Last-minute point from sub Harry Kehoe saves Wexford
Wexford 1-24 Antrim2-20
WEXFORD were issued a timely reminder that they are far from the finished article as it took a last-gasp point from substitute Harry Kehoe to deliver the narrowest of victories over a battling Antrim outfit in this Division 1B clash at Wexford Park.
Liam Dunne's men were handed a huge blow just 29 minutes into the game when they had returning full-back and team captain for the day, Tomas Waters, dismissed on a straight red card for a pull back with the hurl after he had won possession and was set to clear his lines.
Wexford were leading by two points at that stage but quick-fire points from Paul Shiels (free) and Ciaran Clarke had the sides level before Wexford finished the half with three unanswered points through David Redmond, Liam Og McGovern and Diarmuid O'Keeffe to lead by three at the break.
Antrim had few answers as 14-man Wexford took control of the opening minutes of the second half, stretching into a seven-point lead, 1-18 to 1-11, but Antrim put in a collective effort as they responded with 1-6 without reply between the 21st and 28th minutes to lead 2-19 to 1-21 with seven minutes remaining, the goal a fine overhead strike from Ciaran Clarke.
"In the end we were pleased with the two points. We won the game twice, handed it back to them, but then again one has to give credit to Antrim," said Wexford boss Dunne.
"We went seven points clear in the second half and seemed to be cruising but all of a sudden the wheels came off but a couple of the newcomers came up trumps on the day, Paudie Foley, Daithi Waters and Kevin Foley, while Jack Guiney hurled superbly."
It was the point-taking of Guiney along with Liam Og McGovern that kept the home side's nose in front and they went in leading 1-12 to 1-9 at the interval.
In the end it was Wexford who snatched victory through sub Kehoe's point one minute from the end of normal time from what was an absorbing second 35 minutes. Man of the Match: Jack Guiney
Scorers - Wexford: J Guiney 0-9, (5f), L Og McGovern 1-3, D Waters 0-3, L Chin, I Byrne, D O'Keeffe 0-2 each, D Redmond, H Kehoe, P Morris, 0-1 each. Antrim: P Shiels 1-6, (6fs), C Clarke 1-4, N McManus 0-3, D McKernan 0-2, A Graffan, M Bradley, C Carson, C McCann, P J O'Connell 0-1 each.
Wexford - M Fanning 7; E Moore 7, T Waters 5, C Kenny 7; P Foley 7, L Chin 8, D Redmond 7; P Morris 6, G Sinnott 6; I Byrne 7, D Waters 8, D O'Keeffe 8; K Foley 7, J Guiney 9, L Og McGovern 8. Subs: H Kehoe 6 for Morris (48), S Tomkins 6 for Sinnott (59), J Kelly 6 for Foley (60), R Kehoe for Byrne (65), L Ryan for H Kehoe (inj, 70).
Antrim - C O'Connell 7; R McCambridge 6, N McAuley 7, A Graffin 7; T McCann 6, C McKinley 7, M Bradley 7; N McManus 8, C Johnson 8; P Shiels 8, D McKernan 6, C McCann 6; C Clarke 8, P J O'Connell 6, E McCloskey 6. Subs: S McCrory 6 for C McCann (h-t); E Campbell 6 for T McCann (h-t); M Donnelly 7 for McCloskey (h-t); C Carson 7 for McKernan (55); S McAfee for Shiels (inj, 68).
Ref - C McAllister (Cork)