Early exit for schools side
David Croke's 26th-minute goal proved decisive as it helped Dublin South to a hard-earned three-point victory over the Wexford Combined Schools in their Leinster Colleges Senior hurling 'A' championship first round game at the Ferns Centre of Excellence on Saturday.
Dublin South 1-13 Wexford Schools 0-13
Despite the torrential rain the Wexford boys opened impressively with early points from Chris Turner and Seamus Casey. They were enjoying the lion's share of possession through that opening five-minute spell but were unable to translate their possession into more scores.
The visitors' centre-forward, Ciarán Dowling, opened his side's account with a sixth-minute point. The Combined Schools were still winning lots of outfield possession through some fine hurling from Peter O'Toole and Gary Molloy in midfield, but they still were deadlocked with the opposition on 0-3 each at the end of the opening quarter.
The fact that Dublin South survived a tough test in a game played in a downpour can be attributed to the accuracy of centre-forward Dowling, who contributed five points of their first-half tally from frees to help them to a 1-6 to 0-8 interval lead.
Chris Turner had scored four points of the Wexford tally, with the Dublin goal arriving in the lead-up to the break when full-forward David Croke pounced on a breaking ball in front of goal to fire low to the net.
As the rain teemed down, Dowling continued to point the way for his side, showing superb accuracy in the conditions. The Dubilin Colleges were now controlling possession far better than their opponents, moving into a 1-11 to 0-12 lead as the game entered the closing five minutes.
The Dublin side held a late charge from the home team who could only manage a point from a Turner free in the closing minutes, but they were unable to create a levelling goal in a tension-packed finish.
Dublin South: Conor Donovan; Niall Barrett, Luke Corcoran, Sean O'Neill; Cillian O Brien, Sean McVeigh, James Holland; Ronan Hayes, Dara Mannion; David Keogh, Ciaran Dowling (0-9 frees), Adam Mitchell (0-2); Aidan Mellett, David Croke (1-2), Aaron Coffey.
Wexford Combined Schools: Andrew Doyle; Conor Scallan, Ronan Gahan, Eoin Molloy; Daniel Lynch, Damien Reck, Jack Cullen; Peter O'Toole, Gary Molloy; Eoin Kelly (0-1), Liam Rockett, Eoin Corcoran (0-1); Chris Turner (0-9, 7 frees, 1 '65), Murtha Doyle, Seamus Casey (0-2). Subs. - Cormac Byrne for Lynch, Liam Pender for Rockett, Theo Doyle for Corcoran.
Referee: Patrick Murphy (Carlow).