Friday 15 December 2017

Dunne anxious for Model to scale greater heights

Wexford 3-18, Antrim 0-17

IT was very much a case of "job done" for Wexford manager Liam Dunne after his charges cruised to a 10-point victory over Antrim at Wexford Park.

Wexford were not at their best, allowing Antrim back into the game in the second half when they were five points clear, before Paul Morris netted for his side's third goal to end any chance of an Antrim comeback.

"It was job done, but I will be seeking out further improvement for Carlow. We need to step up further and there is just seven days to do it," said Dunne.

However, the Model manager refused to be drawn into Michael Duignan's controversial comments on 'The Sunday Game'.

"It was a tough week. Everybody is entitled to free speech and their own opinion, but what was said was unfairly balanced and my players were disappointed with the comments."

Antrim manager Kevin Ryan demanded a hugely improved performance following his side's flat display in defeat to Laois and, while he received it, it was still not enough.

"We should have put more scores on the board when wind assisted in the first half but our shooting, particularly from long range, failed us. We also missed out on a couple of half chances of goals," he said.

"We were competitive but it was not enough. It's disappointing."

Dunne is now looking forward to Carlow next Saturday. "The platform was the performance in the first half playing into the wind. We played some good hurling, took some really good scores. It will bring the lads on, especially their confidence following the Dublin defeat. Now we look towards Carlow. We are not looking beyond that game and will give them the respect they deserve."

Antrim, playing with the stiff breeze, banged over two early points through Shane McNaughton frees with Wexford having to wait until the sixth minute for their opening score – a Paul Morris point.

With centre-back Neil McManus leading by example, striking over four superb points, the Glensmen led by 0-5 to 0-3 after 15 minutes.

Wexford responded though with full-forward Podge Doran forcing the ball to the net from a few metres out.

Antrim had a great chance of a goal after Karl Stewart created space, but he saw his kicked attempt go across the face of the goal and wide.

With the sides continuing to trade points, it was Wexford who got a crucial breakthrough after 35 minutes. A Garrett Sinnott effort came back off the upright and Rory Jacob reacted quickest to fire a low ground shot to the net leaving the home side 2-5 to 0-9 ahead at the interval.

Entering the second half it was going to take something extra special from Antrim to fashion a result, but that failed to materialise, as Wexford extended their lead through three early points from Guiney, Jacob and Morris.

Antrim needed a goal but they could only manage a Jackson McGreevey point. Jacob and Sinnott struck points for Wexford before a Neil McManus free, a Conor Carson score and a Shane McNaughton free left just three points separating the sides, 2-10 to 0-13, after 49 minutes.

Wexford extended their lead before Morris finished to the net superbly with 14 minutes left, and there was to be no way back for the visitors.

SCORERS – Wexford: J Guiney 0-8 (4fs, 2 '65s', 1 s/c), P Morris, R Jacob 1-2 each, P Doran 1-0, G Sinnott 0-4, E Martin (f), S Murphy 0-1 each. Antrim: N McManus 0-6 (2fs), S McNaughton 0-5 (3fs), K Stewart (1f) J McGreevey 0-2 each, C Carson, C McGuinness 0-1 each.

Wexford – M Fanning 7; E Moore 7, T Waters 8, B Kenny 7; R Kehoe 6, M O'Regan 7, C Kenny 6; D Redmond 6, L Chin 7; J Guiney 7, G Sinnott 7, H Kehoe 7; P Morris 7, P Doran 6, R Jacob 7. Subs: C O'Shaughnessy 6 for Doran (48), E Quigley 6 for Redmond (56), J Tonks 6 for H Kehoe (60), Shaun Murphy for C Kenny (65), E Martin for Chin (67),

Antrim – C O'Connell 6; B McFall 6, A Graffin 7, C McKinley 6; S McCrory 6, N McManus 7, P Shiels 7; J McGreevey 7, N McAuley 6; S McNaughton 7, C Carson 6, T McCloskey 6; C McGuinness 6, K Stewart 6, D Hamill 6. Subs: O McFadden 6 for McFall (43), K McKernan 6 for Carson (60), C Clarke 6 for Hamill(60).

Ref – J Sexton (Cork)

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