Davy Fitzgerald’s Wexford got their Leinster round robin campaign under way at Wexford Park on Sunday afternoon and they were pushed all the way by a plucky Dublin side that failed to give in.
Wexford 0-22 Dublin 2-14
Although Wexford were leading by 5 points midway through the second half Pat Gilroy’s Dublin battled to the bitter end and Paul Ryan 61st minute goal seemed to spur them on. Wexford to their credit with the exuberance of youth in young St Martin’s man Rory O’Connor failed to panic as he added some superb scores in extra time to give Wexford their first win over Dublin since 2008 before a crowd of nearly 11,000.
Paul Ryan got Dublin off the mark inside the first couple of minutes, giving them a 0-2 to 0-1 lead, Wexford managed to knuckle down though, and they hit the next four scores to take the lead themselves 0-5 to 0-2, with O’Connor coming to the fore from placed balls. However, the Wexford Park crowd were stunned on 13 minutes when Rian McBride intercepted a clearance to finish the ball to the net, all square 1-2 to 0-5. The sides traded the next four scores, before O’Connor edged Wexford ahead by 0-08 to 1-04. Paddy Smyth and Jake Malone then knocked points for Dublin, before Paul Morris seen his shot saved by Alan Nolan. Wexford deserved a lead at half time and they went in with a 1-point advantage after O’Connor tapped over a free in first half injury time to leave the sides at the break 0-10 to 1-06.
Wexford were gradually getting better as the game went on, Dublin remember had the advantage of the game against Kilkenny in terms of match practice. Wexford were in the lead 0-16 to 1-08 mid way through the second half with points coming from Aidan Nolan, Jack O’Connor, Rory O’Connor x2, Paudie Foley and Diarmuid O’Keeffe. Dublin, battle back though and weren’t throwing in the towel. They hit 1-03 without reply, Paul Ryan grabbed the goal and Dublin were now ahead 2-13 to 0-18. Wexford got back on level terms with O’Connor pointing a free, but Cuala club man David Treacy split the posts for the visitors which appeared to be the match winner with only added time left.
However, Wexford had the final say as they sunk Dublin hearts which almost certainly means they may be battling it out with Offaly for relegation. Rory O’Connor landed a free from around 80 metres to send the Wexford crowd into raptures and minutes later the roof of Wexford Park stand was nearly blown off with the noise as he pointed from play. Harry Kehoe finished the scoring to wrap up the result and Wexford now travel to Tullamore looking for another win, while for Dublin it is a rest weekend.
Player of the Match: Rory O’Connor
Wexford: Mark Fanning; Damien Reck, Liam Ryan, Simon Donohoe; Diarmuid O’Keeffe (0-1), Pádraig Foley (0-2, 0-1 free), Matthew O’Hanlon; Aidan Nolan (0-1), Kevin Foley (0-1); Lee Chin (0-2), Shaun Murphy, Jack O’Connor (0-1); Paul Morris (0-1), Conor McDonald, Rory O’Connor (0-12, 11 frees).
Subs: Harry Kehoe (0-1) for McDonald (55); Cathal Dunbar for Morris (61).
Dublin: Alan Nolan; Paddy Smyth (0-1), Cian O’Callaghan, Bill O’Carroll; Chris Crummey, Seán Moran, Eoghan O’Donnell; Jake Malone (0-1), Shane Barrett; Rian McBride (1-1), Fiontánn Mac Gib, Danny Sutcliffe (0-1); Fergal Whitely, Liam Rushe (0-1), Paul Ryan (1-7, 0-6 frees, 0-1 ’65).
Subs: Tomás Connolly for Barrett (43); Cian Boland (0-1) for Whitley (43); David Treacy (0-1) for O’Carroll (51); Ronan Hayes for O’Donnell (60); 25 Paul Winters for McGibb (60).