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Dublin open Leinster championship bid with 23-point demolition of Wexford

Brian Fenton and the returning Con O’Callaghan starred for the Sky Blues.

Brian Fenton starred for the Dubs.
Brian Fenton starred for the Dubs.

Wexford 0-4

Dublin 1-24

MIDFIELD GENERAL BRIAN Fenton had Dublin purring back to their prolific best as they sauntered past Wexford in Saturday’s Leinster SFC quarter-final at Chadwicks Wexford Park.

Dessie Farrell’s men shook off their Division 1 relegation frustrations as they cruised to a 34th straight victory in the provincial competition.

Fenton was the chief instigator, chipping in with 0-5, while Con O’Callaghan showcased his undoubted class when grabbing 1-6 in his first appearance of the season.

O’Callaghan’s 40th minute goal – from a rebound – blew open a 1-11 to 0-1 void after Dublin had eased ahead 0-10 to 0-1 at half-time.

Dublin took a little while to come to the boil, kicking two early wides before Fenton began to cook up a treat as the All-Star midfielder exerted major influence.

He fed Dean Rock for a ninth-minute opener before Fenton quickly made it 0-2 to no-score.

Wexford pegged back a tenth minute point when full-forward Eoghan Nolan capitalised as defender Glen Malone offloaded under a challenge.

The Blue Wave was building though, with Wexford’s red-hot shooter from the previous weekend against Offaly, Ben Brosnan, even forced to add his presence to the defensive cover.

Nevertheless, Fenton together with Brian Howard and Rock (‘45) made it 0-5 to 0-1 before the Dubs twice rattled the town-end crossbar.

Defender John Small got on the end of a flowing move involving Cormac Costello, Fenton and O’Callaghan, with Small ghosting in from the right only to hammer the crossbar in the 23rd minute.

And after Fenton’s third score – the first off his left peg – made it 0-6 to 0-1 the Dubs generated another gilt-edged goal chance when Ciarán Kilkenny sent O’Callaghan haring through only to seemingly also hit the crossbar. However, despite an intervention by a linesman, the referee declared a point, and further scores from Rock, Costello and Fenton had Dublin warming nicely to the task by half time (0-10 to 0-1).

While Dublin delayed their return, they were quick about consigning this to a mere formality as Fenton’s fifth score was followed by Con O’Callaghan maximising a rebound after Dean Rock’s angled effort came back off the underside of the crossbar in the 40th minute (1-11 to 0-1).

O’Callaghan quickly added a hat-trick of points by the 47th minute (1-16 to 0-2) before new captain James McCarthy was sprung from the bench along with Niall Scully.

Wexford number eight Niall Hughes, after his switch to full-forward, pegged back a mark before a delivery from Kevin O’Grady generated a goaling chance when a defender fumbled. But ‘keeper David O’Hanlon intervened.

Dublin added to their scoring gallery as Liam Lahiff and sub Lorcan O’Dell got in on the act, while Páraic Hughes got one back for a Wexford side that must now seek to pick up the pieces ahead of the inaugural Tailteann Cup.

Scorers for Dublin: Con O’Callaghan 1-6, Dean Rock (1 ‘45, 1 mark), Brian Fenton 0-5 each, Brian Howard, Cormac Costello 0-2 each, Ciarán Kilkenny, John Small, Tom Lahiff, Lorcan O’Dell 0-1 each.

Scorers for Wexford: Eoghan Nolan, Ben Brosnan, Niall Hughes (mark), Páraic Hughes 0-1 each.

Dublin

1 David O’Hanlon (Na Fianna)

2 Eoin Murchan (Na Fianna), 3 Michael Fitzsimons (Cuala), 4 Lee Gannon (Whitehall Colmcille)

6 John Small (Ballymun Kickhams), 19 Jonny Cooper (Na Fianna), 5 Robert McDaid (Ballyboden St. Enda’s)

8 Brian Fenton (Raheny), 9 Tom Lahiff (St. Jude’s)

10 Seán Bugler (St. Oliver Plunkett’s/Eoghan Ruadh), 11 Brian Howard (Raheny), 12 Ciarán Kilkenny (Castleknock)

13 Cormac Costello (Whitehall Colmcille), 15 Dean Rock (Ballymun Kickhams), 14 Con O’Callaghan (Cuala)

Subs

7 James McCarthy (Ballymun Kickhams, capt.) for McDaid (49)

25 Niall Scully (Templeogue Synge Street) for Bugler (49)

20 Seán MacMahon (Raheny) for Murchan (53)

18 Aaron Byrne (Na Fianna) for Costello (54)

24 Lorcan O’Dell (Templeogue Synge Street) for Small (62)

Wexford

1 Darragh Brooks (Castletown)

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2 Liam O’Connor (St. Mary’s Rosslare), 3 Eoin Porter (Rathgarogue-Cushinstown), 7 Dylan Furlong (Sarsfields)

4 Martin O’Connor (HWH-Bunclody, capt.), 6 Glen Malone (Shelmaliers), 12 Kevin O’Grady (St. James’)

8 Niall Hughes (Kilanerin), 9 Liam Coleman (Castletown)

11 Donal Shanley (St. Fintan’s), 5 Páraic Hughes (Kilanerin), 10 Alan Tobin (Starlights)

13 Mark Rossiter (Gusserane), 14 Eoghan Nolan (Shelmaliers), 15 Ben Brosnan (Castletown)

Subs

26 Tom Byrne (Kilmore) for Shanley (41)

23 Robbie Brooks (Castletown) for Rossiter (46)

21 Michael Furlong (Adamstown) for Tobin (60)

25 John Tubritt (Fethard) for Brosnan (69)

24 Seán Ryan (Gusserane) for Nolan (69)

Referee: Barry Cassidy (Derry).

BTL 5

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