Saturday 24 August 2019

Late surge sees Louth rewarded with Dublin clash after triumph over Wexford

Louth 0-22 Wexford 1-14

Conor Early and Declan Byrne of Louth celebrate after the Leinster GAA Football Senior Championship Round 1 match between Wexford and Louth at Innovate Wexford Park in Wexford. Photo by Matt Browne/Sportsfile
Conor Early and Declan Byrne of Louth celebrate after the Leinster GAA Football Senior Championship Round 1 match between Wexford and Louth at Innovate Wexford Park in Wexford. Photo by Matt Browne/Sportsfile
Donnchadh Boyle

Donnchadh Boyle

Louth have won the right to be the first side to test Dublin’s mood in their historic tilt at five All-Ireland titles in a row after a brilliant late comeback in Innovate Wexford Park.

Wayne Kierans’ side kicked the last eight points of the game to turn what was a three point deficit with just over ten minutes to play into a handsome five point win.

Sub Ryan Burns was in inspirational form, kicking four points, including three from play on his introduction on 56 minutes.

For a large part of the second half it looked like Kevin O’Grady’s penalty would be enough to see Wexford home. He goaled after Eoghan Nolan was fouled to put them three points to the good at 1-11 to 0-11.

Jonathan Bealin’s seventh point with just over ten to play meant they retained that three point advantage going down the home stretch before Louth found another gear and romped home and set up a date with the Dubs.

The sides were level five times in the first half with the major moment of controversy coming after eight minutes.

Andy McDonnell managed to gather James Califf’s dropping shot and roll the ball to the net under pressure in the square. But just as his effort crossed the line, referee Derek O’Mahoney blew for a penalty and black carded Wexford’s Conor Carty.

Louth would surely have preferred the goal to stand, especially when Matt Doyle saved Jim McEneaney’s tame effort from the spot.

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The sides traded scores for most of the half with Ben Brosnan kicking three fine first half points.

Louth keeper Fergal Sheeky would make a smart stop from Barry O’Connor on 22 minutes before the excellent Doyle saved his side once more with a save from Conal McKeever.

In the end, two late points from Jonathan Bealin, son of former Dublin player Paul, saw the home side take a 0-7 to 0-6 lead in at the break.

Louth kicked two points within 60 seconds of the restart but O’Grady’s penalty put Wexford in charge before Louth’s late surge.

SCORERS Louth: J Califf 0-5 (2f), R Burns 0-4 (1 ’45), D Byrne, S Mulroy (3f) 0-3 each, A McDonnell 0-2, W Woods, T Durnin, J McEneaney, C McKeever C Downey 0-1 each

Wexford: J Bealin 0-7 (4f), B Brosnan 0-3, K O’Grady 1-0 (pen), G Malone 0-2, M O’Connor, C Devitt 0-1 each.

LOUTH: F Sheeky; F Donohoe, E Carolan, J Craven; A Williams, B Duffy, J Clutterbuck; T Durnin, J Califf; C Downey, J McEneaney, C McKeever; A McDonnell, S Mulroy, D Byrne SUBS: D Corcoran for Williams (BS 4-7), C Early for Califf (50), E Duffy for Clutterbuck, R Burns for Mulroy (both 56), R Holcroft for McEneaney (61), D Corcoran for Donohoe (63),  W Woods for Byrne (67).

WEXFORD: M Doyle; M Furlong, M O’Connor, C Carty; G Malone, B Malone, E Porter; D Waters, N Hughes; E Nolan, B O’Connor, C Devitt; K O’Grady, B Brosnan, J Bealin SUBS: G Sheehan for Carthy BC 9), T Rossiter for Hughes (40), R Frayne for Nolan (63), J Tubritt for Devitt (67), J Cash for Porter (68), D Shannon for Waters (BC 72).

Referee: D O’Mahoney (Tipperary)

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