Waters goal helps Wexford complete a successful comeback to end Longford’s hopes
Strong finish in extra-time seals the Model County’s progress
Longford manager Glenn Ryan seperates Shane Mulligan from referee Padrag O’Sullivan. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho
Wexford 2-15 Longford 0-16 (aet)
Wexford survived a thorough examination of strength, stamina, and spirit at Pearse Park.
A fascinating encounter sprinkled with drama and incident was ultimately decided by a decisive Wexford burst in extra-time. That Wexford were fortunate to get so far merely added to Longford’s sense of what might have been.
At the end of normal time Longford forced a turnover, JJ Matthews made the initial dart, and then fed Paul Barden. Longford’s most experienced performer drove for the posts, appeared to be fouled, but got up to kick a tame wide. The home support were incensed at the non award and within seconds the full-time whistle was blasted and a lengthy brawl erupted on the pitch involving players and mentors.
Afterwards Glenn Ryan wondered about the mayhem.
“In the 70th minute surely a free is the more advantageous thing to give instead of a guy trying to kick having got up off the ground with a couple of lads swinging off him. It didn’t come about, but when it went to extra-time Wexford were deserving winners,” he said.
Wexford boss Aidan O’Brien didn’t deny the significance of the incident. “It is on those kind of fine margins that these things hang.”
Wexford had plenty of possession in the first half, but their shot selection was awry and Longford led 0-8 to 0-4 at the interval. It was chiefly because Longford were that bit more clinical with Seanie McCormack polished and precise.
After the restart a 39th minute PJ Banville goal gave Wexford an injection of confidence. Even though Longford led by four with 15 remaining they were under considerable duress and dominant midfielder Daithi Waters blasted a goal on 56 minutes. In extra-time Wexford raced four points clear thanks to scores from Redmond Barry, Shane Roche and Ben Brosnan and late points from Adrian Flynn and Ciaran Lyng sealed their victory.
WEXFORD: A Masterson; M Furlong, G Molloy, R Tierney; B Malone, D Murphy, A Flynn (0-3); D Waters (1-1), R Quinlivan; J Holmes (0-1), R Barry (0-2), A Doyle (0-1); C Lyng (0-2, one free), P Byrne, PJ Banville (1-0). Subs: B Brosnan (0-3, one free) for Banville (39 mins), C Carty for Holmes (55 mins), S Roche (0-2, two frees) for Lyng (67 mins), K Gore for Doyle (70 mins), A Doyle for Quinlivan (80 mins), C Lyng for Barry (85 mins).
LONGFORD: D Sheridan; D Brady, B Gilleran (0-1), D Reilly; B O’Farrell, P McCormack, S Mulligan (0-2); J Keegan (0-1), M Brady (0-1); B McElvaney, P Barden (0-1), P Foy; F McGee, S McCormack (0-9, seven frees), JJ Matthews (0-1). Subs: N Mulligan for McGee (57 mins), D McElligott for Keegan (62 mins), C P Smyth for Reilly (66 mins), A Rowan for Foy (68 mins), M Hughes for Matthews (74 mins), K Diffley for N Mulligan (85 mins).
Referee: P O’Sullivan (Kerry).