Hiney injury worry as Dubs hit top spot
Dublin 3-21Wexford 2-15
Dublin's victory over Wexford moved them to the top of the table but came at a cost, as defender Stephen Hiney was carried off with a knee injury that may force him to miss the rest of the campaign.
David O'Callaghan, who came in as a late replacement, proved his value with a stunning hat-trick that set up Anthony Daly's high-fliers for a nine-point victory.
Dublin were physically stronger, much quicker to the breaking ball, while their first touch was excellent, picking off some huge scores in the process.
The only blight was the injury to Hiney, who was stretchered off with a knee injury after 46 minutes, which must be of huge concern to Daly with three huge games to come against Kilkenny, Cork and Galway.
Wexford are now in huge trouble, pointless after four games and facing a real relegation showdown when they face Offaly. Daly, however, was happy enough with what he considered an inconsistent performance.
"We were topsy-turvy during the game -- we indulged ourselves and were punished with scores," Daly said.
"Still, we managed to pick off some brilliant scores, while the build-up to Daithi's (O'Callaghan) second goal was superb. If I had been told before the game we would win by nine points I would have been happy.
"Now we've won two games on the road against Offaly, and Wexford today. Conal Keaney had been our chief scorer so it was pleasing for us to hit 3-21 in his absence. We're happy enough and now look forward to three huge games on the run-in. They could not be tougher but it's nice to have them, given our present run."
It was clear how pumped up Dublin were for this game from the start: they had raced into a 1-4 to 0-1 lead by the sixth minute. Four points flowed from John McCaffrey, Ryan Dwyer, and long-range efforts from Joey Boland and Simon Lambert.
Just six minutes into the game, Dwyer played a superb ball into Callaghan, who rounded his marker Ciaran Kenny and fired the ball wide of goalkeeper Noel Carton into the corner of the net.
Although Jim Berry responded with a pointed free, the second goal was a splendid team effort. Boland played the ball out of defence to Daire Plunkett, who picked out Dwyer. Dwyer played the pass through to O'Callaghan, who rounded his marker before finishing superbly with a shot to the corner of the net, leaving his side leading 2-4 to 0-2 after just 11 minutes of the game.
Dublin looked comfortable, and went in leading 2-9 to 2-5 at the interval.
Any hope Wexford had of a second-half revival disappeared within five minutes of the restart when O'Callaghan struck for his third goal of the game.
Although Wexford picked off some nice points, Dublin responded on each occasion with scores of their own, as McCaffrey showed superb accuracy from midfield, leaving them easy winners in the end.
Man of Match: John McCaffrey (Dublin).
SCORERS -- Dublin: D O'Callaghan 3-1, J McCaffrey 0-5 (4f), R Dwyer 0-6 (4f), P Carton 0-2, S Lambert, J Boland, D Plunkett, C McCormack, P Schutte, P Ryan, S Ryan 0-1 each. Wexford: J Berry 1-7 (7f), G Sinnott 1-1, P J Nolan, R Jacob 0-2 each; H Kehoe, S Banville, D Redmond 0-1 each.
Dublin -- G Maguire 7; N Corcoran 6, T Brady 7, S Lambert 6; S Hiney 7, J Boland 7, S Durkan 7; J McCaffrey 9, L Rushe 7; D Plunkett 7, L Ryan 6, C McCormack 7; D O'Callaghan 8, R Dwyer 8, P Carton 6. Subs: O Gough 7 for Lambert (35), S Ryan 7 for L Ryan (35), P Schutte 7 for Hiney (46), P Ryan 6 for Carton (63), C Clinton for McCormack (68).
Wexford -- N Carton 6; P Roche 5, M O'Hanlon 7, C Kenny 5; L Prendergast 6, D Stamp 6, B Hobbs 4; H Kehoe 7, B Doyle 5; T Waters 5, E Quigley 7, S Banville 7; R Jacob 7, G Sinnott 6, J Berry 6. Subs: M Jacob 6 for Hobbs (25), PJ Nolan 6 for Waters (41), D Redmond 5 for Quigley (55), E Martin 4 for Banville (65), J Leacy for Doyle (68).
Ref -- M Wadding (Waterford).