get a win, everyone knows we didn’t get a win all year. There hasn’t actually been a Leinster Championship game here (Aughrim) for ten or twelve years, so to get a win in front of our own crowd here is brilliant,” he said.
“The atmosphere was good, a good crowd turned up and the lads played really well, I thought they were excellent – in the first half especially.
“We were under the cosh a bit there in the second half and Longford came at us, in fairness to them they put us under severe pressure in the second half. But the lads dug deep and they all put their shoulder to the wheel, which you have to do in this competition.
“They had us under pressure, it was a good game of football – end to end stuff. The 30 lads and the subs who went in all gave their all for an entertaining game and it was good open football.”
Murphy feels that, although the results didn’t come for Wicklow in the league, the groundwork that his side put in during the early months of the year is standing to them now and that they’re reaping the rewards of a testing league campaign.
“Towards the end of the league we played Monaghan, who wouldn’t be a bad side, and we saw what Cavan did last week so we were living with those teams for long periods of those games but our concentration was letting us down and they were getting results against us,” he insisted.
“The score didn’t really reflect the results because we were playing quite well for long periods of those games but today things went very well for us in the first half and we defended very well in the second half.”
Up next for Wicklow are Meath, who will travel to Aughrim for the Leinster quarter-final on June 15 and while Murphy’s side will again be the underdogs, he is confident they can cause problems for the Royals.
“Meath are Meath. They won’t be worried about Wicklow but we’ll be waiting for them, it’s all we can do. If the lads put in another performance like that and believe in themselves like they did today then we’ll give them a good run.”