Wexford v Clare - Allianz Hurling League Division 1A Round 4

25 February 2018; Conor McDonald of Wexford with supporters after the Allianz Hurling League Division 1A Round 4 match between Wexford and Clare at Innovate Wexford Park in Wexford. Photo by Matt Browne/Sportsfile

Allianz HL D1A: Wexford storm to victory over Clare

Allianz Hurling League Division 1A


By Ronan Fagan at Wexford Park

A masterful second-half showing by Wexford saw Davy Fitzgerald's charges consign his native Clare to their first defeat of the Allianz Hurling League Division 1A at Innovate Wexford Park this afternoon.

Concerns for Clare after they led by just 0-8 to 0-7 after a wind-assisted first-half were justified as the home-side put them to the sword in the third quarter to charge clear by 0-17 to 0-9 after 59 minutes to rebound from defeat to Tipperary.

Davy Fitzgerald demonstrated lots of sideline animation as he left nobody in any doubt concerning his sentiments for his recent Clare charges, as instead the Sixmilebridge-man focussed on ridding Wexford of any relegation worries.

Poor finishing littered the opening period, but Wexford took the early initiative with points from wing-back Pádraig Foley and Lee Chin (free). Wind-assisted Clare turned the screw by the 13th-minute as braces from both John Conlon and free-taker Peter Duggan transformed matters by 0-4 to 0-2.

While Wexford reeled the Banner County in by the 18th-minute (0-4 each), Clare seemed to be accumulating a satisfactory interval advantage when pulling clear by 0-7 to 0-4 after 25 minutes as Duggan added two monstrous placed-balls and centre-back David McInerney also registered.

Liam Ryan nipped a potential Clare goaling threat in the bud though before Wexford whittled Clare's half-time lead down to a vulnerable 0-8 to 0-7 as Kevin Foley an d Lee Chin (2) posted closing scores.

Clare were hampered by the injury-enforced retirement of midfielder Colm Galvin during the latter stages of the first-half, but Wexford were also dealt a potentially serious blow when injury meant Lee Chin was unable to return. But his replacement, Rory O'Connor deputised masterfully as the teenager was at the hub of matters as the home-side grew in stature during the third quarter.

Three monstrous scores from dead-balls by goalie Mark Fanning fuelled the decisive surge which saw Wexford assert themselves by 0-17 to 0-9 with eleven minutes remaining, as the O'Connor brothers, Rory (3) and Jack, together with Conor McDonald, Paul Morris (free) and Kevin Foley also obliged to the delight of the locals amongst the 7,800 attendance.

Peter Duggan (3 frees) and John Conlon arrested the slide somewhat, while Duggan threaded an injury-time free to the net to create some unease for Wexford. However, Matthew O'Hanlon and Paudie Foley cut out late threats though to ensure Wexford's third win from four outings to extend their top-flight residency.

Scorers for Wexford: Lee Chin 0-4 (3fs, 1 '65), Rory O'Connor 0-4 (1 '65), Mark Fanning 0-3 (3fs), Pádraig Foley 0-2, Kevin Foley 0-2, Conor McDonald 0-2, Jack O'Connor 0-1, Paul Morris 0-1 (f), Cathal Dunbar 0-1.

*Scorers for Clare: *Peter Duggan 1-7 (1-6fs, 0-1 '65), John Conlon 0-4, David McInerney 0-1, Shane O'Donnell 0-1.

WEXFORD: Mark Fanning, Conor Firman, Liam Ryan, Damien Reck, Diarmuid O’Keeffe, Matthew O’Hanlon, Shaun Murphy, Kevin Foley, Aidan Nolan, Jack O’Connor, Conor McDonald, Pádraig Foley, Paul Morris, David Dunne, Lee Chin. Subs: Rory O’Connor for Chin (ht), Cathal Dunbar for Morris (57), Harry Kehoe for Dunne (59), Aaron Maddock for Murphy (65).

*CLARE: *Donal Tuohy, Jason McCarthy, Conor Cleary, Jack Browne, Seadna Morey, David McInerney, Michael O’Malley, Colm Galvin, Cathal Malone, Niall Deasy, John Conlon, David Reidy, Shane O’Donnell, Peter Duggan, Podge Collins. *Subs: *Ryan Taylor for Galvin (36), Daragh Corry for Deasy (ht), Gearoid O'Connell for McCarthy (56), Mikey O'Neill for Collins (59), Diarmuid Ryan for Morey (69).

*Referee: *Colm Lyons (Cork).