Friday 15 December 2017

Daly joy as Dubs 'keep their heads' to set up shot at Cats

Dublin 1-17, Wexford 0-12

Wexford’s Thomas Waters in hot
pursuit of Dublin’s Conor McCormack during their Leinster
SHC quarter-final replay at
Parnell Park
Wexford’s Thomas Waters in hot pursuit of Dublin’s Conor McCormack during their Leinster SHC quarter-final replay at Parnell Park

Jackie Cahill

DUBLIN manager Anthony Daly hailed his players for standing firm in the face of extreme provocation against Wexford.

DUBLIN manager Anthony Daly hailed his players for standing firm in the face of extreme provocation against Wexford.

Liam Dunne's Slaneysiders arrived at Parnell Park on Saturday evening with the intention of unsettling the hosts by fair means or foul.

Some of the hitting was of the X-rated variety and, while referee Brian Gavin punished Wexford centre-back Andrew Shore with a red card as early as the seventh minute, he could have flashed at least one more.

Two minutes before the break, Garrett Sinnott, one of Wexford's better players, was yellow-carded for a challenge on Peter Kelly similar to Shore's wild pull on Ryan O'Dwyer as the pair contested that early dropping ball.

Wexford could have had no complaints if Gavin produced the red again. In first-half stoppage-time, O'Dwyer was once more on the receiving end, this time from Richie Kehoe off the ball.

O'Dwyer spent almost as much time off the pitch as on it during the drawn encounter at Wexford Park and again the combative Tipperary native made friends with the magic sponge.

CONNECTED

Wexford pulled hard and often – no problem with that – but on too many occasions they pulled late. There was even an episode in the second half when Richie Kehoe connected with his own team-mate Harry Kehoe.

But Dublin had been expecting a physical encounter. Hence, Daly brought Stephen Hiney in for a start to add beef to the half-back line.

"I'm delighted with the lads. Everyone kept their heads and we didn't get intimidated either. We held our ground and took our frees," said Daly afterwards.

"We spoke about that during the week. We had been told by everyone how terrible we were last week and there was probably a natural reaction to be more physical and the danger is that you'd lose a man. We kept our heads. Wexford lost a man."

Gavin flashed eight yellow cards and one red during the course of 70 fractious minutes but when he wasn't busy jotting down names, there were some isolated outbreaks of hurling. However, like its predecessor, this was a poor game.

There was a pre-match setback for Wexford when Keith Rossiter was ruled out after getting injured in the warm-up. "He just came over to me and said, 'I can't sprint'," manager Dunne revealed afterwards.

Within seven minutes, Dunne was dealing with adversity once again when Shore was dismissed. The nature of the aerial hit sparked a melee that saw Tomas Waters and Conor McCormack singled out for yellow cards.

"I'll do an Arsene Wenger here – I didn't actually see it," Dunne claimed.

"If I moved down that part of the field I'd get fined. Andrew said that the sun caught him and he pulled and he caught your man. He's accepting it and we get on with it."

Wexford's over-physical approach cost them Shore and, ultimately, the game. But a glaring anomaly in the championship system means that Dublin's season will, on all known form, end earlier than Wexford's.

Dublin's dubious reward for victory is a crack at Kilkenny in next Sunday's Leinster semi-final. It's a return to O'Moore Park in Portlaoise where they lost last year's corresponding fixture by 18 points.

Wexford, meanwhile, will tackle Antrim at home in the qualifiers. Should the Slaneysiders jump that fence, as expected, they'll meet Carlow in the next round.

There's something wrong there because if Dublin lose to Kilkenny, they'll have to beat Tipperary, Cork or Clare to get to the same stage of the All-Ireland series as Wexford, if they get past Antrim and Carlow.

Daly argued: "It's a daunting task but what are you in it for but to try and better yourself and kick on."

The Dublin boss knows no other way, but Kilkenny will tell him if his players are still looking in the rear-view mirror at their excellent 2011 form or forward to a bright future.

At half-time, they led by 1-9 to 0-4, with top scorer Paul Ryan bagging 1-5 of that total in front of an estimated 7,000 attendance. His goal, in the 13th minute, was created by the excellent Conal Keaney, whose diagonal ball eluded Eoin Moore to find Ryan in the ideal poacher's position.

Wexford, who managed just one point from play before the break, created just one goal chance of their own, when Gary Maguire did brilliantly to flick the ball away from Sinnott.

At the other end, David Treacy and Ryan went close to adding a second Dublin goal, but one was more than enough as they bagged an identical tally to the one logged at Wexford Park.

"You'll have the apes who'll say we'd have been better off to have lost and gone the other way but I don't think like that," said a fiery Daly. "Championship hurling is about trying to get a win and that's the way we went at it."

Scorers – Dublin: Paul Ryan 1-9 (8fs, 1 '65'), J McCaffrey, C Keaney, D Treacy 0-2 each, P Kelly, D Sutcliffe 0-1 each. Wexford: J Guiney 0-5 (5fs), G Sinnott, P Morris 0-2 each, H Kehoe, R Jacob, P Doran 0-1 each.

DUBLIN – G Maguire 7; N Corcoran 7, P Kelly 8, P Schutte 6; S Hiney 8, L Rushe 7, M Carton 7; J McCaffrey 8, J Boland 7; C Keaney 8, R O'Dwyer 7, D Sutcliffe 7; P Ryan 8, D Treacy 7, C McCormack 6. Subs: S Durkin 6 for P Schutte (h-t), D O'Callaghan 6 for McCormack (43), S Lambert 6 for Rushe (60), M Schutte for Treacy (63), N McMorrow for Sutcliffe (67).

WEXFORD –M Fanning 6; E Moore 6, T Waters 7, B Kenny 6; R Kehoe 6, A Shore 3, C Kenny 6; H Kehoe 6, L Chin 5; G Sinnott 7, E Quigley 5, D Redmond 5; R Jacob 6, J Guiney 6, P Morris 7. Subs: PJ Nolan 5 for Quigley (42), P Doran 5 for Redmond (42), M O'Regan for H Kehoe (64), G Moore for Jacob (70).

Ref – B Gavin (Offaly)

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