Leinster U20 Hurling Championship: Banville banishes Offaly as Wexford win 2-20 to 1-18

Wexford 2-20 Offaly 1-18 

Wexford remain on for a treble of Leinster titles after a hard-earned 2-20 to 1-18 win over Offaly at Tullamore on Wednesday night. The throw in for this game was delayed due to a large crowd in attendance, 5,000 spectators on a Wednesday evening is not half bad.

Offaly came into the game on the back of good wins over Westmeath, Carlow and Dublin, but they couldn’t get past MJ Reck’s charges with whom Ross Banville was the star man. Wexford now go into the provincial decider where they will play Kilkenny or Galway who incidentally play on Thursday a game which is live on TG4.

The game was only 10 seconds old when Barry Kealey had registered a point for Offaly. That would, however, be the only time in the game the Faithful would lead this encounter. Ross Banville and Sean Keane Carroll hit a brace of points each for their respective sides before Wexford grabbed the first goal of the game. It was Conall Clancy that popped up with the goal proving alert to a quick sideline ball to run in on the endline to finish to the net on 13 minutes. Cathal Kiely landed four frees for the hosts which kept them in touch, while Conor Langton and Brian Duignan (son of Michael) also scored neat scores from play. However, MJ Reck’s men deserved their 1-08 to 0-07 lead at the short whistle. However, he would have been disappointed with the nine wides his side accumulated.

Offaly struck the first score of the second half. However, it was Wexford who maintained the advantage as they fired over four quickfire points. Ross Banville proving as accurate as ever from placed balls. Jack Reck a late addition to the starting line up fired over as did Clancy to extend the lead to 6 points. Offaly were now in need of a goal. That goal did arrive albeit from a bit of misjudgment from the Wexford goalkeeper. A pointed effort from John Murphy was misjudged and went into the net giving the Offaly fans hope in the crowd. Wexford could have had a goal themselves but Eamonn Cleary stood tall in the Offaly goal keeping out Sean O’Connor. David Nally added two frees, while Niall Murphy also tagged on a point from play, just a point between the sides. However, it was Wexford who delivered the knockout blow with Diarmuid Doyle drilling a low shot to the corner to seal the win in stoppage time.

Offaly: Eamonn Cleary; Dara Maher (Sean Beatty 58), Ross Ravenhill, Ryan Hogan; Ciaran Burke, Conor Butler, Killian Sampson; Cathal Kiely, David Nally (capt); John Murphy, Barry Kealey (Conor Quinn 37), Conor Langton; Brian Duignan, Cillian Ryan (Lochlann Kavanagh 48), Joey Keeneghan.

Wexford: James Lawlor; Cathal O’Connor, Eoin Molloy, Eoin O’Leary; Niall Murphy, Mike Kelly, Conor Scallan; Charlie McGuckin (capt), Eoin Murphy (Cian Fitzhenry 45); Sean Keane Carroll, Ross Banville, Conall Clancy; Sean O’Connor (Oran Carthy 59), Jack Reck, Diarmuid Doyle.

Wexford scorers: Ross Banville (0-10, 7f). Sean Keane Carroll (0-03), Conall Clancy (1-01), Sean O’Connor (0-01), Diarmuid Doyle (1-01). Niall Murphy (0-01), Conor Scallan (0-01), Charlie McGuckian (0-01), Eoin Murphy (0-01).

Offaly scorers: Cathal Kiely (0-05, 5f), David Nally (0-04, 2f), John Murphy (1-01), Conor Langton (0-04) Brian Duignan (0-01), Cillian Ryan (0-01), Joey Keenaghan (0-01).

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