Late goal kills off Wexford North's challenge
A goal deep into additional time sent Wexford North crashing to their second defeat as Dublin Pearse snatched a dramatic late victory in this exciting Celtic Challenge Under-17 hurling game in the Ferns Centre of Excellence on Wednesday.
Wexford North 0-15 Dublin Pearse 2-10
Striking a total of 14 wides, both from play and frees, came back to haunt the Wexford boys. Had they availed of their chances it would have been a different story, with some of their finishing from frees and play inexplicable, and the misses came back to haunt them in the end.
Given their amount of scoring opportunities, they should have been out of sight long before the late Dublin winning strike.
Wexford showed immense improvement on their opening outing when they lost out to Kildare, which was followed with a victory over Wicklow. And apart from their poor-quality finishing one would have been impressed with many other aspects of their game, particularly the improvement in their first touch and striking.
Little separated the sides through the opening quarter, at the end of which they were still deadlocked (0-2 each). Wexford's points came from Diarmuid Doyle frees, while the visitors responded through Cian Byrne (free) and Cian Derwin.
A Conor Doyle goal helped the visitors into a 1-3 to 0-4 lead after 22 minutes, but the home side's response was emphatic with points from Cathal Doyle, Jack Reck, Chris Turner and Diarmuid Doyle, which left the sides level (0-8 to 1-5) at the interval.
Following an even third quarter, the Dublin Pearse boys edged into a one-point lead (1-8 to 0-10), but Wexford responded with points from Diarmuid Doyle (free), Eoin Cullen, Chris Doyle and Jack Reck to lead by 0-14 to 1-10 with two minutes remaining. In between both Doyle and Turner missed scoreable frees.
When Diarmuid Doyle pointed a '65 on 60 minutes, the home side looked secure, but the visitors' centre-back, Conor Carberry, who had moved to the attack ten minutes from the end, shot the winning goal three minutes into additional time, beating substitute 'keeper Daryl Gray with a low shot at his near post to give his side a one-point victory.
Wexford North: Jack Quinn; James Dempsey, Cathal O'Reilly, Barry Doyle; Rory Heffernan, Ross Cody, Mike Kelly; Diarmuid Doyle (0-6, 5 frees, 1 '65), Eoghan Murphy (0-1); Charlie McGuckin (0-1), Edward Dunbar, Jack Reck (0-4); Cathal Doyle (0-1), Chris Turner (0-2, 1 free), Brian O'Neill. Subs. - Daryl Gray for Quinn, inj., Cian Fitzhenry for C. Doyle.
Dublin Pearse: Josh Rooney; Conor McLoughlin, Ronan Wallace, Dara Bergin; Eoghan O'Neill, Conor Carberry (1-0), Thomas Glynn; Ryan Farnan (0-1), Sam Lally; Jason Byrne (0-4 frees), Daniel Denneher (0-1), Cian Derwin (0-1); Conor McCarthy, David Croke, Ross McCormack (0-1). Subs. - Conor Doyle (1-2) for McCarthy, Seán Grenham for Croke.
Referee: Antóin Keating (Dublin).