Guiney guides 14-man Wexford to victory
Model County side survive gutsy Antrim comeback
Wexford’s Jack Guiney sends over a point against Antrim during the league clash at Ballycastle. Photo: John McIlwaine/Pressey/Inpho
Richie Kehoe saw red after a 33rd minute exchange with Antrim full forward Neil McManus but the Model men went on to dominate the third quarter to lead by 0-15 to 0-8 despite trailing a by a point at the break.
Paul Shiels and Conor Johnston points edged Antrim closer, and when Daniel McKernan drew a loose ball to the net on 70 minutes, just one point separated the sides. Shiels had a chance to earn a share of the spoils in injury time, but his free drifted wide of the upright.
Paul Morris had opened the scoring for Wexford after three minutes but four unanswered scores, shared equally between Shiels and Conor Carson, had Antrim in a 0-4 to 0-1 lead after the opening quarter hour.
By the half hour mark, Wexford had levelled matters at 0-5 apiece, with Liam Og McGovern, Jack Guiney and Diarmuid O’Keefe all on target. An off the ball incident between McManus and Kehoe saw Wexford reduced to 14 and Shiels pointed the resultant free to leave Antrim 0-6 to 0-5 ahead at the break.
Both sides struggled throughout the game on the heavy pitch, but with wind advantage in the second half, Wexford landed five of the first six points after the restart.
The accuracy of Guiney from placed balls proved decisive for Wexford midway through the second half with the Rathnure clubman adding four unanswered scores to put his side into a 0-13 to 0-8 lead on the 60 minute mark.
Rory Jacob came off the bench to score with his first touch and when McGovern added his second for a seven-point cushion, Wexford looked home and hosed. Antrim then sprung back to life. Two points from Shiels kickstarted Antrim’s revival, sub Conor Johnston cut the gap to four, and McKernan’s goal left just the minimum between the sides.
ANTRIM: C O’Connell; Ciaran Johnston, C McKinley, M Bradley; S McCrory, N McAuley, O McFadden; P Shiels (0-7, 5f), J McGreevy; D Hamill, C Carson (0-2), N McKenna (0-1); D McKernan (1-0), N McManus, C Clarke. Subs: M Donnelly for C Clarke, S McAfee for N McManus, S McAfee for J McGreevy, Conor Johnston (0-1) for D Hamill, N McManus for M Donnelly
WEXFORD: M Fanning; K Rossiter, M O’Hanlon, B Kenny; R Kehoe, L Chin, C Kenny; D O’Keeffe (0-2), A Shore (0-1); S Tomkins, J Guiney (0-5, 4f, 0-1 ‘65’), I Byrne (0-1); P Morris (0-3), R Clarke, L Og McGovern (0-2). Subs: H Kehoe for R Clarke, G Moore for S Tomkins, R Jacob (0-1) for I Byrne, E Martin for A Shore.
Referee: J McGrath (Westmeath