Mattie Kenny delighted after 14-man Dublin edge out Wexford

Clinical Donal Burke scored 12 points, five from play, at Wexford Park

Dublin 0-24 Wexford 0-23

Clinical Donal Burke put Wexford to the sword as his 0-12 haul, five from play, inspired Dublin to a dramatic single point victory in this Leinster Senior Hurling Championship Round 2 round robin game played at Wexford Park on Saturday afternoon.

After the sides had exchanged opening points through Rory O’Connor and Burke frees, a moment of inspiration from team captain Eoghan O’Donnell that saw him drive from defence, deep inside opposition territory, to produce a dramatic lead point demonstrated that the underdogs were up for this game, for this was a lead they refused to relinquish for the remainder of the game.

Dublin manager Mattie Kenny hailed the efforts of his side as they survived a late rally, despite playing out the closing 10 minutes with 14 players, Cian O'Callaghan having been sent off on a second yellow card offence eleven minutes from the end of normal time.


“It was one of those games for Wexford Park is a difficult place to come and get a result,” said Kenny. “We’re delighted to come away with two points. Hats off to all the guys, they put in a massive effort, showed great character and great pride.

“One would have thought that the game would have swung away from us when reduced to 14 players, but the boys dug in, never gave up, stepped up the momentum, got in the crucial blocks while also picking off some vital scores.

“Coming down here was always going to be a massive task, for it’s a very difficult ground to get a result. We’re delighted to have won our second brace of points. We started the game brightly, got four/five points ahead, but allowed Wexford to get back into it. Despite that we managed to get a few scores before the break, vital as we were playing with the breeze.”

Kenny added: ‘In the dressing room at half-time we said we would keep pushing on, not going to sit back. That is what we managed for we continued to pick off scores. I would like to thank the Dublin supporters, down in numbers, who kept the team going. We appreciate their support as it meant so much to the players.

“All week we had talked about our mis-firing with scoring attempts against Laois. We talked about the shot collection, but at the same time one cannot strike fear into the players, for we want them to shoot. Yes, they got some great scores.

“Also our defensive effort was superb. Eoghan O’Donnell caught a huge ball late on, we had Danny Sutcliffe’s crucial late block and Sean Brennan’s superb penalty stop, along with a superb save from Rory O’Connor minutes late on.”

Wexford manager Darragh Egan said: "While disappointed with the defeat we will still take some positives from the game.

“We created some eighteen scoring chances but simply did not put them away while Dublin were far more clinical at the opposite end. There’s still a lot of points to be played for so no we’ll just look ahead to Laois next Sunday. We’ll take it one game at a time.

“The loss of Jack O’Connor before the game was a huge blow. He woke up in the morning with a back problem and could not shake it off in the warm-up. It’s a nerve issue so he should be fine for Laois. He was a huge loss as he would have made an impact coming in during the game.”

Freetaker Donal Burke was Dublin's key man throughout striking seven first half points, four frees, as they built a 0-13 to 0-9 interval lead, with O'Connor, four, three frees, and Mark Fanning, three long range frees, contributing to the homeside's tally.

Dublin were also more clinical on the resumption as Burke and Ronan Hayes continued the scoring surge, but the crucial moments arrived when Dubs keeper Sean Brennan superbly saved a 52nd minute Fanning penalty, while two minutes later he pulled off yet another superb save, this time from O'Connor.

In truth the manner in which Dublin played, composed and skilful, utilising the flanks to stretch the home defence, saw them emerge with a deserved victory.

Wexford: M Fanning (0-3 frees); M O'Hanlon, L: Ryan, S Donohoe (0-1); C Flood (0-1), D Reck (0-3), P Foley; L Og McGovern (0-1), D O'Keeffe (0-1); M Dwyer, O Foley, C McGuckin; R O'Connor (0-5, 0-4 frees), C McDonald (0-1), K Foley. Subs: C Dunbar for K Foley (ht), L Chin (0-7, 0-6 frees, 0-1, 65) for Dwyer (42), O Pepper for O Foley (64), C Hearne for McGuckin (71).

Dublin: S Brennan; J Bellew, E O'Donnell (0-1), C O'Callaghan; J Madden, P Smyth, D Ryan (0-1); C Burke (0-2), C Crummy (0-1); D Burke (0-12, 6 frees, 0-1, '65), R McBride (0-2), D Sutcliffe; A Mellett (0-1), R Hayes (0-2), F Whitely (0-2). Subs: D Keogh for C Burke (60), P Crummey for Whitely (69), E Dillon for Hayes (62).

Referee: F Horgan (Tipperary).