Gaelic GamesMatch report

Wexford and Clare can’t be separated as Division 1A clash ends in draw

Jack O’Connor struck the levelling point late on for Wexford after giving up the free that briefly allowed Clare to take the lead

NHL Division 1A: Wexford 1-13 Clare 0-16

Perhaps Jack O’Connor believed he owed his colleagues something as this dramatic game went into additional time, played in tough conditions at Chadwicks Wexford Park.

One minute earlier as the sides were level, O’Connor was deemed to have fouled David Fitzgerald some 40 metres from the homeside goal, leaving Mark Rogers to shoot the lead point. With tension and excitement high, Wexford surged back and O’Connor managed to strike a huge levelling point. The home side even had the opportunity to win the game, Seamus Casey steered an awkward 70m free to the wrong side of the right post.

From a Wexford perspective, this has been a strange league, with three draws now from three games leaving with much to play for in their remaining games with Waterford and Cork. While for Clare they stand on four points from three games, leaving manager Brian Lohan quite happy with their campaign to date.

Lohan summed it up accurately: “Quite happy with the draw. Our first half was poor, we were outfought more than anything else, while Wexford won every breaking ball, leaving us with much to do.


“We were up against the elements in the second half, but played much better. Our substitutes made an impact. We’re quite happy with the draw.”

Naturally Keith Rossiter would have liked to have taken that extra point.

“I don’t know if it’s a point lost or a point gained. We were playing against a very good Clare team so to take a point, in hindsight I would have to be happy. It’s strange, but now we have three draws from our games, but it still keeps us very much in contention for a top three finish.”

Rossiter reflected on two further injuries to hit his side.

“We lost Kevin Foley early in the first half, inside the opening minutes. He moved back inside but was unable to run the injury off. It’s a knee but it’s too early to know the extent of the injury.

“Then we lost Lee [Chin] after 27 minutes. Lee knows his body. He felt a muscle problem and decided to come off. It’s only February so there was no point in risking them further.

“Credit to the lads they stood up after the loss of two experienced players. They showed great character, played some fine hurling in difficult conditions. Perhaps we could have won it in the end, but we’ll take the point.”

Casey both won and converted a penalty to give his side a 1-6 to 0-8 interval lead, with McCarthy pointed frees keeping the Banner in contention.

Substitutes Shane Meehan, Peter Duggan and Mark Rogers gave Clare a huge boost leaving them leading 0-14 to 1-9, but as the tension rose, Wexford regained the initiative, as Casey hit back with a brace to set up that exciting endgame.

Wexford: M Fanning (0-1 free); N Murphy, C Foley, E Ryan; S Reck, D Reck, S Donohoe; C Hearne (0-1), K Foey; C Dunbar (0-1), S Casey (1-4, one pen, two frees), J Byrne; R Lawlor, L Chin (0-3, one free), C Byrne-Dunbar (0-1).

Subs: J Doran (0-1) for K Foley (inj. 10 mins), J O’Connor (0-1) for Chin (inj. 26), C Byrne for J Byrne (55), T Kinsella for Doran (64).

Clare: C Broderick; A Hogan, C Leen, R Hayes; D Lohan, J Conlon, C Galvin; C Malone, S Rynne; D Fitzgerald (0-5), R Mounsey (0-2), P Crotty (0-1); I Galvin (0-1), A McCarthy (0-3, two frees), K Smyth.

Subs: M Rogers (0-2, one free) for Mounsey (ht), P Duggan (0-1) for Crotty (ht), S Meehan (0-1) for I Galvin (50 mins), D Ryan for Leen (58), G Sheedy for McCarthy (68).

Referee: T Walsh (Waterford).