Rory O'Connor inspires escape to victory as Wexford prevail against resilient Dubs fightback

Davy Fitzgerald’s side shook off a determined late Dublin push to secure a two point win on Sunday.

Wexford 0-22

Dublin 2-14

Ronan Fagan reports from Innovate Wexford Park

THUNDEROUS CHEERS GREETED Wexford’s escape to victory at Innovate Wexford Park on Sunday as Rory O’Connor spearheaded Davy Fitzgerald’s men shaking off a determined late Dublin push in a gripping Leinster SHC round-robin duel.

Shaun Murphy with Liam Rushe Wexford's Shaun Murphy under pressure from Liam Rushe. Source: Tommy Greally/INPHO

While Wexford looked to have a firm grip on matters at 0-18 to 1-10, a 61st-minute Paul Ryan goal trigged a Sky Blue upsurge which promised a perfect antidote to the Dubs’ first-day heartbreak against Kilkenny.

But Wexford displayed tremendous defiance as O’Connor swelled his personal tally to 0-12 with a couple of a decisive additions in injury-time.

Dublin led 0-2 to 0-1 after three minutes courtesy of a couple of Paul Ryan frees before Wexford began to impose their will on matters.

The home-side transformed things by 0-5 to 0-2 after 12 minutes as Rory O’Connor led the way with a trio of frees. But Dublin pegged back a fortuitous equalising goal on 13 minutes when intercepting a Wexford clearance which led indirectly to midfielder Rian McBride netting.

The sides shared the next four scores before Rory O’Connor regained the initiative for Wexford by 0-8 to 1-4 after 22 minutes.

And although Dublin turned the tables by 1-6 to 0-8 through Jake Malone and corner-back Paddy Smyth, the Dubs had a massive let off when Wexford squandered a gilt-edged goal chance after a darting run by Kevin Foley set up Paul Morris.

Aidan Nolan with Fiontan McGibb Aidan Nolan with Fiontan McGibb of Dublin. Source: Tommy Greally/INPHO

But the locals gained the satisfaction of leading at the break 0-10 to 1-6 after Rory O’Connor posted his sixth and seventh frees of a lively opening period.

Dublin regained parity on 1-8 to 0-11 after 38 minutes, but Wexford returned with greater menace, and forged clear by 0-16 to 1-8 on 51 minutes with a string of unanswered scores from Aidan Nolan, Diarmuid O’Keeffe, Rory O’Connor (2 frees) and Paudie Foley.

Dublin struck back through Paul Ryan and sub Cian Boland but that sandwiched Wexford again being denied a goal as ‘keeper Alan Nolan nullified some danger posed by Rory O’Connor.

Dublin then threatened to upstage the Model County as Paul Ryan engineered a goal to help dramatically transform matters by 2-13 to 0-18 after 65 minutes.

Rising tensions sparked a brief disturbance on the sidelines before Wexford reacted to David Treacy snapping Dublin into a 2-14 to 0-19 lead, as O’Connor levelled from a free.

Davy Fitzgerald Source: Tommy Greally/INPHO

This before the forward powered Wexford ahead with a monstrous strike from play, with sub Harry Kehoe adding the crowning glory as Wexford emerged ecstatic but hugely relieved to clinch the opening win.

Dublin, meanwhile, are now under pressure in the chase for qualification ahead of hosting Offaly before a daunting trip to Galway.

Scorers for Wexford: Rory O’Connor 0-12 (11fs), Lee Chin, Pádraig Foley (1f) 0-2 each, Paul Morris, Jack O’Connor, Aidan Nolan, Diarmuid O’Keeffe, Kevin Foley, Harry Kehoe 0-1 each.

Scorers for Dublin: Paul Ryan 1-7 (0-6fs, 0-1 ’65), Rian McBride (1-1), Jake Malone, Paddy Smyth, Cian Boland, Liam Rushe, Danny Sutcliffe, David Treacy 0-1 each.

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1. Mark Fanning (Glynn-Barntown)

2. Damien Reck (Oylegate-Glenbrien)
3. Liam Ryan (Rapparees)
4. Simon Donohoe (Shelmaliers)

5. Pádraig Foley (Crossabeg-Ballymurn)
6. Matthew O’Hanlon (St. James’, joint-capt.)
7. Diarmuid O’Keeffe (St. Anne’s)

8. Kevin Foley (Rapparees)
9. Shaun Murphy (Oulart-The Ballagh)

10. Lee Chin (Faythe Harriers, joint-capt.)
11. Aidan Nolan (HWH-Bunclody)
12. Jack O’Connor (St. Martin’s)

13. Paul Morris (Ferns St. Aidan’s)
14. Rory O’Connor (St. Martin’s)
15. Conor McDonald (Naomh Eanna)

Subs: 23. Harry Kehoe (Cloughbawn) for McDonald (55); 22. Cathal Dunbar (Naomh Eanna) for Morris (61)


1. Alan Nolan (St. Brigid’s)

2. Paddy Smyth (Clontarf)
3. Cian O’Callaghan (Cuala)
4. Bill O’Carroll (Kilmacud Crokes)

5. Shane Barrett (Na Fianna)
6. Seán Moran (Cuala)
7. Chris Crummey (Lucan Sarsfields, capt.)

8. Rian McBride (St. Vincent’s)
9. Eoghan O’Donnell (Whitehall Colmcille)

10. Jake Malone (Cuala)
11. Fiontánn Mac Gib (Setanta)
12. Danny Sutcliffe (St. Jude’s)

13. Fergal Whitely (Kilmacud Crokes)
14. Liam Rushe (St. Patrick’s Palmerstown)
15. Paul Ryan (Ballyboden St. Enda’s)

Subs: 21. Tomás Connolly (St. Vincent’s) for Barrett (43); 22. Cian Boland (St. Oliver Plunkett’s Eoghan Ruadh) for Whitley (43); 23. David Treacy (Cuala) for O’Carroll (51); 24, Ronan Hayes (Kilmacud Crokes) for O’Donnell (60); 25. Paul Winters (St. Brigid’s) for McGibb (60).

Referee: Colm Lyons (Cork).

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