Galway defeat Wexford to win Leinster Under-21 hurling title after extra time
Full-forward Sean Bleahene, who had come back on as a sub, pounces for a later winner
Galway’s Seán Bleahene (third right) battles with Damien Reck and Darren Byrne of Wexford during last night’s Bord Gais Energy Leinster Under-21 final at O’Moore Park, Co Laois. Photograph: Inpho
Galway, competing in their first Leinster U-21 championship, came from behind in the closing stages of extra-time to snatch the title.
Full-forward Sean Bleahene, who had come back on as a sub, was the hero as he pounced for a later winner.
Galway looked set for victory when they led by three points deep into stoppage time after 60 minutes but wing-back Ian Carthy found the net for Wexford to force extra-time.
The tempo of the game was hectic throughout but while Galway led by six points at one stage in the opening half, with Tomas Monaghan getting their opening goal, they trailed by 0-13 to 1-8 at the break.
Senior player Rory O’Connor led the way for Wexford and when corner-forward Seamus Casey found the net it helped them lead by 1-17 to 1-12 after 43 minutes.
But two goals in a minute from Kevin Cooney and Evan Niland got Galway back in contention but just when it seemed they were about to lift the crown, Carthy forced extra-time.
Wexford held and edge in extra-time but their hopes of an 18th Leinster title were thwarted when Bleahene struck at the death.
GALWAY: E Murphy; I O’Shea, J Fitzpatrick, S Bannon; J Grealish, F Burke (0-1) (c), M Hughes; T Monaghan (1-2), S Loftus (0-1); B Concannon (0-2), C Salmon, C Fahy (0-5, 1’65, 1f); E Niland (1-7, 7f), S Bleahene (1-0), K Cooney (1-2).
Subs: P Foley for Salmon (half-time), Conor Caulfield (0-1) for Hughes (41), Jack Canning for Bleahene (42), C Connor for Bannon (60), R Murphy for Concannon (66), M Lynch for Monaghan (75), S Bleahene for Niland (77).
Wexford: J Cushe; S Reck, D Byrne, I Carthy (1-0); A Maddock, D Reck, G Molloy (0-1); C Firman (c), R White (0-2); J O’Connor (0-2), R O’Connor (0-7, 2f), L Stafford; S O’Gorman (0-2), R Higgins (0-1), S Casey (1-11, 9f).
Subs: M Dwyer for O’Gorman (52), O Foley in for Stafford (52), D Codd for White (56), S O’Gorman for Casey (66).
Referee: J O’Brien (Laois).