Barry lands decisive blow in Wexford recovery
Wexford 2-8 Longford 1-10
AIDAN O'BRIEN collected his first victory as Wexford manager as the Model County staged a dramatic second-half recovery at Wexford Park.
Backed by a strong wind, Longford led 1-7 to 0-1 after 32 minutes, but a PJ Banville goal in first-half injury-time handed Wexford a lifeline.
Longford had surged into a 1-1 lead, the goal expertly created by centre-back Michael Quinn, who swept through the defence before laying off to Robbie Smyth who finished to the net. Ben Brosnan opened Wexford's account on 14 minutes, but Longford kept forging ahead.
Wexford needed something special to haul them back into contention, and it came when Paddy Byrne and Brosnan combined to set up Banville, who shot low to the net, leaving it 1-7 to 1-2 at the interval.
Wexford showed they were up to the challenge in the second half with Shane Roche, Brosnan and Adrian Flynn landing scores.
Longford were clinging to a single-point lead when Wexford got the breakthrough they had been threatening. Byrne set up Banville who picked out the unmarked Red Barry, and he punched to the net.
In additional time, Michael Quinn was just short with a '45' for what would have been the levelling point.
Man of the Match: D Waters (Wexford)
Scorers – Wexford: PJ Banville, R Barry 1-0 each, B Brosnan 0-6f, A Flynn, S Roche (f) 0-1 each. Longford: R Smyth 1-0, S McCormack 0-4 (3f), F McGee 0-3, M Quinn ('45'), S Mulligan, K Diffley 0-1 each.
Wexford – A Masterson 7; B Malone 7, G Molloy 8, R Tierney 7; A Doyle 6, D Murphy 6, A Flynn 7; D Waters 8, C Doyle 7; M Furlong 7, B Brosnan 7, P Byrne 7; S Roche 6, R Barry 7, PJ Banville 7. Subs: J Wadding 6 for Murphy (h-t), J Holmes 6 for A Doyle (52), R Quinlivan 6 for C Doyle (60), C Carty for Roche (66), K Gore for Barry (70+3).
Longford – D Sheridan 7; D Brady 7, B MacGiollarain 7, P Foy 6; F Battrim 6, M Quinn 7, S Mulligan 7; B McElvaney 7, M Brady 6; P McCormack 6, D McElligott 6, S Doyle 6; F McGee 7, R Smyth 7, S McCormack 7. Subs: P Kelly 7 for Doyle (inj, 13), K Diffley 7 for Brady (54), A Rowan for Battrim (70).
Ref – C Lane (Cork)