Guiney proves last-gasp hero in Wexford's great escape
Wexford 3-18 Offaly 2-20
Allianz nhl DIV 1B
Published 12/03/2012 | 05:00
WHEN the final whistle sounded, Wexford supporters celebrated one of the great escapes in a victory over a shell-shocked Offaly side at Wexford Park yesterday.
Nine points adrift, 2-20 to 0-17, with seven minutes remaining, Wexford heroically clawed their way back and right on 70 minutes former minor star Jack Guiney fired home a winning goal from a 21-metre free that found the net via a deflection.
Offaly looked composed throughout the first half and with their half-back line of Derek Morkham, Rory Hanniffy and Diarmuid Horan driving their side forward they shot into a five-point lead by the 11th minute.
With the sides tied at 0-3 each, Offaly struck for their opening goal after nine minutes. Bobby Kenny's clearance was blocked and Brendan Murphy careered through the defence to fire home.
Harry Kehoe responded with a free but the hosts were rocked in the 11th minute, when Joe Bergin powered through before laying off to Colin Egan who goaled from close in for a 2-3 to 0-4 lead.
Only some splendid point-taking from Kehoe kept Wexford in touch, but they still trailed 2-9 to 0-10 at the break as Shane Dooley punished every indiscretion.
At half-time home manager Liam Dunne made three changes and Wexford scored early points from Diarmuid O'Keeffe and PJ Nolan. Offaly responded with scores from Murphy, Sean Ryan and Derek Molloy.
The midlanders still looked comfortable as they led by nine points with seven minutes left, but Wexford refused to surrender.
Diarmuid O'Keeffe pounced to fire a loose ball to the net and after Offaly hit back for a Dermot Mooney point, a Gary Moore goal set up a thrilling finale.
Offaly, clinging to a two-point lead, received a blow on 70 minutes when Stephen Wynne was sent off on a second yellow, having brought down Moore as he drove in on goal.
From the ensuing free to the right of the goal it was young Guiney who blazed the ball to the net with the assistance of a defender's hurley and the underside of the crossbar.
Man of the match: Harry Kehoe (Wexford)
Scorers -- Wexford: H Kehoe 0-7 (5f), D O'Keeffe, G Moore 1-1 each, J Guiney 1-0 (f), D Redmond, E Quigley, P J Nolan 0-2 each, R Kehoe, T O'Leary, R Jacob 0-1 each. Offaly: B Murphy 1-2, C Egan 1-1, S Dooley 0-9 (8f), J Bergin, D Molloy 0-2 each, D Morkham (1f), S Ryan, T Carroll, D Mooney 0-1 each.
Wexford -- E Martin 7; B Kenny 6, M O'Hanlon 7, B Kehoe 7; K Rossiter 8, J Leacy 7, C Kenny 7; D Redmond 8, H Kehoe 9; R Kehoe 7, E Quigley 8, P J Nolan 7; T O'Leary 6, G Sinnott 6, D O'Keeffe 7. Subs: R Jacob 7 for O'Leary (h-t), J Guiney 7 for Sinnott (h-t), J Tonks 7 for B Kenny (h-t), G Moore 7 for R Kehoe (47), E Moore 6 for Leacy (60).
Offaly -- J Dempsey 7; C McDonald 7, D Kenny 7, S Wynne 6; D Morkham 7, R Hanniffy 8, D Horan 7; J Rigney 7, C Mahon 6; S Dooley 7, J Bergin 8, B Murphy 8; S Ryan 6, C Egan 7, D Molloy 7. Subs: D Mooney 7 for Mahon (46), T Carroll 6 for Ryan (60).
Ref -- A Stapleton (Laois).