Minor seconds in first round defeat
Offaly claim win in Leinster League
Having failed to capitalise on the elements through the opening period, Wexford eventually lost out to a hard-working Offaly outfit in this Leinster Minor hurling league game at the Halo Tiles and Bathrooms Ferns Centre of Excellence on Saturday.
Offaly 1-16 Wexford 2-10
This was essentially a second string Wexford outfit, as the first team squad had lost by four points to Tipperary earlier in the day, which made it all the more difficult for the home side coming up against Offaly's first 15.
Wexford had their opportunities through the opening 30 minutes but couldn't make the most of them, with Offaly turning the tables with a much-improved second-half showing.
Entering the game it was necessary for Wexford to enjoy a bright start, and this they managed to achieve. After Conor Langton had opened the scoring for the visitors with a pointed free, Wexford full-forward Eoin Cullen won possession to the left of goal before drilling a low shot to the corner of the net after two minutes.
When Chris Turner followed almost immediately with a pointed free, Wexford looked to have settled, particularly when a neat Ross Coady point from 35 metres edged them into a 1-2 to 0-1 lead after eight minutes.
Offaly kept in contention through a Conor Lowry pointed free, while two further Aaron Kenny pointed frees reduced the margin to the minimum (1-2 to 0-4) after 18 minutes.
Wexford managed to hit a real purple patch through their outfield dominance, responding with four unanswered points from Chris Turner (two frees), Ross Coady and James Kelly, before Conor Langton with a long free closed out the first-half scoring.
That left Wexford leading by 1-6 to 0-5 at the interval, but the gap would have been greater had they availed of their chances.
Offaly opened the second-half with a brace of points through Aaron Kenny (free) and Kevin McDermott to reduce the deficit to the minimum.
Wexford responded with an attack that produced a Chris turner pointed free, but Offaly brought the sides level (1-7 to 0-10) with a string of points by the 41st minute.
It was turning into a frustrating afternoon for Wexford, as Offaly moved into a 0-14 to 1-9 lead.
And when the midlanders pounced for an Aaron Kenny goal three minutes from the end it more or less settled the result, despite a late surge that produced a Diarmuid Doyle goal in additional time.
Wexford: James Lawlor; Eoin O'Neill, Ricky McGrath, Michael Cleere; Jim Kenny, Ben Maddock, Jack Brazzill; James Kelly (0-1), Jimmy Sutton; Ross Coady (0-2), Jeff Tobin, Tom White; Chris Turner (0-6 frees), Eoin Cullen (1-0), Diarmuid Doyle (1-0). Subs. - Ross Banville (0-1) for Sutton, Jack Reck for Kenny, Diarmuid Kehoe for Cullen.
Offaly: Ciarán Flynn; Luke O'Connor, Cathal O'Meara, Seán Beatty; Ciarán Guinan, Barry Cleary, Aidan King (0-1); Kevin McDermott (0-2), Marcus O'Brien; Conor Langton (0-2 frees), Shane O'Toole, Brian Duignan (0-1); Leighton Kavanagh, Aaron Kenny (1-8, 0-6 frees), Conor Lowry (0-2 frees). Subs. - Luke Nolan for O'Connor, Aaron Maher for O'Toole, Killian Troy for Duignan, Cathal Brady for Beatty, Dara Tierney for Cleary.
Referee: Seán Stack (Dublin).