Thursday 22 February 2018

Cathal Dunbar hat-trick sinks Carlow in Leinster U21HC semi-final

Wexford 3-16 Carlow 1-12

Cathal Dunbar, Wexford. Picture credit: Stephen McCarthy / SPORTSFILE
Cathal Dunbar, Wexford. Picture credit: Stephen McCarthy / SPORTSFILE

THREE superbly-taken goals from Cathal Dunbar inspired Wexford to an impressive win over a battling Carlow at Innovate Wexford Park on Wednesday evening.

Underdogs Carlow opened well with a Kevin McDonald point within 30 seconds while Wexford’s Joe O’Connor responded almost immediately, before two Chris Nolan frees had the visitors leading 0-3 to 0-1 after ten minutes.

Carlow continued to impose themselves but it was Wexford who struck for the opening goal on 12 minutes. A long ball to the fringe of the square broke for Dunbar to finish explosively from 14 metres.

Carlow responded with a Nolan pointed free, but it was Wexford who gradually took the initiative, hitting four points through the impressive Joe Coleman (3) and a long-range effort from Gary Molloy. Dunbar then crashed in his second goal as Wexford led by 2-6 to 0-5 at the break.

Wexford introduced the exam-tied Rory O’Connor at the interval and he marked his introduction with a point as the locals took complete control. Conor Foley’s 41st-minute goal reduced the deficit to 2-11 to 1-7 but a superb catch and run from Dunbar ended with the clinching third goal.

SCORERS – Wexford: J Coleman 0-10 (7f); C Dunbar 3-0; D Pepper, R O’Connor 0-2 each; G Molloy, J O’Connor 0-1 each. Carlow: C Nolan 0-8 (7f); C Foley 1-0; K McDonald 0-2; O Roberts, S Brennan 0-1 each.

Wexford – D Hughes; B Quigley, D Byrne, S Reck; R White, A Maddock, G Molloy; J O’Connor, D Barden; H O’Connor, S Kelly, J Coleman; C Dunbar, S O’Gorman, D Pepper. Subs: C Firman for Barden (h-t), R O’Connor for Kelly (h-t), J Firman for H O’Connor (43), C Moore for White (59).

Carlow – D Jordan; A Casey, A Amond, P Coughlan; G Lawlor, E Redmond, A Dunne; G Coady, K McDonald; J Murphy, C Foley, O Roberts; C Tracey, C Nolan, S Whelan. Subs: J Wall for Lawlor (blood sub, 13), Lawlor for Wall (18), S Brennan for Murphy (23).

Ref – J O’Brien (Laois)

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