Young Dubs on top
With the aid of a gale-force wind on the resumption, Dublin dismantled the Wexford challenge in comprehensive fashion, eventually running out comfortable 16-point winners in this Leinster Minor football league game at the Halo Tiles Centre of Excellence, Ferns, on Saturday.
Dublin 3-15 Wexford 0-8
Wexford had first use of the elements but failed to translate their possession into scores, and with the concession of a sloppy goal they held just a two-point interval lead, which was never going to be enough to see off a well-tutored Dublin side under the guidance of former inter-county stars, Ciarán Whelan and Paddy Christie. Whelan patrolled the sideline, while Christie took charge of a 'B' side which played a second Model county team on the adjoining pitch.
The gale-force wind made conditions difficult for both sides, but Dublin proved the superior ball-carriers into the elements.
And on the resumption they adopted a more fast, attacking style of play, which they utilised to overpower the home defence, resulting in some clinical finishing as they dismantled the Wexford challenge.
Wexford did play some fine football through passages of the opening period but were solely reliant on Jamie Myler and Michael Molloy for their first-half scores, while Mikie Dwyer also showed well from centre-forward, setting up numerous opportunities for his inside forwards.
The St. James' club pairing of Darragh Lyons and Andrew Walsh had the better of the first-half midfield exchanges, but once the Dubs half-back line took control on the resumption they were always going to find it an uphill struggle.
Three Jamie Meyler points (one free) helped Wexford into a 0-3 to 0-1 lead after twelve minutes, with Dublin's solitary score through this opening spell being a Conor Hynes pointed free.
At the end of the first quarter, Dublin attacked quickly out of midfield, and when the Wexford defence failed to cut out a long ball inside, Seán Bolger took full advantage to find the net from close in, making it 1-1 to 0-3.
Wexford were showing a real appetite for the challenge presented by Dublin as Michael Molloy kicked two fine points followed by efforts from Eoin Porter and Myler, leaving the home side with a 0-8 to 1-3 interval lead.
However, this failed to reflect the amount of chances created through that opening 30 minutes.
On the resumption Dublin had the benefit of two quick points from Conor Lennon and Rory Clarke to bring the sides level, but more importantly it gave them the confidence to go on and take total control of the second period.
Their second goal arrived seven minutes from the end through Ross McGarry, giving them a 2-11 to 0-8 lead.
With Wexford unable to fashion any second-half chances, Dublin finished off the game with a late flurry of 1-4, their third goal arriving in additional time from substitute Michael Courtney. Wexford battled to the end but they looked low in ability to carry the ball into the wind which in the end saw them fail to create a single worthwhile second-half chance.
Wexford: Richard Ryan; Martin O'Connor, Mark O'Neill, John Dunne; Tadhg Cody, Ronan Devereux, Eoin Porter (0-1); Darragh Lyons, Andrew Walsh; Cathal Walsh, Mikie Dwyer (0-1), Jamie Myler (0-4, 1 free); Barry O'Connor, Sam Wall, Michael Molloy (0-2). Subs. - Darragh O'Connor for Ryan, Richard Waters for Dunne, Cathal Devereux for Cody, Cody for Waters (black card), Dunne for B. O'Connor.
Dublin: Evan Comerford; Seán Egan, Nathan Doran, C.J. Smith; Conor Lennon (0-2), Rob Shaw, Rory Clarke (0-3); Mark Donnelly, Nathan Nolan (0-1); Kieran Murray, Seán Bolger (1-0), Dan O'Brien; Conor Hynes (0-3 frees), Cormac Howley (0-2), Ross McGarry (1- 4, 0-3 frees). Subs. - Michael Tighe for Smith, Tom Keane for Hynes, Michael Courtney (1-0) for Howley, Aaron Duffy for O'Brien, Hynes for McGarry, O'Brien for Murray.
Referee: Garreth Whelan (Wicklow).