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Thursday 26 April 2018

Schools hit by sluggish start

Dublin South 3-24 Wexford Schools 2-13

Brian Carty

Wexford Schools never recovered from a slow start as Dublin South eventually eased to a comfortable 3-24 to 2-13 victory in round one of the Top Oil Leinster Schools Senior 'A' hurling Corn Uí Dhúill group teams section played at the state-of-the-art surroundings of Abbotstown on Saturday.

In fact, the locals exploded out of the traps when scoring 1-1 inside the opening 87 seconds, with their goal arriving from dangerous full-forward Fionn O Ceallaigh, who was fed by Mark Grogan before cutting in along the end-line and batting low to the net.

In fairness, Wexford responded rather positively, and had pulled to within 1-3 to 0-5 after eight minutes, with efforts from play by Callum Feeney and Jack O'Leary sandwiching three frees from goalkeeper James Lawlor and Ben O'Connor (two).

However, all that hard work was undone when Dublin's intricate and swift short hand-passing game carved them open again on ten minutes, with Grogan this time finishing to the top corner for a 2-4 to 0-5 advantage.

The Metropolitians' confidence up front was a notable facet to their play, and remarkably they didn't register a single wide in the entire first-half.

O Ceallaigh continued to torment Wexford's full-back line too, and when Ben Coffey supplied him on 16 minutes, he used his hurl almost like a loft-wedge to flick to the net as the gap mushroomed to 3-7 to 0-6.

Sinking without trace, the visitors were crying out for a bit of luck, and that duly arrived from the last shot of the half. Feeney did well to catch the sliothar on the edge of the square, and when he was subsequently rugby-tackled as he moved towards goal, Lawlor was beckoned forward to rifle the resulting penalty to the bottom corner to reduce the deficit to 3-11 to 1-9 and give his side a fighting chance at the interval.

Remarkably, Lawlor would finish as Wexford's top scorer by a distance as he repeated his goal-scoring heroics with another penalty from the penultimate puck of the game after O'Leary was impeded.

The story in between those goals doesn't make for pretty reading from Wexford's perspective, though.

Dublin South scored over three times as many points than the visitors in the second half-hour (13 compared to four), with Liam Murphy and Ben Coffey sharing six converted frees equally to leave the Wexford crew with plenty to ponder on their journey back down the M11.

Wexford Schools: James Lawlor (F.C.J. Bunclody, 2-1, 2-0 pens.); Paddy O'Hagan (F.C.J. Bunclody), Niall Parker (Enniscorthy C.B.S., 0-1), Micheál Gahan (Enniscorthy C.B.S.); Paudie Hughes (Gorey C.S.), Eoin Molloy (Gorey C.S., capt.), Patrick Barron (Enniscorthy C.B.S.); Jack Reck (Enniscorthy C.B.S.), Seán Delaney (Gorey C.S., 0-1); Callum Feeney (Wexford C.B.S., 0-1), Edward Dunbar (F.C.J. Bunclody, 0-1), Neil Murphy (F.C.J. Bunclody); Ben O'Connor (Gorey C.S., 0-3 frees), Jack O'Leary (Wexford C.B.S., 0-3), Conor Nolan (Enniscorthy C.B.S., 0-1). Subs. - Tadhg O Ceallaigh (F.C.J. Bunclody) for O'Hagan (24), Rees Broaders (Wexford C.B.S.) for N. Murphy (34), Páraic Reville (Bridgetown V.C., 0-1) for Reck (42), Rory Scallan (F.C.J. Bunclody) for Parker (45), Criostóir Reville (Bridgetown V.C.) for O'Connor (57).

Dublin South: Eddie Gibbons; Eoghan Seery, Robert Ward, James Dillon; Seán Kinsella, Luke Walsh (capt.), Michael Carroll; Ben Coffey (0-5, 3 frees), Des Duggan (0-2); Kevin Desmond, Luke McDwyer (0-3), Mark Grogan (1-0); Liam Murphy (0-10, 8 frees), Fionn O Ceallaigh (2-2), Alan Murphy (0-2). Subs. - Alex Hatt for Carroll (50), Seamus Fenton for A. Murphy (50), Alan Connolly for L. Murphy (51), Ciarán Nagle for Desmond, Fergal Ryan for Kinsella.

Referee: Killian Jones (Kildare).

Wexford People