This afternoon, in O’Connor Park, Tullamore, the Wexford men who had a narrow win over their opponents in the Allianz league campaign on 20th February last, took control from the throw-in and showed their loyal supporters that they are going to give them many good games this summer.
The game itself was far from entertaining and lacked atmosphere as what was expected to be a close encounter ended up very much a one-side affair.
Within 40 seconds of the opening Ciarán Lyng had registered the first score for the Model County men following a foul on Ben Brosnan. It was captain, Niall Mc Namee who got Offaly’s first point on the scoreboard. Ben Brosnan, who had a very solid game tonight put over two further points. Fifteen minutes into the game Offaly were awarded a penalty following a Rory Quinlivan foul on Seán Ryan and the local support got very vocal and excited but unfortunately for them this was the turning point as the penalty was saved but appeared to everyone to go over for a point but the umpire signalled wide. This would have been an opportunity for them to even the game up. There were 16 minutes gone before Wexford got their first score from play with a good point from the Clonard man, Rory Quinlivan. Ciarán Lyng got a classy goal on the 22nd minute with Nigel Dunne responding for the Offaly men to leave the scoreline 1-6 to 0-3. Offaly took over the last five minutes of this period and had three consecutive scores from Bernard Allen and Niall McNamee. Ben Brosnan got the last score of the first half to leave the scoreboard at half-time Wexford 1-09 to Offaly 0-06.
It was expected that Offaly would come out in the second half with the wind in their favour with all guns firing but unfortunately things went from bad to worse and indeed the second half became quite boring with the home team only scoring two points and missing at least four goal opportunities thanks to the good defending of the Wexford defence.
The Faithful men opened the scoring of this half with Niall McNamee getting his name again on the scoresheet. Shane Roche was replaced by Paddy Byrne who made an impact once called upon. It was the accurate Ciarán Lyng who once again got the scoring going for Wexford after 12 minutes to leave the tally at 1-10 to 0-07. The icing on the cake arrived for Wexford when Red Barry scored their second goal of the night to leave the scoreline at 2-11 to 0-7 so there was little hope for the Offaly men with 18 minutes gone in the half. Niall Barry replaced Nigel Dunne for Offaly and Wexford had a let-off when McNamee’s goal shot was saved. Further points from Brosnan and Red Barry put the game a little out of reach for the Offaly men who seemed to lose heart at this stage. Both teams introduced new blood with John Reynolds replacing Seán Ryan, Ken Casey for Bernard Allen, Adrian Morrissey replaced Adrian Flynn while Brendan Doyle was called upon to replace Eric Bradley. Two more points from Paddy Byrne and Ken Casey for Offaly left the score at 2-13 to 0-08 and at this stage a good scattering of people began to leave. Liam Óg McGovern was introduced for Colm Morris and Joe Quinn replaced Stephen Lonergan for Offaly. The final two scores for Wexford came from Adrian Morrissey and Ciarán Lyng. The last substitution was George Sunderland coming on for Rory Quinlivan. The final score was Wexford 2-16 to Offaly 0-08. Wexford now advance to play Westmeath in the quarter-final.
Wexford: Anthony Masterson, Joey Wadding, Graeme Molloy, Brian Malone, Adrian Flynn, David Murphy (Capt.), Aindreas Doyle, Rory Quinlivan (0-1), Daithí Waters, Shane Roche, Ciarán Lyng (1-7, 4 frees), Ben Brosnan (0-6. 3 frees), Colm Morris, Eric Bradley, Redmond Barry (1-0).
Subs: Paddy Byrne(0-1), for Roche, Adrian Morrissey (0-1) for Flynn, Brendan Doyle for Bradley, Liam Óg McGovern for Morris, George Sunderland for Rory Quinlivan.
Offaly: Alan Mulhall, Brian Darby, Scott Brady, Seán Pender, Stephen Lonergan, Ross Brady, Karol Slattery, Richard Dalton, Niall Smith, Ciarán McManus, Seán Ryan, Anton Sullivan, Bernard Allen (0-2, f), Nigel Dunne (0-1, f) Niall McNamee (Capt.) (0-4).
Subs: Thomas Deehan for Anton Sullivan (Inj.), Niall Barry for Dunne, John Reynolds for Ryan, Ken Casey for Allen, Joe Quinn for Lonergan.