Saturday 25 November 2017

Dubs set up final date with Royals after easing past Wexford

Dublin 2-25 Wexford 1-12

Dublin's Cian O'Sullivan in action against Graeme Molloy of Wexford during the Leinster Senior Championship, Semi-Final in Croke Park.
Dublin's Cian O'Sullivan in action against Graeme Molloy of Wexford during the Leinster Senior Championship, Semi-Final in Croke Park.
Michael Darragh Macauley of Dublin evades the challenges of Wexford duo Daithi Waters and PJ Banville in Croke Park

Dublin maintained their provincial domination as they marched onto a Leinster Final date with arch-rivals Meath after a sixteen-point victory over Wexford in Croke Park.

The reigning All-Ireland champions had just four points to spare at the interval but as has become the norm, they stepped up a gear after the break with Cormac Costello staking a claim for a starting position with a tally of 1-05 after his half-time introduction.

Both sides had late changes, with Paul Mannion replacing Paddy Andrews in the Dublin attack while Tiernan Rossiter started instead of Michael O’Regan in the half-forward line for Wexford.

The game took time to ignite, with way-ward shooting and poor decision-making prevalent.

Dean Rock and Stephen Cluxton slotted over dead balls, but Ben Brosnan and Derek Lyng got the scoreboard ticking over for the underdogs.

Wexford had created a goal opening as Kevin O’Grady broke through but his shot was blocked by the covering James McCarthy. Points from PJ Banville and another Lyng free were sandwiched by scores from Rock and Alan Brogan as Jim Gavin’s side took a 0-10 to 0-06 lead at the interval.

Rock played no part in the second half, but his replacement made an immediate impact.

Costello quickly managed two pints, created danger in attack and 12 minutes after the break effectively ended the game as a contest.

The forward finished off a flowing Dublin move to shoot low with his left foot across goalkeeper Shane Roche with the ball nestling into the bottom corner.

A consolation goal aside from Daithi Waters after 60 minutes when he rifled home to raise a green flag, Wexford could do little to stem the tide as the Dubs maintained their recent trend of dominating proceedings in the second half.

Diarmuid Connolly didn’t get on the scoresheet until the 56th minute but soon after could have had a goal of his own, but was content with a point.

Substitutes Eoghan O’Gara, Tomas Brady and Philly McMahon added points to reinforce the strength in depth, while Wexford goalkeeper Stephen Roche was beaten for the second time in the final minute when Paul Flynn buried his effort into the to corner.

The result and scoreline would have been expected by many observers and now Meath have the unenviable task of attempting to stop Dublin juggernaut in the Leinster decider after they had five points to spare over Kildare in the earlier match today.

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