Wexford defeated Limerick by 1-14 to 0-14 in Round 1 of the Allianz Hurling League Division 1B on Sunday February 12th at Innovate Wexford Park.
— RTÉ Sport (@RTEsport) February 12, 2017
— The GAA (@officialgaa) February 12, 2017
Allianz HL Div 1B: McDonald stars for Wexford
Allianz Hurling League Division 1B
WEXFORD 1-14 LIMERICK 0-14
Report by Michael Dwyer for GAA.ie
A tally of 1-8 from Conor McDonald guided the purple-and-gold to a crucial victory over Limerick in the opening-round of the Allianz Hurling league on Sunday afternoon.
With the wind at their backs Limerick enjoyed a six-point advantage at half-time. However, Wexford’s big guns rose to the challenge.
Rejuvenated by a couple of key substitutions, Wexford held the visitors scoreless for almost 20 minutes. Conor McDonald’s 62nd minute goal stretched Wexford’s lead to four, which was enough to hold off the challenge provided by John Kiely’s Limerick.
Wexford started with a four-man rotating attack. Paul Morris, Lee Chin, Barry Carton and Conor McDonald alternated, with one taking the full-forward spot while the remaining trio took up centre-forward line positions. As a result, David Redmond and Aidan Nolan worked doggedly in defence.
However, Limerick tore through on numerous occasions in the first half. Cian Lynch and Peter Casey directed matters in attack, putting pressure on the Wexford defence.
Points from both Lynch and Casey as well as some eye-catching Seamus Hickey and Graeme Mulcahy efforts contributed to Limerick’s 13th minute lead of seven-points-to-two.
Although a Conor McDonald brace offered hope for the hosts, Limerick dictated matters for the closing quarter-hour.
Following Alan Dempsey’s neat interception, Declan Hannon fired over a point that was the pick of Limerick’s bunch. That stroke gave Limerick a six-point lead at the break.
Although Wexford gained the advantage of the elements after half-time, Limerick were first to threaten as David Dempsey bounded through and forced Mark Fanning to pull off a great save.
While Wexford started to claw back with a trio of points, Peter Casey’s pointed free maintained Limerick’s lead of twelve-points-to-seven on 45 minutes.
It was Wexford who bombarded the visitors from that point onwards. Lee Chin, Aidan Nolan and Barry Carton won puck-outs for the hosts and Davy Fitzgerald made some timely replacements, including Podge Doran, Harry Kehoe, and Nicky Kirwan.
Elegant points from McDonald (two frees), Diarmuid O’Keefe and Harry Kehoe stirred Wexford retaliation before Podge Doran blasted over a 59th minute equaliser. Not even the sheeting rain could deter the home supporters from celebrating Lee Chin’s epic 60th minute effort that put Wexford ahead for the first time.
Conor McDonald widened the gap to five with a quick-fire claim of 1-1. A closing Limerick brace of points could not undo the home-side’s sparkling finish as Wexford fans relished a cracking first-round league victory.
Scorers for Wexford: Conor McDonald 1-8 (4fs, 1 65′), Lee Chin 0-2, Podge Doran 0-2, Harry Kehoe 0-1, Diarmuid O’Keefe 0-1.
Scorers for Limerick: Peter Casey 0-5 (3fs), Graeme Mulcahy 0-2, John Fitzgibbon 0-1 (1f), Gearóid Hegarty 0-1, Cian Lynch 0-1, Paul Browne 0-1, Seamus Hickey 0-1, Declan Hannon 0-1, Diarmuid Byrnes 0-1 (1f).
WEXFORD: Mark Fanning; Eoin Moore, Liam Ryan, James Breen; Simon Donohue, Matthew O’Hanlon, Diarmuid O’Keefe; Shaun Murphy, Aaron Maddock; Aidan Nolan, David Redmond, Barry Carton; Conor McDonald, Lee Chin, Paul Morris
Subs: Podge Doran for A Maddock (41), Harry Kehoe for P Morris (47), Nicky Kirwan for D Redmond (56), Jack O’Connor for B Carton (71).
LIMERICK: Nickie Quaid; Stephen Cahill, Richie McCarthy, Mike Casey; Diarmuid Byrnes, Declan Hannon, Seamus Hickey; Paul Browne, James Ryan; Gearóid Hegarty, Cian Lynch, Kyle Hayes; Peter Casey, David Dempsey, Graeme Mulcahy
Subs: (temp. Alan Dempsey for P Casey 30-34), John Fitzgibbon for J Ryan (44), Alan Dempsey for G Hegarty (47), Tom Morrissey for K Hayes (63), Pat Ryan for P Browne (64).
REFEREE: Diarmuid Kirwan (Cork)
Limerick v Wexford NQuaid SCahill RMcCarthy MCasey DByrnes DHannon SHickey PBrowne JRyan GHegarty CLynch KHayes PCasey Dempsey GMulcahy pic.twitter.com/YklFjlbDTb
— Limerick GAA (@LimerickCLG) February 10, 2017
Wexford senior Hurling team to face Limerick tomorrow is released pic.twitter.com/EkaQUXoBHw
— Limerick GAA (@LimerickCLG) February 11, 2017