Saturday 21 April 2018

Winless Wexford facing relegation to Division Four after Offaly defeat

Offaly 1-13 Wexford 1-10

Wexford prop up the Division Three table
Wexford prop up the Division Three table

Brendan Furlong

Cian Donohue’s 29th-minute goal proved crucial as it helped Offaly ease to an eventual three-point victory over Wexford in this Allianz Division 3 National Football League game played in Enniscorthy today.

Donohue’s fine left-foot finish was the boost that Offaly needed for it helped them take their first points from the campaign, while for Wexford they are left pointless at the bottom of the table facing relegation with games against Derry and Armagh to come.

Points from Eoghan Nolan and Ben Brosnan gave Wexford the ideal start into the wind, but with Nigel Dunne kicking three excellent points, it was Offaly who struck the major blow in the 29th minute when following good approach play from David Dempsey, it was Donohue who finished splendidly low to the corner of the net, a score which helped his side to a 1-5 to 0-3 interval lead. But they really should have been out of sight having kicked 10 first-half wides.

Wexford, however, received a cruel setback two minutes into additional time when wing-forward Ben Brosnan received a straight red card following an off-the-ball incident.

Offaly were on the defensive upon the resumption, but Wexford’s lack of scoring power was quite evident, for despite their dominance in this spell they only managed points from Glen Malone and Nick Doyle, while Nigel Dunne responded with a splendid score in between leaving the midlanders leading 1-6 to 0-5.

The introduction of Barry O’Connor brought some life to the home attack as he kicked an excellent point, and when a John Tubritt effort reduced the deficit to 1-7 to 0-8, after 49 minutes, it looked as if the hosts were about to take control. 

But with Dunne kicking over two points, one free, Offaly maintained their grip, and even a Nick Doyle goal three minutes from the end could not rock them, and the eventual winners responded with points from Dunne and sub Shane Tierney.

Scorers — Offaly: N Dunne 0-8 (2f); C Donohue 1-0; N Darby; P Cunningham, M Brazil, A Sullivan, S Tierney 0-1 each. Wexford: N Doyle 1-1; J Tubritt 0-3 (1f); E Nolan 0-2; G Malone, N Rossiter, B O’Connor, B Brosnan (f) 0-1 each.

Offaly: P Dunican; D Hogan, P McConway, S Pender; D Dempsey, J Lalor, N Darby; P Cunningham, M Brazil; C McNamee, A Sullivan, C Donohue; B Allen, C Carroll, N Dunne. Subs: S Tierney for Allen Black card 37); J Hayes for Brazil (49); C Dunne for McNamee (57); S Doyle for Pender (62); S Nally for Donohue (66).

Wexford: C Swaine; C Carty, J Rossiter, M Furlong; G Malone, N Rossiter, T Rossiter; N Doyle, B Malone; R Frayne, J Stafford, B Brosnan; C McCabe, E Nolan, J Tubritt. Subs: M O’Neill for T Rossiter (42); B O’Connor for Stafford (42); C Devereux for McCabe (52); B O’Gorman for Frayne (55).

Referee: J Hickey (Carlow).

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