Minor campaign ends as Dubs have an edge
WEXFORD'S MINOR football adventure came to an end on Saturday last when a slicker Dublin side always seemed to have that bit in reserve in the Electric Ireland Leinster championship quarter-final held in the D.C.U. grounds.
The match was moved from Parnell Park at 7 p.m. to this northside venue at 3 p.m. and, while the playing surface was immaculate, the lack of spectator facilities was hardly in keeping with the prestige of the competition.
The visitors came into the game on the back of a thrilling late win over Louth in Bellefield, whereas the Dubs had struggled to see off the same opposition in round one in Drogheda, requiring extra-time before marching on.
Dublin opened brightly with early points from Eoghan O'Donnell, Sam Molony and Con O'Callaghan, and this set the tone for their overall dominance.
Wexford were almost totally reliant on free-taker and dual star Donal Shanley for their scores, and they trailed by 0-7 to 0-3 midway through the second quarter.
However, the conclusion to the first-half was very positive as the Slaneysiders enjoyed their brightest spell in the game and reduced arrears to a more manageable 0-8 to 0-6.
The interval came at the wrong time though in that it broke Wexford's momentum, and Dublin effectively wrapped up victory in the third quarter when they outscored their rivals by five points to one.
The supply of ball going into dangerous full-forward Con O'Callaghan was excellent throughout, and he reaped the full rewards. And although Wexford hit the first point of the new half, the game then quickly started to slip away from them.
Wexford did rally briefly again though with a brace of Shanley frees narrowing the gap to 0-13 to 0-9, but it was all Dublin in the closing stages as they tacked on four unanswered points and also rattled the crossbar with one effort from Con O'Callaghan.
Dublin will now meet a highly-rated Kildare in the semi-final on July 6 while Meath will take on Westmeath.
While Wexford were naturally very disappointed with the outcome, they will look back with pride on an encouraging four-game campaign with saw two scalps being taken in the form of Carlow and Louth respectively.
Hopefully the management team for 2014 will be put in place now prior to the resumption of the Minor club championships after the state exams in order to build on the obvious progress made this season.