Wexford first win in Tullamore since 1973

Joe Bergin, and Shane Kinsella, Offaly, in action against Jack Guiney and Paudie Foley, WexfordPhoto thanks to David Maher Sportsfile

Offaly 0-12 Wexford 2-15

A solid display with some fine point-taking thrown into the mix saw Wexford continue their winning start in O’Connor Park yesterday.

While a nine-point winning margin flattered them somewhat, there was no disputing the merit of Wexford’s win

Wexford did a lot of the groundwork in the first half and led 1-8 to 0-7 at the break despite playing against the wind. They had one hand on the points at that stage and their cause was greatly assisted when Offaly sub, Cillian Kiely, received a straight red card three minutes after the restart for an altercation involving Kevin Foley.

Best hurling

Jack Guiney pointed the resultant free to put Wexford 1-9 to 0-8 in front and Offaly were in serious bother. Ironically, they played their best hurling with 14 men.

After a poor first-half display, they dug deep when the odds were stacked against them and for a while, they had Wexford casting anxious glances over their shoulder.

Offaly were 1-11 to 0-8 behind when they began to rally and scored four of the next five points to leave just a goal in it, 1-12 to 0-12 with 11 minutes left.

But the numerical advantage proved decisive late on and they failed to score again. An opportunist point from the outstanding Liam Óg McGovern put Wexford four points in front and despite hitting five bad wides on the trot they pulled out of sight in the closing five minutes.

McGovern and their other star man, midfielder David Redmond got points and substitute, Podge Doran added an injury-time goal.

Wexford were a better-balanced team and they had a much wider spread of scores than Offaly, for whom Shane Dooley and Joe Bergin contributed 11 of their 12 points.

The home side struggled to establish any fluency in the first half though aided by the wind.

They were 0-2 to 0-1, 0-3 to 0-2 and 0-4 to 0-3 up at different stages but Wexford were the more impressive side.

Edged ahead

They edged ahead with points from Foley and Jack Guiney (free) and the decisive score was a 20th minute goal from Guiney when his shot slipped through the fingers of James Dempsey and into the net.

Wexford looked capable of opening up the Offaly defence and they should have netted a second moments later when Dempsey made a fine save from Ian Byrne. But they still built a handy four-point interval lead.

WEXFORD: M Fanning; L Ryan, M O’Hanlon, C Kenny; P Foley, L Chin, E Moore; D Remond (0-4), E Martin; I Byrne (0-1), D Waters (0-1), D O’Keeffe; P Morris, J Guiney 1-3, 3f), L Og McGovern (0-4). Subs: K Foley (0-2) for Morris (inj., 10m), H Kehoe for Martin (48m), P Doran (1-0) for Waters (48m), J Kelly for O’Keeffe (60m), S Tomkins for Byrne (65m).

OFFALY: J Dempsey; N Wynne, D Shortt, S Egan; E Nolan, C Egan, D mooney; P Camon, S Ryan; J Bergin (0-3), S Kinsella (0-1), D Currams; S Dooley (0-8, 7f), P Murphy, S Quirke. Subs: C Kiely for Quirke (26m), S Cleary for Murphy (43m), G Mann for Kinsella (59m), C Mulrooney for Ryan (68m).

Referee: F Horkan (Tipperary).

Report from The Irish Times