Well done to the Wexford Senior Footballers, their management and everyone connected with the team on their victory in Croke Park today. They have now earned themselves a place in the Leinster Final v Dublin in Croke Park on Sunday 10th July.
Wexford 4-12 Carlow 0-10
Wexford are through to the Leinster GAA Football Championship final for the first time since 2008 after a 14-point demolition of Carlow at Croke Park on Sunday afternoon.
Two first half goals from Shane Roche gave Wexford a 2-4 to 0-7 lead at the break, before Carlow tired and collapsed defensively in the second half, as PJ Banville and Eric Bradley added late goals to add a coat of gloss to the scoreline from a Wexford point of view.
Having competed well in the first half, a young Carlow side defended naively after the break and they registered just one point in the second half until deep into added time.
Wexford now move into the Leinster final on July 10, hoping to make amends for the their last provincial final appearance, when they were destroyed by Dublin in 2008, in a game they will not want to remember in a hurry.
With Ciarán Lyng and Shane Roche – who scored 2-4 in this game – in such excellent form in their attack, they will be hopeful of a much improved showing on this occasion.
Roche opened the scoring for Wexford with a point from play in the first minute, but the momentum soon swung Carlow’s way, as they appeared to settle first in the unfamiliar surroundings of Croke Park.
Brian Murphy eased them into the game with a free to level matters, before younger brother Brendan struck a trademark point from out the field, his languorous kicking style once again proving deceptively accurate.
Accurate is not a word that could have been used to describe Wexford’s shooting in the first quarter. After Roche’s opener, they wasted five scoring chances, with Redmond Barry, Eric Bradley and Ben Brosnan amongst the Wexford forwards to hit uncharacteristic wides.
In the meantime, Carlow had stretched their lead to three points thanks to another pair of Brian Murphy frees. Wexford were lacking imagination in attack – and no little inspiration.
That would come, though, in the 19th minute, when Lyng, playing at full-forward, got out in front of his man, transferred the ball to Brosnan, who hand-passed to Roche to finish, sidestepping the goalkeeper and slipping the ball past Carlow defender Conor Lawlor.
When Brosnan finally nailed a free after two unsuccessful attempts, things looked up for Wexford, and another pair of points from play from the in-form Roche confirmed as much.
Carlow, however, were by no means overwhelmed and Brendan Murphy dropped over his second point of the half as a little reminder that the Barrowsiders were still well and truly in the game.
Wexford’s wides tally had reached seven and Carlow had drawn level thanks to a Daniel St Ledger score from play in the 33rd minute before Jason Ryan’s side struck another decisive blow in added time.
Again, Lyng was the architect, the St Martin’s man finding space in front of the Carlow goal, drawing defender Lawlor to the ball and delivering the pass to Roche, who finished emphatically past Trevor O’Reilly to leave his side 2-4 to 0-7 ahead at the break. Remarkably, Roche had scored all but one point of Wexford’s total.
But Wexford’s failings crept up once again at the start of the second half, as they kicked two bad wides before Brosnan once again benefited from Lyng’s creativity to slot over the opening point of the second half.
The wides out for their system, Wexford made it four points without reply, Brosnan and Roche adding to their tallies and Lyng finally getting off the mark himself. Leading by double scores, 2-8 to 0-7, Wexford had opened up a seven-point lead by the 48th minute.
Carlow had gone 18 minutes without a score and the cracks were beginning to show in their defence, as Lyng, Brosnan and Roche were beginning to cause havoc in the Wexford attack. Midfielder Daragh Foley finally got their second half challenge off the mark with a point from a free in the 48th minute, but it failed to paper over their manifest problems.
Lyng was making hay for Wexford and he created yet another chance for Bronsnan, playing in the wing-forward, whose cracking shot forced O’Reilly into a superb save. O’Reilly was called into action yet again, when Peadar Byrne was played through but shot straight at the goalkeeper.
Brosnan clipped over the resultant ’45 and Eric Bradley got it on the act, before Wexford, inevitably, got through for a third goal, Lyng finding substitute Banville, who finshed emphatically.
The floodgates were open by now and Wexford grabbed a fourth in the final minute, when Adrian Flynn fed Eric Bradley for another easy finish past the exposed O’Reilly.
Although Carlow did kick the final two scores of the game – substitute Cormac Mullins twice on target from play – they were well and truly beaten, losing by 14 points in the end.
Carlow Scorers: Brian Murphy 0-3 (0-3f), Brendan Murphy 0-2, S St Ledger 0-2 (0-1f), C Mullins 0-2, D Foley 0-1 (0-1f).
Wexford Scorers: S Roche 2-4, B Brosnan 0-5 (0-2f, 0-2 ‘45), C Lyng 0-2, E Bradley 1-1, PJ Banville 1-0.
Carlow: T O’Reilly; A Murphy, C Lawlor, B Kavanagh; P Cashin, S Redmond, K Nolan; B Murphy, D Foley; P Hickey, T Walsh, E Finnegan; B Murphy, S Gannon, D St Ledger. Subs: A Curran for K Nolan (44), C Mullins for P Hickey (55), E Ruth for E Finnegan (55), J Murphy for D Foley (60), W Menchin for T Walsh (65)
Wexford: Anthony Masterson; Joey Wadding, Grame Molloy, Brian Malone; Adrian Flynn, David Murphy (Capt.), Aindreas Doyle; Rory Quinlivan, Daithí Waters; Shne Roche, Ciarán Lyng, Ben Brosnan; Colm Morris, Eric Bradley, Redmond Barry. Subs: Adrian Morrissey for A Doyle (44), Brendan Doyle for D Waters (48), Rory Quinlivan for P Byrne (55), PJ Banville for R Barry (58), George Sunderland for C Morris (67).
Referee: Michael Collins (Cork)
Courtesy of www. gaa.ie