Wexford eventually come good to see off Carlow and pick up first Leinster SHC win
Ronan Fagan reports from Innovate Wexford Park
WEXFORD OVERCAME A jittery first-half display to nail a vital first win in Leinster SHC qualifying at the expense of hard-trying Carlow in Saturday’s derby at sunny Innovate Wexford Park.
Promoted Carlow encouraged their connections among the 6,500 attendance when being within just 1-10 to 0-11 at half-time.
But Wexford delivered a strong response as they overcame their rather disjointed exploits of the opening-half to decisively out-shoot the Barrowsiders by 1-18 to 0-8 in the second-half and boost their ambitions ahead of next Saturday’s crunch home date with Kilkenny.
Wexford opened with real intent as they made a dream start, with early points from Conor McDonald and Lee Chin (free) before that pair combined to feed Rory O’Connor, who cut through the centre to ram to the net in the fifth-minute (1-2 to 0-0).
The home-side stretched into a 1-4 to 0-1 lead before Davy Fitzgerald’s men had a massive let off when Carlow captain Edward Byrne and Martin Kavanagh threatened to find the net, only for Pádraig Foley to spare Wexford at the expense of a ’65, which Kavanagh pointed.
Matthew O’Hanlon tackles Edward Byrne.
Source: Lorraine O’Sullivan/INPHO
Carlow posed a further goal threat on 19 minutes though when Chris Nolan dashed in to force Mark Fanning into a smart save.
But the visitors were generating real problems for Wexford as wing-back Eoin Nolan lofted a long-range score, and Martin Kavanagh obliged from a free to shave the deficit to 1-8 to 0-6 after 22 minutes.
Indeed, Wexford were frustrated as they endured a 15-minute scoring impasse while their neighbours got busy. However, Carlow were guilty of squandering some promising situations while Martin Kavanagh (2 frees) and Chris Nolan got them back within 1-8 to 0-9 after 30 minutes.
Lee Chin eventually ended Wexford’s drought with a pointed free on 35 minutes. But Carlow didn’t relent, and closing points from Seán Whelan and John Michael Nolan had their boss Colm Bonnar back within 1-10 to 0-11 of his former Wexford charges at half-time.
Wexford boss Fitzgerald swapped his spot in the Stand for a more hands-on approach from the sideline for the second-half, and the purple-and-gold responded by asserting themselves by 1-16 to 0-13 after 45 minutes courtesy of Lee Chin, Paul Morris, Cathal Dunbar (2), Conor McDonald and Rory O’Connor, while Liam Óg McGovern went close with a goaling chance.
However, Carlow hopes were dashed on 53 minutes when Conor McDonald succeeded in finding the net from a cross by sub Aidan Nolan (2-18 to 0-16).
Wexford grew in confidence as they out-scored Carlow by 0-10 to 0-3 for the remainder, with Lee Chin adding four more scores, while subs Seamus Casey, Joe O’Connor and David Dunne also got in on the act in a powerful finish by the home-side.
Wexford ended with 14 men after Shaun Murphy suffered a second yellow-card, while Carlow’s Richard Coady and sharpshooter Martin Kavanagh both suffered a similar fate late on.
Scorers for Wexford: Lee Chin 0-11 (8 frees, 1 ’65), Conor McDonald 1-4, Rory O’Connor 1-1, Cathal Dunbar 0-3, Paul Morris, Diarmuid O’Keeffe, Pádraig Foley 0-2 each, Seamus Casey, Joe O’Connor, David Dunne 0-1 each.
Scorers for Carlow: Martin Kavanagh 0-13 (1 ’65, 9 frees), Chris Nolan 0-2, Eoin Nolan, Seán Whelan, John Michael Nolan, Edward Byrne 0-1 each.
1 Mark Fanning (Glynn Barntown)
2 Damien Reck (Oylegate Glenbrien)
3 Liam Ryan (Rapparees)
4 Simon Donohoe (Shelmaliers)
7 Shaun Murphy (Oulart The Ballagh)
6 Matthew O’Hanlon (St James’)
5 Pádraig Foley (Crossabeg Ballymurn)
10 Rory O’Connor (St Martin’s)
9 Diarmuid O’Keeffe (St Anne’s)
12 Liam Óg McGovern (St Anne’s)
14 Lee Chin (Faythe Harriers)
8 Kevin Foley (Rapparees)
13 Cathal Dunbar (Naomh Éanna)
15 Conor McDonald (Naomh Éanna)
11 Paul Morris (Ferns St Aidan’s)
17 Shane Reck (Oylegate Glenbrien) for Murphy (temp., 27-32)
22 Aidan Nolan (HWH Bunclody) for Morris (50)
19 David Dunne (Davidstown Courtnacuddy) for O’Connor (58)
20 Seamus Casey (Oylegate Glenbrien) for McGovern (58)
(17) Shane Reck for Donohoe (60)
23 Joe O’Connor (St Martin’s) for Dunbar (70).
1 Brian Tracey (Naomh Eoin)
2 Kevin McDonald (Mount Leinster Rangers)
3 Paul Doyle (St Mullin’s)
4 Michael Doyle (Mount Leinster Rangers)
5 Eoin Nolan (Naomh Eoin)
6 David English (Ballinkillen)
7 Richard Coady (Mount Leinster Rangers)
8 Jack Kavanagh (St Mullin’s)
9 Seán Whelan (Ballinkillen)
10 John Michael Nolan (Naomh Eoin)
11 Martin Kavanagh (St Mullin’s)
12 Edward Byrne (Mount Leinster Rangers)
13 James Doyle (St Mullin’s)
26 Ted Joyce (Mount Leinster Rangers)
15 Chris Nolan (Mount Leinster Rangers)
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24 Jon Nolan (Mount Leinster Rangers) for Joyce (56)
14 Seamus Murphy (St Mullin’s) for Byrne (64)
22 Ger Coady (St Mullin’s) for M Doyle (66)
20 Diarmuid Byrne (Mount Leinster Rangers) for John Michael Nolan (68).
Referee: Colum Cunning (Antrim).
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