Collins penalty helps close deal for dominant DIT
A 61st-minute Mark Collins goal from a penalty fired DIT to a four-point victory over a battling Wexford outfit in this entertaining O'Byrne Cup senior football opening-round game at Kilanerin.
The visitors gained the victory despite having right full-back Colin Walsh sent off on a straight red card on 60 minutes, following a late tackle on Joey Wadding.
However, there was no doubting the Dublin side's dominance in a second half in which their superior fitness and footballing skills eventually won out.
It was the point-scoring of PJ Banville that gave Wexford an early advantage as they led 0-4 to 0-2 after 17 minutes – with Jason Doherty kicking over two superlative points from play for their opponents.
It was two further Doherty points – one free – that had the sides level at four points each after 20 minutes. After both Collins and Banville had exchanged points, a pointed free from Banville followed by an excellent goal one minute before the break handed Wexford a 1-7 to 0-5 interval lead.
With Mayo star Aidan O'Shea beginning to impact on the midfield exchanges, DIT gradually took control on the resumption.
Despite Banville increasing his side's lead through a pointed free within one minute of the restart, seven unanswered points had the visitors leading 0-12 to 1-8 by the 50th minute.
As Wexford struggled to cope with the more fluent play of their opponents, it was Alan Nestor who extended his side's lead before Banville came to the rescue with a point from a free, which lifted the siege for the home side.
After the Walsh sending-off incident, DIT forced a penalty nine minutes from the end, when Aindreas Doyle was penalised for a foul on Bernard Allen, leaving Collins to neatly tuck away the resulting penalty.
Adrian Flynn and Conor Walsh then exchanged points, before Wexford finished with a neat point from the excellent Banville, but, unfortunately for the home side, it was too late to affect the result.
Scorers – DIT: M Collins 1-3 (1-0pen, 0-2f), J Doherty 0-7 (4f), B Menton, A Nestor (1 '45'), C Reddin, B Allen, Conor Walsh 0-1 each. Wexford: PJ Banville 1-7 (0-5f), A Flynn 0-3 (1f), J Kelly 0-1.
DIT – R Whelan; Colin Walsh, B Menton, G O'Hara; A Nestor, N Devereux, R Sheridan; A O'Shea, R Hazley; J McGrath, M Collins, C Reddin; H Dawson, J Doherty, P Maguire. Subs: B Allen for Dawson (h-t), K O'Brien for McGrath (48), S O'Connor for Maguire (55), Conor Walsh for Doherty (62), D Reilly for Reddin (64).
Wexford – B Redmond; J Wadding, G Molloy, B Mulligan; J Kelly, A Doyle, B Malone; D Waters, D Murphy; C Carthy, S Roche, A Flynn; K O'Grady, C Doyle, PJ Banville. Subs: R Tierney for Kelly (h-t), R Quinlivan for Murphy (h-t), S Culleton for Carthy (45), K Kehoe for C Doyle (55).
Ref – B Cawley (Kildare).