Schedule and Limerick too much for Wexford in All-Ireland SHC quarter-final

‘Adrenaline would have kept them going if they were in front. But our boys were professional and drove on’ – Limerick boss TJ Ryan

Wexford’s manager Liam Dunne can only look on as his side are overwhelmed by Limerick in the All-Ireland SHC Quarter-final at Semple Stadium. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Wexford’s manager Liam Dunne can only look on as his side are overwhelmed by Limerick in the All-Ireland SHC Quarter-final at Semple Stadium. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

 

Sometimes you live and learn but most of the time you suffer the same cruel demise over and over. Wexford were, momentarily, back among the elite but now they are gone. Pummelled by the rising Limerick tide.

“Ah we’ll learn a lot from today, might even learn more than we did from last week,” said Liam Dunne, their manager and boyhood hero. “But every day is a different day. It’s tough going on those fellas in that room. They are not on €250,000 a week or anything but the effort I’m after getting out of them is fantastic.”

In the end it proved too much too quickly, with the portrait of Lee Chin as a young hurler being a neat example of under-utilised talent.

Compelling lines

It started promisingly with his movement forcing James Ryan and Paul Browne to continually palm him between them. But the sliotar kept sailing elsewhere. Criss-crossing the middle third of Semple Stadium, he suffered the midfielder’s curse of team-mates failing to look up and find him.

The choice presented Chin was two-fold; become a stationary figure or drop deeper into the mire. Leave his station. Get his hands dirty.

As Thomas Ryan found Dowling for Limerick’s killer third goal, there he was surfing the breaking Limerick wave while others mingled out the back. Like statues on the flat calm.

Wexford’s half-time view was a horribly steep incline: down 3-15 to 0-8. As they disappeared for the sanctuary of that dimly-lit room, far too many of these young and unquestionably talented hurlers looked stunned in Limerick’s articulated headlights.

Not Chin, though. He didn’t put away his football blades for this sort of treatment. For the second half he suffered the ignominy of bucketing water at centre back as green jerseys flooded his realm.

“To be fair to Wexford playing four weeks on the trot at this level, I don’t think it’s right,” said Limerick manager TJ Ryan. “It was going to catch up with them and it did today.

“Adrenaline would have kept them going if they were in front. But our boys were professional and drove on.”

Dunne didn’t want to embrace that excuse but it was obvious.

“From early on in the game you could see it,” he said. “The heads were wanting to get there but the bodies weren’t able to bring them. Even in the first 35 minutes. Out on their feet.

“I can’t fault our fellas. It’s been a tough couple of weeks.The epic games against Clare probably took their toll.”

Two thrilling duels with the All-Ireland champions can be savoured in the winter months as can a Leinster under-21 title captured in Dublin against Dublin.

Waterford needed looking after next before crashing into a Limerick machine desperate to return to Croke Park and atone for last year’s spluttering show against Clare. “It’s a tough pill to swallow but you have to be man about it and take it on the chin,” said Dunne with no pun intended. “We’ll regroup and come back again.”

We’ll see some of them again soon. There is an under-21 All-Ireland in them (they face Galway in the semi-final on August 23rd). Not that such silverware guarantees further growth. Just ask Limerick.

Wexford have been pummelled under the bright, unforgiving lights of Semple but at least we know their’s is not a glass Chin.

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