Kevin O’Brien reports from Parnell Park
THE DUBLIN MINOR hurlers are one game away from retaining their Leinster title after seeing off Wexford in today’s semi-final.
The Sky Blues survived a late fightback from Wexford, who hit the last five scores of the game but couldn’t find the goal they needed to force extra-time.
Dublin will face a Kilkenny outfit who demolished Laois by 6-21 to 0-9 in the other semi-final.
This was a repeat of last year’s provincial decider, as Dubs accounted for Wexford once again. Last July, two late goals helped Dublin over the Model County, but this victory was a more straightforward one.
Dublin led by four at the interval and with 11 minutes left were 0-20 to 1-9 ahead and looking comfortable. Wexford rallied late on but it was a case of too little too late.
Much of the 2016 Dublin team went on to feature for the seniors this year, and on this display Na Fianna corner-forward Sean Currie might come into the reckoning in 12 months’ time.
He bagged 0-12 points, including four from play, and was a menace for the Wexford defence throughout.
Ross Banville, who scored 11 frees, and goalscorer Jack Cullen were excellent for the visitors.
Dublin played with two-full forwards with David Keogh withdrawn as a third midfielder. Wexford’s Michael Codd followed Keogh into centre-field, meaning we had a congested middle third with plenty of frees handed out.
The whistle-happy nature of the game suited Sean Currie and Ross Banville, the free-takers for the respective sides. Banville’s dead balls accounted for all but one of Wexford’s six points in the opening half, while Currie scored 0-7, including five frees.
Dublin led Wexford by 0-10 to 0-6 at the interval and would have been further in front but for eight wides.
Five of the first six scores after half-time came from Dublin, as they surged in front by seven points. Jack Cullen’s goal in the 52nd minute gave Wexford hope, but Dublin replied with five unanswered scores.
Mark Grogan fired over a couple of beauties, while Currie and Murphy also raised white flags for the winners in the final quarter. Four frees from Banville and an effort from Cullen brought the deficit down to three points, but it was all Wexford could manage.
Scorers for Dublin: Sean Currie 0-12 (0-0-8f), Liam Murphy 0-4, Diarmuid O Floinn and Mark Grogan 0-2 each.
Scorers for Wexford: Ross Banville 0-11 (0-11f), Jack Cullen 1-1, Charlie McGuckin 0-2.
1. Conor O’Donoghue
4. Thomas Glynn
3. Ben McHugh
2. Andrew Dunphy
10. Eoghan O’Neill
12. David Keogh
5. Lee Gannon
8. Ben Coffey
9. Diarmaid O Floinn
6. Luke Walsh
11. Emmet Allen
15. Sean Currie
13. Liam Murphy
7. Mark Grogan
14. Kevin Desmond
24. Brian Smith for McHugh (blood sub, 8-12)
22. Michael Murphy for O Floinn (48)
21. Sean Lambe for Allen (51)
1. James Henebery
2. Conor Scallan
3. Gavin Sheehan
4. Cathal O’Connor
5. Michael Codd
6. Eoin Molloy
12. Jamie Meyler
11. Kyle Firman
9. Eoin O’Leary
10. Charlie McGuckin
17. Diarmuid Doyle
14. Sean Nolan
13. Jack Devereux
7. Jack Cullen
15. Ross Banville
18. Tom White for Firman (41)
8. Sam Wall for Boyle (41)
23. Eoin Murphy for Nolan (51)
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