Dublin dethroned as Wexford pull off O'Byrne Cup upset
Wexford 1-12 Dublin 0-14
WHATEVER happens for the rest of 2018, it won't be quite an all-conquering year for the Dublin footballers.
Requiring a 17-point win to qualify for the semi-finals of the Bord na Móna O'Byrne Cup, a largely third-string Dublin outfit ended up being ambushed at the death by Wexford in Enniscorthy this afternoon.
When sub Kevin Callaghan pointed on the stroke of 70 minutes at St Patrick's Park, Paul Clarke's developmental team appeared on the cusp of a winning comeback, having trailed at the break by 1-9 to 0-16 to a wind-backed Wexford.
Instead, the shock of falling behind suddenly reignited the hosts. First, over two minutes into injury-time, Craig McCabe nailed a free into the breeze. Then, in the 74th minute, Barry O'Connor burst through the middle and his right-footed effort from 30 metres was adjudged to have crept inside the right upright.
Aided by a fine individual goal from skipper Daithí Waters in the seventh minute, Wexford made profitable use of the elements to surge six clear of the Sky Blues.
But then Emmet Ó Conghaile kickstarted Dublin's fightback with a brilliant brace midway through the second half. With Brian Howard and Colm Basquel also to the fore, a run of five unanswered points culminated in Basquel's superb 61st minute leveller from the touchline.
At that point there appeared only one winner … but Wexford had other ideas.
WEXFORD: P Doyle, J Rossiter, M O’Neill, C Carty, B O’Gorman, B Malone (0-1) G Malone (0-1), D Waters (1-0), N Doyle, T Rossiter (0-1), B O’Connor (0-2), R Frayne (0-1), C McCabe (0-4, 3fs, 1 45), P Curtis, C Devereux (0-2, 2fs).
SUBS: J Stafford for Frayne 50mins, B Brosnan for Waters 54mins, D Holmes for Devereux 60mins, E Nolan for Stafford (inj) 65mins, D Pepper for Curtis 65mins, A Nolan for Carty (inj) 67mins.
DUBLIN: JB Carty, R McGowan, C Wilson, E O’Brien D Devereux, S McMahon, G Hannigan, E O’Conghaile (0-2), S Ryan, G Seaver, C Basquel (0-5, 5fs), G O’Reilly (0-1), A Rogers (0-1), B Howard (0-1), P Small (0-3, 2f).
SUBS: S Carthy for Ryan (inj) 27mins, R Deegan for Carthy (inj) ht, A McGowan for O’Reilly ht, D Kennedy for R McGowan ht, C Doyle or Hannigan 45mins, K Vallaghan (0-1) for Devereux 48mins, T Quinn for Seaver 48mins, C Carthy for Rogers 57mins, N Walsh for Carthy (inj) 72mins.
REFEREE: D Hickey (Carlow)