Wexford draw with table topping Limerick in hard fought battle
A goal in the dying moments from Eoin Quigley looked like sealing victory for Wexford at the Gaelic Grounds but Paudie O’Brien secured a last gasp equaliser for an understrength Limerick side who had already qualified for the Division 1B final.
Limerick made eleven changes for this encounter having already qualified for the final but still led 1-9 to 0-10 at the interval despite having played against the wind.
But Wexford fought back in the second-half and deserved a share of the spoils after a better second-half.
Neither side managed to get on top in the opening half and the sides exchanged points seven times in the opening 25 minutes.
Each time it was Limerick who edged in front before Wexford responded with a point and then, ten minutes from the break, Liam Dunne’s men finally went ahead when David Redmond found the range.
But Limerick hit back with a well-taken goal from a ground-stroke by Adrian Breen, which was quickly followed by a Paudie Ahern point.
Paul Morris responded with a brace of points for Wexford either side of a Niall Moran point to leave the home side ahead by two at the break.
Points from Breen, Kevin Downes and Dowling helped Limerick open up a four-points lead in the third quarter but Rory Jacob hit back with a couple of points for Wexford.
Limerick seemed poised for victory when Niall Moran, Dowling and Tobin hit the target to lead by 1-17 to 0-15 with eight minutes left.
But Wexford showed great heart in the closing stages. Garrett Sinnott blasted home a goal after taking a pass from a short Morris free which cut the deficit to just a point after Redmond had earlier landed a free.
Dowling edged Limerick two back in front in the closing minutes and Quigley looked to have snatched victory when he found the net in the dying moments. But there was still time for O’Brien to land a good equaliser from distance.
Limerick: A Murphy; A Dempsey, R McCarthy, M Carmody; C King, W McNamara, T Ryan; C Allis (0-02), J Ryan (0-01); S Dowling (0-08, 0-05f), P Ahern (0-01), N Moran (0-02); A Breen (1-01), T Quaid, S Tobin (0-01).
Subs: K Downes (0-02) for Quaid (17 mins), P Browne for J Ryan (35 mins), S Walsh for Dempsey (35 mins), P O’Brien (0-01) for McNamara (35 mins), G Mulcahy for Breen (63 mins)
Wexford: M Fanning; B Kenny, T Waters, C Kenny; R Kehoe, A Shore, E Martin (0-02, 0-02’65); E Quigley (1-01), H Kehoe; G Sinnott (1-01), L Chin (0-01), D Redmond (0-02); G Moore, P Morris (0-06, 0-03f), R Jacob (0-03).
Subs: S Murphy for Moore (51 mins).
Referee: D Kirwan (Cork).