Points earn spoils for Wexford as Faithful fall
Wexford 0-18 Offaly 1-9
WEXFORD'S point-taking ability proved pivotal as they emerged with a six-point victory over Offaly at Wexford Park.
But Wexford boss Larry Coleman had some cause for concern when his side led by just four points at the interval having played with the assistance a galeforce wind.
Eoghan Cahill's pointed free had Offaly in front inside three minutes and, despite their outfield dominance, Wexford struggled in front of goal.
They had to be content with a succession of points through Joe Coleman, four frees, and one each from Cathal Dunbar, Sean Kelly, Darragh Pepper, Matthew Joyce, Daire Barden and Joe O'Connor. This left them ahead by 0-9 to 0-1 after 25 minutes.
Cahill and a Coleman free, exchanged points, before sub Conor Freeman shot a goal just on half-time, followed by a Cillian Kiely pointed free to leave the home side leading 0-10 to 1-3 at the interval.
Wexford increased their lead with four early second-half points and, while Cillian Kiely's pointed frees kept Offaly in touch, it was the home side who finished with three points through substitute Kevin Poole, Coleman and Pepper, while the visitors, for their part, could only manage a Conor Freeman point in between.
Scorers – Wexford: J Coleman 0-7fs, D Pepper 0-3, D Barden 0-2, C Dunbar, S Kelly, M Joyce, J Firman, J O'Connor, K. Poole 0-1 each. Offaly: C Freeman 1-1, C Kiely 0-4 (2fs, 1 '65), E Cahill 0-3 (1f), O Kelly 0-1.
Wexford – D Hughes; B Edwards, M O'Brien, R White; N Rossiter, A Maddock, C Firman; C Dunbar, N Hughes; S Kelly, D Barden, M Joyce; J Firman, J Coleman, D Pepper. Subs: J O'Connor for Edwards; K Poole for Kelly; S Casey for Joyce; R Donohoe for Dunbar.
Offaly – O Mahon; P Delaney, C Taylor, N Duffy; C Molloy, D Spain, D Mahon; C Kiely, P Guinan; C Cleary, O Kelly, R Hughes; J Fogarty, J Kilmartin, E Cahill. Subs: C Freeman for Cleary; D Buckley for Guinan (52); E Carroll for Spain (52); D Wyer for Hughes.
Ref – R Byrne (Kilkenny).