Dream dies for hurlers
Dublin North extinguished the hopes and dreams of Wexford Schools on Saturday in the Leinster Schools Senior hurling 'A' 'group teams' round one clash on the astro-turf pitch at the D.C.U. Sportsgrounds when they had four points to spare after a competitive battle.
Dublin North 2-12 - Wexford Schools 0-14
The concession of two early goals left the Wexford students with a mountain to climb and in essence they never even managed to get back to parity let alone get ahead of their Dublin opponents.
Wexford won the group stages last year and advanced to the quarter-final of the Leinster championship before succumbing to Colaiste Eoin (Dublin) after extra-time.
Preparations had been very good heading into the game but a below-par performance proved very costly.
Gary Molloy struck two long distance frees wide before Liam Pender converted a close-in free in the fourth minute. The home side grabbed their first goal shortly afterwards but two more Pender frees left the score at 1-2 to 0-3 approaching the tenth minute when Dublin North scored their second goal.
Cathal Dunbar was prominent up front for Wexford but despite this the home side retired at the break with a four-point advantage (2-5 to 0-7).
Try as they might, the Wexford lads couldn't overcome the deficit throughout the second-half as the scoring was point for point with Dunbar, Damien Reck and Shane Murphy chipping in.
Liam Pender was accurate from placed balls too but the Wexford students found it difficult to get into their stride and, even though they reduced the deficit to two points by the 50th minute, the goal they so badly needed never arrived.
The best chance Wexford Schools had of getting that crucial goal was in the 55th minute when Liam Pender's ground shot hit the Dublin goalkeeper and was deflected over the bar.
Best performers for Wexford Schools on a disappointing day were Daniel Lynch, Ronan Gahan, Ciarán Kirwan, Cathal Dunbar, Liam Pender and Nicky Lawlor.
Wexford Schools: Darragh Hughes (Gorey C.S.); Daniel Lynch (Wexford C.B.S.), Eoin Corcoran (Gorey C.S.), Ronan Gahan (Enniscorthy C.B.S.); Ciarán Kirwan (Wexford C.B.S.), Ollie Doran (Gorey C.S.), Conal Flood (Enniscorthy C.B.S.); Yusif Frih (Gorey C.S.), Gary Molloy (Gorey C.S.); Damien Reck (Enniscorthy C.B.S., 0-1), Shane Murphy (New Ross V.C., 0-2), Eoin Kelly (F.C.J. Bunclody); Stephen Kearney (Wexford C.B.S.), Cathal Dunbar (Gorey C.S., 0-4), Liam Pender (F.C.J. Bunclody, 0-7, 6 frees). Subs. - Murtagh Doyle (Enniscorthy C.B.S.) for Kearney, Nicky Lawlor (Wexford C.B.S.) for Corcoran, Paul Larrissy (Enniscorthy C.B.S.) for Flood, Conor Coleman (Wexford C.B.S.) for Frih.