Paul Clarke Believes Inexperience Cost His Dublin Side Against Wexford

Dublin Manager Paul Clarke
Dublin Manager Paul Clarke

Wexford footballers enjoyed a very rare win over Dublin yesterday afternoon in Enniscorthy thanks to two late points from Craig McCabe and Barry O’Connor which in turn ended the Dubs defence of their O’Byrne Cup title.

After last Wednesday nights draw with Offaly in the opening round of the competition Dublin’s young inexperienced side headed down to the south east coast with the mammoth task of having to beat Wexford by 17 points to qualify for the semi finals.

The men from the Model County enjoyed the advantage of a strong wind in the first and made it count to lead by six at the break.

But Dublin’s young guns battled valiantly in the second half to level the game and when Kevin Vallaghan notched over a point late in the game it looked like Paul Clarke’s charges would snatch the victory.

But Wexford dug deep to register the last two scores to claim the win and send the Dubs crashing out of the competition.

Speaking to the Irish Daily Star Interim manager Paul Clarke attributed yesterday’s narrow defeat to the inexperience of his side.

“You were hoping maybe, when we got the lead, that we were going to hold onto it. It comes down to experience.

“If you look at any of the big games in the last few years, of championship football and league finals, it comes down to that. If you’re in a position, it’s about having your experienced, quality players on the ball in the right place at the right time.

“This is an inexperienced group. It’s probably not as experienced as the group last year. We’d some seasoned campaigners and good club footballers playing for a long time with their clubs, and that made a difference last year.

“This year we just lacked a little bit. But I can’t doubt any of the effort that the lads put in. We could have felt a little bit down at half-time, but the second half they certainly went for it.”