Delight for Davy Fitz as impressive Wexford power to comfortable win over sluggish Waterford
Wexford 2-20 Waterford 0-19
Wexford made the perfect start to life in Division 1A of the Allianz hurling League when easily overpowering Waterford in windy Walsh Park.
Davy Fitzgerald's men built on the excellent form displayed when winning the Walsh Cup eight days earlier to out-score last year's beaten All-Ireland finalists in both halves.
The one period of doubt they encountered came early in the second half when Waterford, backed by the strong wind, cut the lead to three points.
However, a brilliant goal by David Dunne re-established Wexford's momentum and there was little doubt about the outcome from there on.
Dunne, one of Wexford's stars in what was a very impressive performance, scored their second goal in the 59th minute. Waterford, who were over-reliant on Pauric Mahony's free-taking, had no answer in a game, where most unusually, they used no subs.
Wexford made good use of the wind in the first half, building up a 0-12 to 0-6 lead. It looked at if they would be much further ahead when they scored an unanswered seven points in the first 16 minutes before Jake Dillon opened Waterford's account in the 19th minute.
The home side settled from there and while Pauric Mahony wasn't at his sharpest off placed balls, he pointed four frees and a ‘65’, which followed a brilliant save by Wexford goalkeeper, Mark Fanning from an angled drive by Stephen Bennett.
Fanning was Wexford's joint top scorer with Lee Chin in the first half, pointing three long-range frees.
Waterford goalkeeper, Ian O'Regan also made an important intervention in the 31st minute, saving smartly from Aidan Nolan, who didn't connect as sweetly as he would have liked.
Wexford shot just one wide in the opening 35 minutes, which was quite a feat in the windy conditions.
Scorers: Wexford: D Dunne 2-2, L Chin 0-8 (6f), M Fanning 0-3 (3f), K Foley, D O’Keeffe 0-2 each, P Foley, A Nolan, P Morris 0-1 each.
Waterford: Pauric Mahony 0-12 (9f, 1’65’), J Barron (1 l/b) 0-2, J Dillon, T Ryan, T De Burca, A Gleeson, D Fives 0-1 each.
Waterford: I O’Regan; C Gleeson, B Coughlan, S McNulty; T De Burca, A Gleeson, Philip Mahony; J Barron, D Fives; K Moran, Pauric Mahony, J Dillon; S Bennett, M Shanahan, T Ryan.
Wexford: M Fanning; D Reck, L Ryan, S Murphy; P Foley, M O’Hanlon, S Donohue; K Foley, D O’Keeffe; A Nolan, L Chin, J O’Connor; P Morris, D Dunne, C McDonald.
Subs: J Guiney for K Foley (61), C Dunbar for Morris (66), H Kehoe for O’Connor (72), A Maddock for Nolan (73).
Referee - S Cleere (Kilkenny)