/ GAA

Wexford 2-15 Dublin 1-15

Updated: Sunday, 22 Jun 2008 21:37

Wexford's Stephen Banville and Dublin's Stephen Hiney in action at Croke Park
Wexford's Stephen Banville and Dublin's Stephen Hiney in action at Croke Park

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Wexford have made it through to the Leinster SHC final for the eighth year running despite failing to score in the last 20 minutes against Dublin.

Eager to tuck away the chances they missed in last week's drawn game, the Dubs shot into an early 0-05 to 0-01 lead at Croke Park.

But sandwiching a David O'Callaghan goal, majors from Wexford's Stephen Banville and Rory Jacob had the Model men 2-09 to 1-08 ahead at half-time.

O'Callaghan scored 1-09 in all but despite Malachy Travers' sending-off, Wexford held firm to set up a 6 July meeting with defending Leinster and All-Ireland champions Kilkenny.

John Meyler was probably biting his nails for most of this entertaining semi-final replay as 14 man Wexford just managed to survive by a goal against an enthusiastic Dublin side.

Wexford had signalled their intent when, following an excellent move involving David Redmond and Eoin Quigley, full-forward Stephen Banville blasted home his 11th minute goal.

This was a game which had everything including missed opportunities, and while 'Dotsy' O'Callaghan may have sent important efforts wide in the second half, he was immaculate in the opening half.

O'Callaghan sent home Dublin's only goal in the 13th minute to help edge the Metropolitans back in front.

Indeed, Dublin were not just relying on scoring forwards. Well-taken points from defenders Michael Carton and Ronan Fallon kept them firing throughout the first point.

But at this level experience shines through, and it certainly was not lacking for Wexford, who sent home their second goal in the 32nd minute.

Banville turned provider as he fed the inrushing Rory Jacob and the Wexford captain had no hesitation in planting the ball in the net at the Hill 16 end.

Wexford led by 2-06 to 1-08 at this stage, but they failed to let up before the interval as points from Redmond and Diarmuid Lyng ensured a four-point half-time lead for Meyler's men.

It was a good stage for Dublin to regroup, and although Wexford scored three of the first four points in the second half, Tommy Naughton's charges were going to fight right to the finish.

One of those Wexford points came from Stephen Doyle, who started in attack and was really was fired up during the second half.

He added two further points before the full-time whistle of Waterford official Michael Wadding.

The introduction of Declan Qualter seemed to spur Dublin on and with a series of scores from centre-back Fallon and O'Callaghan, just a goal separated the sides in the 47th minute as the rain began to come down heavily at Croke Park.

But Wexford were never to be led during the second half as the likes of Doyle and Lyng kept the scoreboard workers busy.

The dismissal of defender Malachy Travers, following a second yellow card may have threatened to derail Wexford but a strong defensive effort in the close stages was enough to cement the win.

Two tough games against Dublin for this Wexford side but they will need a vast improvement if they are to get one over the Cats next month.

Wexford: D Fitzhenry; M Travers, K Rossiter, P Roche; M Jacob, D O'Connor, D Stamp; D Redmond (0-01), PJ Nolan (0-01); S Doyle (0-03), E Quigley (0-01), D Lyng (0-04); W Doran (0-02), S Banville (1-01), R Jacob (1-02).

Subs used: B Lambert for Redmond (62 mins), M Doyle for Nolan (66), C Farrell for S Doyle (70).

Dublin: G Maguire; N Corcoran, S Hiney, T Brady; M Carton (0-01), R Fallon (0-02), J Boland; J McCaffrey (0-02), S Lambert; J Burke, D O'Dwyer, K Flynn (0-01) (P Carton 28 mins); D O'Callaghan (1-09), J Kelly, R O'Carroll.

Subs used: P Carton for Flynn (28 mins), D Qualter fo Lambert, P Ryan for Kelly (both 42), P Kelly for M Carton (53), P O'Driscoll for O'Dwyer (55).

Referee: Michael Wadding (Waterford)

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