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Sunday 5 February 2023 Dublin: 8°C
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# Nailbiter
Wexford secure Leinster U20 final spot with hard-fought victory over Dublin
A last-gasp line-ball almost forced extra-time but struck the inside of the upright during a thrilling finish.

Wexford 1-15

Dublin 1-14

Ronan Fagan reports from Chadwicks Wexford Park

 LAST YEAR’S beaten finalists Dublin went within an injury-time sideline cut rebounding off the far upright from forcing extra-time with Wexford in their Bank Holiday Monday Leinster Under-20 hurling championship semi-final at Chadwicks Wexford Park.

A 32nd minute Jack Redmond goal powered Wexford to extend a 0-7 to 0-6 interval advantage to 1-10 to 0-8 before Dara Purcell scrambled a Dublin major on 38 minutes to pave the way for a gripping finish.

The prolificacy of free-taker Cian Byrne saw Wexford stretch clear by 1-15 to 1-12.

But Dara Purcell and Tom Gleeson kept Dublin in the hunt before that last-gasp line-ball only just failed to find the inside of the upright as Keith Rossiter’s purple-and-gold charges edge through to the final for the first time since 2019.

That particular summer, Wexford captured a first Leinster Minor hurling crown, and they began this mission with no fewer than ten of that outfit.

James O’Brien launched the Dubs in front three minutes in, and while a couple of Cian Byrne scores – free and a ‘65- turned the tables, a Scanlon free restored parity after seven minutes (0-2 apiece).

Dublin defender Joe Flanagan earned a yellow-card for an over-zealous challenge which sent Darragh Carley clattering into the referee’s bench and signage at the expense of a free, from which Byrne sent Wexford back in front on ten minutes, before wing-back Joe Barrett added the hosts’ first from play after 12 minutes (0-4 to 0-2).

Despite Dublin gaining a slight edge for the remainder of the half, six wides in that spell undermined their effort somewhat.

They were back level after 27 minutes (0-6 apiece) as Dara Purcell sandwiched contributions from Scanlon (free) and midfielder Cian Ó Cathasaigh.

Wexford responses from centre-back Cian Molloy and Cian Byrne (free) had kept the locals bubbling along during that quarter, before Byrne’s fifth placed-ball score made all the difference at the change-of-ends (0-7 to 0-6).

And Wexford were inspired on the restart as Byrne added a sixth – fifth free – before Seamie O’Hagan sent full-forward Jack Redmond through to net a 1-8 to 0-6 advantage after 32 minutes.

The sides twice traded scores before Dara Purcell got Seán Power’s visitors right back in the mix when scooping a rebound to the Clonard-end net on 38 minutes having forced the initial save (1-10 to 1-8).

And captain David Crowe inspired with a point from centre-back as Diarmaid Ó Dúllaing and Purcell (free) levelled matters for a fourth time after 45 minutes (1-11 apiece).

While another Cian Byrne free reclaimed the whip-hand for Wexford, the Dubs were enormously unfortunate not to goal on 51 minutes when Ben McSweeney failed to connect with a delivery from sub Gleeson with the goal at his mercy.

After a further exchange of points, a free from Jack Redmond – with Byrne receiving medical attention – and sub Tomás ‘Tucker’ Kinsella had Wexford biting their nails at 1-15 to 1-12 on 57 minutes.

Dublin made in-roads before luck deserted McSweeney as Wexford determinedly pulled through to face either Kilkenny or holders Galway.

Scorers for Wexford: Cian Byrne 0-10 (8 frees, 1 ’65), Jack Redmond 1-1, Joe Barrett, Cian Molloy, Darragh Carley, Tomás Kinsella 0-1 each.

Scorers for Dublin: Dara Purcell 1-4 (0-2 frees), James O’Brien, Brendan Scanlon (frees), David Crowe, Tom Gleeson 0-2 each, Cian Ó Cathasaigh, Diarmaid Ó Dúllaing 0-1 each.

Wexford

1 Cian Byrne (St. Mary’s Rosslare)

 

2 Eoin Ryan (St. Anne’s)

7 Conor Foley (Horeswood)

4 AJ Redmond (Rathnure)

 

5 Joe Barrett (St. Martin’s)

6 Cian Molloy (Naomh Eanna)

19 Kyle Scallan (Faythe Harriers, capt.)

 

8 Darragh Carley (Glynn-Barntown)

9 Luke Kavanagh (St. Martin’s)

 

13 David Codd (St. Martin’s)

11 Corey Byrne-Dunbar (Ferns St. Aidan’s)

12 Seamie O’Hagan (Buffers Alley)

 

22 Richie Lawlor (Faythe Harriers)

15 Cian Byrne (Fethard)

14 Jack Redmond (Rathnure)

Subs:

17 Tomás Kinsella (Askamore) for Lawlor (43)

10 JJ Twamley (Naomh Eanna) for Kavanagh (49)

23 Cormac Walsh (Buffers Alley) for Cian Byrne (Fethard) (temp., 57-58)

23 Walsh for Codd (58)

 Dublin

1 Eoin O’Connor (Fingallians)

 

2 Andrew Keegan (Clontarf)

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3 Paddy Doyle (Naomh Barróg)

4 Luke Ó Lochlainn (Kilmacud Crokes)

 

5 Joe Flanagan (Naomh Barróg)

6 David Crowe (Kilmacud Crokes, capt.)

7 Colm Walsh (Lucan Sarsfields)

 

8 Cian Ó Cathasaigh (Kilmacud Crokes)

9 Seán Gallagher (Naomh Barróg)

 

12 Diarmaid Ó Dúllaing (Commercials)

11 Ben McSweeney (St. Oliver Plunketts/Eoghan Ruadh)

10 James O’Brien (Faughs)

 

15 Charlie Keher (Lucan Sarsfields)

14 Brendan Scanlon (Kilmacud Crokes)

13 Dara Purcell (Kilmacud Crokes)

Subs

17 Brian Dunne (Raheny) for Flanagan (36)

19 Mark Murphy (Raheny) for Scanlon (43)

20 Tom Gleeson (Na Fianna) for Keher (51)

24 Diarmaid Clerkin (Na Fianna) for Ó Lochlainn (52)

Referee: Shane Guinan (Offaly).

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