/ GAA

Wexford 2-14 Meath 2-13

Updated: Sunday, 01 Jun 2008 22:38

Wexford, having trailed by ten points at half-time, came storming back to edge out Meath
Wexford, having trailed by ten points at half-time, came storming back to edge out Meath

An amazing second half comeback by Wexford saw the Model County advance to a Leinster Football Championship semi-final meeting with Laois after beating Meath by a point in Carlow.
 
Although Meath lead by ten points at half-time and scored two goals in the process, the score at the break could have been embarrassing for the eventual winners had the Royal County taken all their goal chances.

Within a minute of the start Joe Sheridan had a goalbound shot blocked by Wexford goalkeeper Anthony Masterson, who also denied Stephen Bray soon after.

Wexford had opened the scoring through a point from their captain Colm Morris but that was as good as it got for Jason Ryan's men in a one-sided opening half.

Following Bray's goal chance, Joe Sheridan opened Meath's account with a point and while Wexford were still on level terms by the 16th minute at three points apiece, Meath took control thereafter.

A Ciaran Lyng point from a free was Wexford's only other score as Meath scored a further two goals and five points before the break.

Some quick passing led to the first goal when Meath captain Bray slipped the ball to the net on 26 minutes to leave the score at 1-07 to 0-03 in their favour.

Cian Ward had another goal chance two minutes later as the Meath forward line carved open the Wexford defence.

Goal number two did arrive on 32 minutes when Joe Sheridan set up Graham Geraghty and the veteran corner-forward made no mistake.

Ward had a further goal chance for Colm Coyle's men before half-time but the margin was still a massive ten points as Meath turned up the heat in the sweltering conditions.

Three unanswered points on the resumption of play gave Wexford some hope but Meath still held a ten point lead with 15 minutes of the second half played.

A Redmond Barry goal after 52 minutes reduced the deficit to seven points but Meath still looked likely winners. A second Wexford goal on the hour mark, when PJ Banville found the net from a good pass by Eric Bradley, had the Model County supporters cheering with just three points in it at this stage.

Sheridan's point after 59 minutes proved to be Meath's last score of the game as Wexford thereafter powered ahead to a famous victory.

Points from substitutes Shane Roche and Adrian Morrissey together with a pointed free from Matty Forde had the sides on level terms as the full-time whistle approached.

Meath ended the game with 14 men as Mark Ward was sent off with five minutes left, leaving Forde to complete an amazing comeback in front of an official attendance of just over 10,000.

As the game entered stoppage time up stepped Forde, who had been somewhat subdued during the first half. The corner-forward's fourth and final point of the game capped an amazing comeback by Wexford to win by a point after being ten points in arrears from well into the second half.

Meath: M Ahern; C O'Connor; D Fay; C McGill; E Harrington; K Reilly; C King; B Meade; M Ward (0-01); A Nestor (0-02); C Ward (0-02 frees); P Byrne (0-03); S Bray (1-02); J Sheridan (0-03); G Geraghty (1-00).

Substitutes: B Farrell for Nestor half time; A Moyles for Meade 51; D Sheridan for J Sheridan 68; S O'Rourke for Farrell 70. 

Wexford: A Masterson; C Morris (0-01); P Wallace; B Malone; N O'Sullivan; D Murphy; N Murphy; R Stafford; E Bradley; PJ Banville (1-01); R Barry (1-01); A Flynn; C Lyng (0-04, 2f); P Colfer (0-01); M Forde (0-04, 1f).

Substitutes: T Howlin and A Morrissey (0-01) for O'Sullivan and Stafford half time; D Walsh for N Murphy 39; S Roche (0-01) for Flynn 41; C Byrne for Bradley 65.