Thursday 19 April 2018

Dunne gunning for Dubs after Kehoe downs Offaly

Wexford 0-14 Offaly 0-6

Offally's Conor Doughan is surrounded by Wexfords Harry Kehoe, Lee Chin and David Dunne during the Walsh Cup clash. Photo: Sam Barnes / SPORTSFILE
Offally's Conor Doughan is surrounded by Wexfords Harry Kehoe, Lee Chin and David Dunne during the Walsh Cup clash. Photo: Sam Barnes / SPORTSFILE
Offally's Shane Dooley, Offaly, in action against Wexford's Diarmuid O'Keefe at Kennedy Park, New Ross. Photo: Sam Barnes / SPORTSFILE
Wexford and Offaly players in action during their Walsh Cups semi-final clash at New Ross. Photo: Sam Barnes / SPORTSFILE
Wexford's Liam Ryan in action against Shane Kinsella, Offaly during their Walsh Cup, Semi-Final clash. Photo: Sam Barnes / SPORTSFILE Newsdesk Newsdesk

WEXFORD manager Liam Dunne was delighted with the way his side coped with ‘horrendous conditions’ in their comfortable victory at O’Kennedy Park, New Ross.

“I spoke with the referee before the game and told him I would have no difficulty should he have to call off the game,” Dunne said.

“The conditions were horrendous for hurling, but we executed our game-plan well. We got a firm grip in midfield. We always had control of the game.

Dunne gunning for Dubs after Kehoe downs Offaly

“Now we look forward to Dublin and Croke Park this Saturday evening.”

The urgency in Wexford’s play was evident from the opening exchanges. Backed by a strong breeze, they hit three points inside the opening seven minutes through Harry Kehoe (two frees) and Shane Tomkins.

But then they hit three consecutive wides, while a mishit Shane Dooley free was clawed away from under the crossbar by home keeper Mark Fanning.

Kehoe was having a huge impact in midfield, striking over two excellent long-range points from play, while in between corner-forward David Dunne knifed his way through the defence, but keeper James Dempsey pulled off a superb save.

The scoreline was not really reflecting Wexford’s dominance as they only led by 0-8 to 0-0 after 20 minutes, with Kehoe, Aidan Nolan, Lee Chin and Dunne on target.

The Offaly attack was struggling: they had to wait until the 29th minute for their opening score, a Colin Egan point, and that turned out their only score from play for the entire game.

Wexford finished the half with a Kehoe free, but Dooley followed with two frees to cut the gap to 0-10 to 0-3 at the interval.

Dooley struck two frees inside 12 minutes of the restart, reducing the deficit to five points.

However, Wexford’s response was positive, with points from Tomkins, who was hugely impressive, and two Kehoe frees.

Offaly needed scores, but all they could manage was two Dooley frees.

Kehoe fired over the closing score through a 60-metre free off the wing.

SCORERS – Wexford: H Kehoe 0-9 (7fs), S Tomkins 0-2, L Chin, A Nolan, D Dunne 0-1 each. Offaly: S Dooley 0-5 (5fs), C Egan 0-1.

WEXFORD – M Fanning; J Breen, M O’Hanlon, A Kenny; A Shore, L Ryan, D O’Keeffe; L Chin, H Kehoe; J O’Connor, A Nolan, S Tomkins; C Dunbar, L Og McGovern, D Dunne. Subs: B Carton for Nolan (26); A Maddock for O’Hanlon (40); O’Hanlon for Maddock (55); P Kenny for O’Connor (61); S O’Gorman for Carton (61).

OFFALY – J Dempsey; N Wynne, C McDonald, P Rigney; J Bergin, C Doughan, P Camon; S Kinsella, J O’Connor; S Ryan, C Egan, S Dooley; J Mulrooney, J Gorman, S Quirke. Subs: J Sampson for Bergin (29); B Conneely for Ryan (30); S Cleary for Gorman (48); R Hughes for Quirke (60); G Conneely for O’Connor (61).

REF – P Burke (Kilkenny).

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