Friday 24 November 2017

Crucial Doran goal sees Wexford past Dublin and into Walsh Cup semi-final

Wexford 1-17 Dublin 0-17

Conor McKeon

Conor McKeon

Wexford qualified for the semi-finals of this year’s Walsh Cup with a three-point win over Dublin at Shelmaliers grounds in a belter of a match that featured an unseasonal sprinkling of spice.

Ultimately, Davy Fitzgerald’s team finished the more composed, brushing off a dynamic Dublin second-half comeback to engineer the final three points and make safe their passage.

In all likelihood, it was all their new manager would have expected, given the relative strengths of the respective teams, but Dublin’s young team came close here to extending their campaign.

The past few seasons have seen a growing rivalry develop between these teams.

It showed last night in a match that started 15 minutes after the allotted 7.30 throw-in due to the late arrival of both players and officials.

Wexford carved a decent half-time lead and were worth all five points of it but Dublin dragged themselves level on three occasions in the second half, though points from Richie Kehoe, Conor McDonald and Lee Chin sealed it on a chilly evening in Wexford.

Still, it must do Fitzgerald good to see the likes of McDonald and Lee Chin hurling as well as they are already this year.

McDonald had four points scored – all from play - by the 26th minute.

Only the arrival of Chris Crummey – Dublin’s outstanding player on the night – halted McDonald’s stride.

Chin too, caused Dublin major problems, both under puck-outs and carrying possession, though Niall McMorrow scored three points, the last of which was an exceptional one-handed flick to ensure Dublin had something tangible to aim at in the second-half.

Spurred on by Crummey, in particular, they did just that.

After Podge Doran – who slammed home Wexford’s first half goal – opened the scoring in the second-half, Dublin embarked on a stirring comeback.

Indeed, they hit the next six points on the spin to get level.

Crummey’s second and third long-range points followed by two from Caolán Conway got them in a position to win the game, whilst Wexford’s shooting went awry.

For all that, Ger Cunningham’s team never managed to hit the front. Substitute Donal Burke pitched in with three frees but Kehoe, also on as a second half sub, hit an inspirational score into the wind from within his own half to kill the momentum. Chin finished the job in injury-time.

SCORERS – Wexford: C McDonald, L Chin (0-3f) 0-5 each, P Doran 1-2, P Morris 0-3, R Kehoe, B Carton 0-1 each. Dublin: N McMorrow 0-4 (1f), C Crummey, D Burke (3f) 0-3 each, C Conway, D Fox (1f) 0-2 each, C Bennett, F Whitely, R O’Dwyer (f) 0-1 each.

WEXFORD: M Fanning; W Devereux, L Ryan, J Breen; S Donohue, M O’Hanlon, D O’Keeffe; S Murphy, B Carton; D Reck, D Redmond, L Chin; P Morris, C McDonald, P Doran. Subs: E Martin for Reck (36 inj), R Kehoe for Devereux (49), C Dunbar for Carton (54), A Nolan for Redmond (62), K Fay for Morris (63), H Kehoe for P Doran (70).

DUBLIN: C Dooley; P Smyth, S Barrett, C Robinson; C Crummey, L Rushe, S McGrath; B Quinn, C Conway; D Fox, N McMorrow, T Connolly; F McGibb, A Moore, C Bennett. Subs: R O’Dwyer for Moore (25 inj), C Maher for McGibb (28 inj), A Quinn for Connolly (h-t), F Whitely for Fox (45 inj), D Burke for Conway (49), Fox for McGrath (50).

REF: P Burke (Kilkenny).

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