Sunday 18 August 2019

It's 2-2 in previous meetings

Championship Special: Wexford won in 2003 and ’14, but lost in ’08 and ’16

David Redmond, the sole survivor from 2008 set to play with Wexford on Sunday, comes under pressure from current Waterford selector Eoin Murphy and Jamie Nagle
David Redmond, the sole survivor from 2008 set to play with Wexford on Sunday, comes under pressure from current Waterford selector Eoin Murphy and Jamie Nagle

Alan Aherne

We may be close neighbours, but the championship rivalry between Wexford and Waterford is very much of the modern variety - so much so, in fact, that our paths didn't cross until 2003 when we triumphed in a quarter-final clash in the Nowlan Park cauldron on a 1-20 to 0-18 scoreline.

That Saturday evening belonged to super-sub Larry Murphy who caused havoc on the edge of the square following his introduction and ended up winning the RTE 'man of the match' award.

He was aided and abetted by two more long-servers in right corner-back Dave Guiney and the evergreen Larry O'Gorman at midfield.

Rory Jacob also came of age alongside Murphy in the attack with a superb display which yielded 1-3, and his goal was of huge significance in both timing and impact.

Waterford had been on top for most of the first-half and John Mullane and Ken McGrath were picking off points with ease, but a booming puck-out from Damien Fitzhenry was broken down by Larry Murphy and Jacob showed great composure to rattle the net.

It left Waterford with a slender 0-10 to 1-6 interval lead, and that small margin gave Wexford an incentive to battle for everything on the resumption.

A couple of Paul Codd frees put Wexford ahead, and thereafter their spirit broke the resolve of our neighbours who were dealt a huge blow when Mullane had to depart with an eye injury.

Wexford: Damien Fitzhenry; Dave Guiney, Darragh Ryan, David O'Connor; Darren Stamp (0-1), Declan Ruth, Liam Dunne; Larry O'Gorman, Rory McCarthy; Barry Lambert, Adrian Fenlon (0-1), Michael Jacob (0-2); Chris McGrath, Paul Codd (capt., 0-8, 5 frees, 1 '65), Rory Jacob (1-3). Subs. - Larry Murphy (0-2) for Fenlon, inj., Micheál Jordan (0-2) for Lambert, Tomás Mahon (0-1) for O'Gorman, M.J. Furlong for McGrath.

There's one direct playing link between next Sunday and our second-ever championship clash with Waterford, again at the quarter-final stage but this time in Semple Stadium, Thurles, in 2008.

David Redmond started at midfield nine years ago and contributed two points in an agonising one-point loss on a 2-19 to 3-15 scoreline, a game that proved to be the last for manager John Meyler who was dismissed a few months later after being summoned to that by now infamous meeting in Dungarvan.

Regular centre-back Darren Stamp was a huge loss from the starting team with an ankle injury, but an early goal from his clubmate Stephen Doyle filled Wexford with hope.

Eoin Kelly blasted a Waterford free to the net just before half-time, pushing his side into a 1-10 to 1-6 lead, but a deflected goal from Rory Jacob in the 43rd minute restored the lead (2-9 to 1-11).

Doyle added another just 90 seconds later, only for current Waterford selector Dan Shanahan to respond quickly and make it a one-point game again.

It was nip and tuck from then until the finish, with Wexford unable to gain possession from the puck-out after Diarmuid Lyng pointed an injury-time free and ultimately failing by a meagre point.

Wexford: Damien Fitzhenry (0-1 pen.); Malachy Travers, Paul Roche, Brendan O'Leary; Michael Jacob, David O'Connor, Colm Farrell; Eoin Quigley (0-1), David Redmond (0-2); P.J. Nolan, Willie Doran (0-1), Diarmuid Lyng (0-6 frees); Stephen Doyle (2-1), Stephen Banville, Rory Jacob (capt., 1-2). Subs. - Stephen Nolan (0-1) for P.J. Nolan, Darren Stamp for Farrell, Barry Lambert for Banville, Keith Rossiter for S. Nolan.

The more modern-day rivalry started on another memorable Saturday night in Nowlan Park, this time in a 2014 qualifier after Liam Dunne's side had ousted reigning champions Clare in a replay.

There was a cracking atmosphere in a match remembered for its nervy finish, with incredibly just one point scored in the last 15 minutes of up and down action.

That was registered by substitute Ian Byrne after a fine Liam Ryan block on Stephen Bennett, and it copper-fastened a 3-15 to 2-15 Wexford win to secure a quarter-final clash with Limerick which didn't go according to plan.

Paul Morris was the star man up front, with his uncanny ability to drift unnoticed into space leading to a haul of 1-3 from play.

Wexford led at the interval by 2-9 to 0-12, with an early goal from the Ferns St. Aidan's man followed by a clinical finish from Conor McDonald approaching half-time.

David Redmond scored a peach of a goal in the third quarter after darting forward from midfield, but a brace of Colin Dunford goals ensured that Wexford had to battle to the bitter end before ousting our neighbours.

Wexford: Mark Fanning; Liam Ryan, Matthew O'Hanlon (capt.), Keith Rossiter; Andrew Shore, Eoin Moore, Ciarán Kenny; Lee Chin, David Redmond (1-0); Harry Kehoe, Podge Doran (0-2), Jack Guiney (0-1); Paul Morris (1-6, 0-3 frees), Conor McDonald (1-2), Liam Og McGovern (0-2). Subs. - Diarmuid O'Keeffe (0-1) for Kehoe (23), Willie Devereux for Rossiter, inj. (27), Ian Byrne (0-1) for Devereux (54), Garrett Sinnott for Redmond (65), Rory Jacob for McGovern (67).

We also entered last year's quarter-final in Thurles on a high note after defeating Cork in the championship for the first time since 1956.

However, harsh reality hit home on this occasion as the players were outpointed on a 0-21 to 0-11 scoreline, with Waterford ahead 12-5 at the interval despite shooting 13 of their 18 wides.

Wexford's only bright spell arrived between the 43rd and 55th minutes when five points without reply got the crowd behind them.

The goal that was needed never looked like coming though, and the fightback died away as six of the closing seven points were claimed by Waterford.

Wexford: Mark Fanning; Liam Ryan (0-1), Matthew O'Hanlon (capt.), Eoin Moore; Eanna Martin (0-1), Pádraig Foley, Diarmuid O'Keeffe; Jack O'Connor (0-1), Eoin Conroy; Liam Og McGovern, Lee Chin (0-2), David Dunne (0-1); Paul Morris, Conor McDonald (0-5, 4 frees), Harry Kehoe. Subs. - Andrew Kenny for Conroy (27), Nicky Kirwan for Kehoe (40), Simon Donohoe for Moore, inj. (46), Aidan Nolan for Morris (64), Joe O'Connor for McGovern (68).

Waterford: Stephen O'Keeffe; Shane Fives, Barry Coughlan, Noel Connors; Darragh Fives, Tadhg De Búrca, Philip Mahony; Jamie Barron (0-2), Kevin Moran (capt.); Shane Bennett (0-2), Michael Walsh (0-2), Páuric Mahony (0-8, 6 frees); Patrick Curran, Maurice Shanahan (0-2), Austin Gleeson (0-2). Subs. - Conor Gleeson for D. Fives, inj. (12), Jake Dillon (0-1) for Shanahan (50), Brian O'Halloran (0-2) for Curran (55), Stephen Bennett for Shane Bennett (60), Colin Dunford for Gleeson, temp. (64-69), Dunford for Walsh (70+2).

With the score standing at 2-2, who will edge ahead in Cork?

Wexford People

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