Jack O’Connor snatches the points for Wexford
Late, late show secures Wexford’s pace in quarters as they pip Dublin at Croke Park
Wexford’s Jack O’Connor scores his goal. Photo: Bryan Keane/Inpho
Wexford 2-14 Dublin 0-18
A defiant Wexford turned in a storming finish with Jack O’Connor’s added time goal turning this game on its head. The visitors to Croke Park eventually emerged with a two point victory over Dublin bid in this Division 1B game.
With the hard working qualities which Davy Fitzgerald has always brought to his teams, it was Wexford who set Croke Park alight with as dramatic a finish as one will see all season. Down to 13 men they came from two points adrift to stage a dramatic finale with the two points securing their quarter-final spot.
Sixteen minutes from the end Wexford looked in deep trouble when they had substitute Conor McDonald straight red carded following a high pull. And three minutes from the end Shaun Murphy received a second yellow followed by a red.
But all the drama was packed into the closing stages of what had been quite a scrappy encounter, with the performance of referee Johnny Murphy leaving both managers quite animated following some of his decisions, particularly when a third red was show to Dublin full-back Eoghan O’Donnell one minute from the end of normal time.
As the game moved into added time Rory O’Connor struck over a splendid point to leave the minimum separating the sides, but when Ronan Hayes extended Dublin’s lead back to two points, the home side looked secure. Then came than dramatic run and goal from sub Jack O’Connor which was followed by a Paul Morris point, leaving Wexford leading, 2-13 to 0-17, with a little over one minute of the additional time remaining.
Dublin staged a late attack but Paul Ryan saw his shot saved by keeper Mark Fanning with Cian Boland knocking the rebound over the bar. Wexford, through Paul Morris, closed out the scoring with a pointed ‘65.
There were times through the first half when the hurling was poor with both sides even missing scoreable frees. Dublin had the better of that opening 35 minutes and Wexford had a Mark Fanning goal from a 31st minute penalty to thank for keeping them in touch. Dublin finished the half strongly with points from Rian McBride, Donal Burke and Ryan to lead 0-10 to 1-5 at the break.
Dublin enjoyed the better of the second half only for Wexford to eventually get their game together to turn in that thundering winning finish.
Wexford: M Fanning (1-0 pen); C Firman, L Ryan, Joe O’Conor; D Reck, M O’Hanlon, S Murphy; K Foley, D O’Keefe (0-1); A Rochford, A Nolan, L Chin (0-1, 0-1 free); P Morrish (0-7, 0-4 frees, 0-1 ‘65), M Dwyer, R O’Connor (0-4, 0-1 free). Subs: P Foley for K Foley (BS 29); K Foley for P Foley (h-t), P Foley (0-1) for O’Hanlon (ht), L Og McGovern for Rochford (ht), Jack O’Connor (1-0) for Chin (46), C McDonald for Dwyer (48), C Dunbar for Nolan (68).
Dublin: S Brennan; P Smyth, E O’Donnell, J Madden (0-1); C O’Callaghan, D Gray, S Moran; C Crummy (0-1), J Malone; D Burke (0-1), R McBride (0-2), D Sutcliffe; O O’Rourke (0-1, 0-1 free), R Hayes (0-2, 0-1 free), D Keogh. Subs: P Ryan (0-8, 0-8 frees) for O’Rourke (13), C Boland (0-1) for Sutcliffe (52), E Dillon (0-1) for Keogh (53), A Dunphy for O’Callaghan (57), T Connolly for Madden (62).
Referee: J Murphy (Limerick).