Longford 1-12 Wexford 0-13
Saturday nights much anticipated Division III league final in Croke Park was truly a game of two halves. Wexford were overrun in the opening 35 minutes and as the 3 minutes additonal time ticked down and the half time whistle approached and Wexford must surely have hankered for the relative sanctuary and respite of the dressing room. However in these dying moments of the half Longford struck for a goal leaving the half time score line as 1-10 to 0-03.
Really for Wexford it could not have been worse, and even though we dominated the centre field, winning the lion’s share of the primary procession it was Longford who were in almost total control of the game.
As the teams remerged the small band of loyal Wexford supporters could only hope that the lads would now play with abandon and redeem themselves, but only an uber optimist like Jason Ryan could have hoped that they could actually overturn the 10 point deficit. However Wexford have been a second half team in recent years and so the slim hope remained that they could – who could forget the Matttie Forde inspired resurgence in Carlow versus Meath!
In the second half, the game turned on its head with the Wexford substitute Shane Roche reeling off the points and cutting into the Longford lead. In this half Longford were as poor as they looked good in the opening 35 minutes and would only score twice (from two dubious frees) in the half. As full time approached Wexford brought it back to two points, a goal and we could win this! However it was not to be, the clock beat us and in truth such was our 1st half performance that it was hard to gripe about it.
Wexford will learn much from this chastening experience and in the aftermath manager Jason Ryan was defiant and said the team would now ‘move on to bigger and better things.’ Wexford play either Longford or Laois in Croke Park on the 3rd of June so we may well have the last laugh in 2012!
WEXFORD: A Masterson; R Tierney, G Molloy, N Murphy; A Flynn (0-1), D Murphy, B Malone; A Shore, D Waters; E Bradley (0-1), PJ Banville (0-1), B Brosnan (0-1); R Barry (0-3, 0-1 free), C Lyng (0-4, 0-3 frees), C Morris. Subs: L Chin for N Murphy (20 mins), R Quinlivan for Shore (45 mins), P Byrne for Brosnan (45 mins), S Roche (0-2) for Morris (51 mins), C Carty for Bradley (70+1 mins).