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Wicklow boss 'feels brilliant' after double

Leinster SFC: Wicklow 2-9 Wexford 0-11

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Wicklow’s Pádraig O’Toole in action against Eoin Porter of Wexford in Wexford. Photo: Sportsfile

Wicklow’s Pádraig O’Toole in action against Eoin Porter of Wexford in Wexford. Photo: Sportsfile

SPORTSFILE

Wicklow’s Pádraig O’Toole in action against Eoin Porter of Wexford in Wexford. Photo: Sportsfile

You could almost see a sparkle in Davy Burke's eye when was asked whether he'd welcome weather conditions akin to yesterday afternoon in Wexford when Wicklow host Meath in Aughrim next Sunday.

"I'd take a day like this every day of the week, 365 days a year if it keeps us going!," he laughed as the wind howled behind him and the rain sheeted down on Wexford Park.

It's been quite the first year in charge for Burke who, at 32, is inter-county football's youngest manager.

Already, he's compiled quite the CV.

In 2018, he managed Kildare to an All-Ireland Under-20 title. Last year, he brought Sarsfields to a Kildare county crown.

Just a week ago, he oversaw Wicklow's three-point win in Wexford Park, a victory that lifted them out of the backwaters of Division 4 for the first time since 2013.

And yesterday, at the same drenched venue against the same opposition, he guided Wicklow to just their second Championship victory since 2014 and just the fifth time since the end of the Mick O'Dwyer era.

"It feels brilliant," he beamed afterwards.

"Just brilliant. It's hard coming down here two weeks in a row. Jesus, you'd be worried. As one of the selectors said to me during the week, the one thing we haven't done is chase down a lead. We haven't come back from behind."

Technically at least, yesterday qualified as a come-from-behind victory, given Wicklow trailed from the second minute until the 49th.

But given the extreme elements, going in just two points down at half-time was a mini victory in itself.

Dean Healy's goal was key to that.

"The only worry I had was mentally," Burke admitted of the challenges of beating the same team away from home twice in eight days.

"Could our lads do it again? I'd be an over-thinker. I think a lot into this stuff. I'd be pulling my hair out thinking about it.

"But I turned up Tuesday night and I 100 per cent knew they were hungry again. That's a very ambitious dressing-room."

"Look, we are where we are. Are we world-beaters? No. Are we a hard-working team who'll give any one a bit of it? Of course we are."

SCORERS - Wicklow: S Furlong 0-4 (2f), C Byrne 1-1 (0-1f), D Healy 1-0, G Murphy, P O'Toole, R Finn, M Jackson ('45) 0-1 each. Wexford: B Brosnan 0-5 (5f), A Tobin 0-2 (1f), M Rossiter, D Waters, E Nolan (m), M O'Connor, 0-1 each.


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