Sport Hurling

Tuesday 12 December 2017

Dunne hails Lyng's model performance

Wexford 3-22
Westmeath 2-9

Diarmuid Lyng tries to get past Paul Fennell during the All-Ireland Senior Hurling Championship qualifier at Wexford Park
Diarmuid Lyng tries to get past Paul Fennell during the All-Ireland Senior Hurling Championship qualifier at Wexford Park

HAVING returned from a world tour earlier this year, it was business as usual for Diarmuid 'Gizzy' Lyng as he finished with a personal tally of 0-15 in this dismissal of Westmeath at Wexford Park.

A little over 12 months ago, Lyng was working in a New York bar as he watched Wexford exit the championship but since his return he has fitted back into Liam Dunne's new-look team.

It was as if he had never been away and it was Westmeath who were on the receiving end as he punished every indiscretion in their defence with an uncanny display of accuracy.

Wexford slipped into this game knowing they faced a serious challenge. However, after an even opening 20 minutes, it was Wexford who bombed on and totally controlled the game.

Dunne was quite pleased with the performance: "The game was over just after half time with the two goals, but it was not an evening for fashionable hurling. My theory was to get the ball in quickly, use it fast, and it paid off.

"We prepared really well since the Offaly match. We changed the team around tonight and gave others a chance. There will also be changes for the Carlow game. We built on a promising start unlike the Offaly game. But we took the Offaly defeat on the chin, got back to business and prepared well.

"We knew what Westmeath had achieved, a victory over Antrim and a huge performance against Galway. They have fine hurlers but we can only beat what's put in front of us.

"Gizzy Lyng was in sparkling form finishing with 15 points. But that's something we'll be looking at before Carlow, for the remainder came up with only seven points. We now have Carlow and we'll treat them with the utmost respect."

"This is where we are but that was not a true Westmeath display," said disappointed Lake County manager manager Brian Hanley. "We are better than that for we were still in the game after 20 minutes but failed to push it on. I've always said there's good hurlers in Westmeath but maybe we are expecting too much too soon. This is a young side that will only improve.

"We've still come a long way since last year when we did not win a game. But we're disappointed at failing to gain promotion, which would have pushed the team on even further. There's a huge amount of work still to be done for we're some way off the pace at the moment.

"The goal just before half-time along with two goals inside the opening three minutes of the resumption killed us off," he admitted. "But it's something we'll have to learn from."

The sides had started off in determined fashion with Westmeath keen to lay down an early marker.

Wexford led 0-3 to 0-2 after 10 minutes, two Gizzy Lyng points, one free, along with PJ Nolan's opening effort, with Niall O'Brien's two pointed frees keeping the visitors in touch.

By the 20th minute, Wexford had edged into a 0-7 to 0-4 lead, with the gulf in class beginning to show as Lyng continued to punish the visitors' defence. They led 0-13 to 0-6 approaching the break, before getting the crucial opening goal one minute into additional time.

Nolan lofted in a speculative high ball which was pulled down from over the crossbar by keeper Shane McGovern, leaving the inrushing Rory Jacob with the simple task of finding the net for a 1-13 to 0-6 interval lead.

Wexford were first back into their stride on the resumption as inside the opening minute Diarmuid O'Keeffe finished a Jacob pass to the net.

Straight from the puck-out Garrett Sinnott pointed, and two minutes later he fired to the net after the keeper had blocked a Jacob effort, leaving no way back for the midlanders who now trailed 3-14 to 0-6.

As the half wore on, Westmeath did manage two goals -- a 52nd-minute free from Brendan Murtagh, and a further effort from sub Cormac Boyle two minutes later as the light deteriorated -- but it only helped to give a better complexion to the end result, as the home side's control remained intact for the remainder of the game.

SCORERS -- Wexford: D Lyng 0-15 (8f), D O'Keeffe 1-2, G Sinnott 1-1, R Jacob 1-0, D Redmond 0-2, H Kehoe, PJ Nolan 0-1 each. Westmeath: N O'Brien 0-5 (4f), B Murtagh 1-1f , C Boyle 1-0, F Boyle, R Greville, J Shaw 0-1 each.

Wexford -- E Martin 7; E Moore 7, M O'Hanlon 8, K Rossiter 7; D Stamp 7, C Kenny 8, R Kehoe 7; D Redmond 7, D O'Keeffe 7; H Kehoe 6, G Sinnott 7, PJ Nolan 6; P Morris 6, D Lyng 9, R Jacob 6. Subs: G Moore 7 for Morris (43); E Quigley 6 for H Kehoe (57); J Guiney 6 for Jacob (63); Shaun Murphy 6 for Redmond (63); Stephen Murphy for Stamp (67).

Westmeath -- S McGovern 6; C Jordan 6, A Price 7, P Fennell 6; P Dowdall 7, A McGrath 7, P Greville 6; A Clarke 6, J Clarke 7; B Murtagh 7, F Boyle 6, R Greville 6; N O'Brien 7, J Shaw 6, E Price 6. Subs: J Gilligan 6 for E Price (h-t); A Dermody 6 for McGrath (42); T Gallagher 6 for Fennell (46); D Fennell 6 for A Clarke (46); C Boyle 7 for R Greville (49).

Ref -- C Lyons (Cork)

Irish Independent

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