Wexford’s promotion ambitions were given a major boost when they secured an excellent 12-point win over Antrim at Wexford Park on Saturday afternoon.
Last year we had a double header in Wexford Park for St Patrick’s weekend, This year, despite Wexford having two home games, the powers that be split these games between Saturday and Monday !No such problems in Dublin where the home side host Tyrone and Limerick in Croke Park for one €13 entrance fee. Perhaps the smallest attendance to ever watch Wexford Senior hurlers in a home league match turned up to Wexford Park today. The previous low was when Kildare visited in a Div 2 game in 2010.
Kevin Ryan’s Saffrons are now in grave danger of relegation after falling to a third straight defeat, and will need to beat Carlow and Offaly in the next two rounds to have any hope of avoiding finishing in the bottom two.
In a hectic opening to the game, Antrim in fact led by 1-2 to 0-3 after just nine minutes, before the home side drew back on level terms by the 18th minute.
Just before the half hour mark, Wexford made a crucial breakthrough when David Redmond raced through the middle and cracked a low shot to the back of the Saffrons’ net, helping Liam Dunne’s side to a 1-13 to 1-9 half-time lead.
A heavy hail storm came down just as the teams took the field after the interval. The Model County made an explosive start to the second half with ace poacher Rory Jacob raising a second green flag 16 seconds after the restart.
Antrim tried to respond in kind and attacked with vigor They got inside the 13m line and blasted for goal only to be denied by the bravery of Harry Kehoe who stood tall in front of the shooter but took the full blow of the shot, through his helmet and retired with a broken nose. He had it straightened after the game and is ok for next weekend v Dublin.
In tricky conditions, Wexford dominated most of the second half, with Gary Moore, Garrett Sinnott and Éanna Martin all adding to their advantage in the closing stages.
Wexford now face into two crucial games, against Dublin and Limerick, over the next two weekends which will go a long way to determining their fate in the competition.
WEXFORD: Mark Fanning; Bobby Kenny, Andrew Shore, Eoin Doyle; James Tonks, Richie Kehoe, Lee Chin; David Redmond (1-02), Harry Kehoe (0-01); Ciaran O’Shaughnessy, Garrett Sinnott (0-03), Eoin Quigley (0-02); Paul Morris (0-05, 0-01 ’65’, 0-01f), Rory Jacob (1-06), Podge Doran.
Subs used: PJ Nolan for O’Shaughnessy, Gary Moore (0-01) for Doran, Stephen Murphy for Nolan, Éanna Martin (0-01) for Doyle, Shaun Murphy for Redmond.
ANTRIM: Ryan McGarry; Aaron Graffin, Conor Carson, Mark McFadden; Simon McCrory (0-01), Neal McCauley, Conor McKinley; Matthew Donnelly, Conor Laverty (0-01); Colm McPhall, Stephen Beatty, Paul Shiels (0-01); Shay Casey (1-01), Neil McManus (0-06, 0-05f), Shane McNaughton (0-01).
Subs used: Darren Hamill (0-01) for McPhall, Tony McCloskey for Laverty, Jackson McGreevey for Carson, Dessie McClean for Casey, Benny McCarry for Donnelly.
Referee: Anthony Stapleton (Laois).
|Allianz Hurling League Roinn 1B 2013|