Wexford set up home encounter with Dublin after victory over Offaly

Veteran Ben Brosnan inspires younger colleagues as he scores crucial 1-5

Wexford 1-15 Offaly 1-12

Veteran Ben Brosnan unleashed his scoring power on visitors Offaly as he inspired Wexford to a dramatic, but deserved, three-point victory to set up a home encounter with Dublin in next weekend's Leinster senior football quarter-finals.

The 34-year-old Brosnan inspired his younger colleagues around him with a dazzling attacking display that yielded a personal tally of 1-5, his 53rd minute goal a piece of clinical finishing that gave his side a 1-12 to 1-7 lead having fallen four points adrift earlier in the second half.

Brosnan was clearly elated after the game as he tried to take in the victory.


"We don't have many days like this. I love playing for Wexford, for I've been playing since 2008, but these are the days you dream of," he explained. "I've had a devastating time with injury, a recurring hamstring problem. I missed last year's game with Dublin, but now I'm really looking forward to the Dubs this Saturday evening here in Wexford Park.

“Look this is a young side. We may not have had the best of national leagues, but there is tremendous potential in this team. We have many excellent players coming through so for the young players playing Dublin will be a wonderful experience.”

Offaly manager John Maughan said he expected a huge challenge in Wexford Park.

“I was not one bit surprised with Wexford. I had seen them, they are well-organised in defence, play a fast attacking game. There’s no doubt they were the better team on the day. We had our injury problems but we’re not offering that as an excuse for Wexford deserved the victory.”

Wexford were fired up from the start despite playing into the wind and led 0-2 to 0-1 after five minutes through two Brosnan points with Offaly keeper Paddy Dunican pointing a free inbetween.

Offaly responded with three unanswered points through Bernard Allen, Mark Abbott and Johnny Moloney to lead 0-4 to 0-2 after 12 minutes, but the sides continued to trade points as Mark Rossiter and Bill Carroll exchanged late scores to leave the midlanders leading 0-6 to 0-5 at the interval.

Offaly hit Wexford with an early second half onslaught that saw sub Lee Pearson shoot a 39th-minute goal to put them 1-7 to 0-6 ahead, but it was Wexford who hit a real purple patch as Brosnan kicked over three successive points, along with scores from Eoghan Nolan and Martin O'Connor.

The decisive moment came three minutes later when following a sweeping move from deep in defence with the ball travelling through many hands it was Brosnan who finished superbly with a rising shot to the net, leaving his side 1-12 to 1-7 ahead, and they resisted late pressure to secure a marvellous victory.

Wexford: D Brooks (0-1f); L O'Connor, E Porter, M O'Connor (0-1); P Hughes (0-1), G Malone (0-2, 0-1f), D furlong; N Hughes, L Coleman; A Tobin, D Shanley, K O'Grady (0-1f); M Rossiter (0-1), E Nolan (0-2, 0-1 mark), B Brosnan (1-5, 0-3f). Subs: R Brooks for Nolan (60), T Byrne (0-1) for Rossiter (60), D O'Toole for Shanley (64), S Ryan for Tobin (73).

Offaly: P Dunican (0-4f); D Hogan, J Lalor, K Dolan; C Doyle, D Dempsey, N Darby; J Hayes, J Moloney (0-1f); D Hyland (0-1f), B Carroll (0-2), M Abbott (0-1); B Allen (0-2, 0-1f), A Sullivan, C Flynn. Subs: L Pearson (1-0) for Doyle (inj. 25), C Stewart for Allen (51), J O'Connor (0-1) for Flynn (52), C Donohoe for Hyland (65), C McNamee for Abbott (70).

Referee: D O’Mahoney (Tipperary).