/ GAA

Wexford 2-17 Offaly 0-16

Updated: Saturday, 30 May 2009 23:13

Wexford goalscorer Stephen Banville is congratulated by Rory Jacob
Wexford goalscorer Stephen Banville is congratulated by Rory Jacob

Wexford had too much firepower for Offaly and ran out 2-17 to 0-16 winners in their Leinster Senior Hurling Championship quarter-final at Wexford Park.

With the sides level at half-time on a scoreline of 1-06 to 0-09, Wexford outscored Offaly by 1-11 to 0-07 in the second half to for a relatively comfortable victory.

Stephen Banville scored 2-02 for Wexford and was named man-of-the-match. Derek Lyng also pitched in 0-07 for Colm Bonnar's side.

The seven-point difference at the end doesn’t suggest it, but Offaly had the better of the opening half.

Brian Carroll hit two early points for Offaly and another from Daniel Currams had Joe Dooley’s men 0-03 to 0-01 up after eight minutes.

But Wexford took the lead four minutes later when Banville got in behind the Offaly rearguard to rifle a low shot past Brian Mullins.

But the visitors reacted well to that setback by hitting three unanswered points. There was little to choose between the sides who were tied four times before the break at which juncture the score stood at 1-06 to 0-09.

Whatever Wexford manager Colm Bonnar said to his men at the interval certainly worked as the Slaneysiders hit six unanswered points in the early stages of the second half.

Offaly had a great chance to score during that period but a poorly-hit penalty from Shane Dooley was rebuffed.

The game looked up 13 minutes from time when a point from Wexford debutant Tomás Waters left eight points between the sides.

It would have been all too easy for Offaly to throw in the towel, but they showed great spirit to whittle the gap down to three points with five consecutive overs. Kevin Brady (2), Dooley, Joe Bergin and Brian Carroll were the men to contribute them.

But Wexford didn’t panic and Banville’s second goal in the closing stages killed off the Faithful, who missed a second penalty before the end.

Speaking afterwards to RTÉ Sport's Joanne Cantwell, Banville said: 'It was a fast game with lots of pile-ups and mishaps.

'It was essential [that we won]. Now we have a bit of time; we can plan and see who we're going to play.

'The first one [goal] was coming, but the second one was probably against the run of play. We just needed to score at that stage and somebody had to take it I suppose!'

Watch Stephen Banville's Interview Here

Wexford manager Colm Bonnar said: 'Players kept moving, we won ball at a vital stage and I think we saw a true reflection of Wexford hurling.

'Stephen Banville would have got a lot of stick after his performance in the division two final, but he caught a great ball and stuck it in the net and he scored two great goals today. And that really put us in the driving seat, the goals.'

Watch Colm Bonnar's Interview Here

Elsewhere in hurling, in the Ulster Senior Hurling Championship quarter-finals Derry beat London by 4-10 to 3-12, and Down beat Armagh by 5-20 to 0-13.

Wexford: D Fitzhenry; M Travers; P Roche; D O'Connor; M Jacob; R Kehoe; C Kenny; S Doyle; D Redmond; T Waters; A Shore; D Lyng; R Jacob; S Banville; P Atkinson

Scorers: S Banville 2-02; D Lyng 0-07; R Jacob 0-02; S Doyle 0-02; T Waters 0-02; D Redmond 0-01; A Shore 0-01

Offaly: B Mullins; D Franks; D Kenny; P Cleary; R Hanniffy; G Oakley; J Rigney; K Brady; B Murphy; D Currams; J Brady; D Molloy; B Carroll; J Bergin; S Dooley

Scorers: S Dooley 0-04; B Carroll 0-03; B Murphy 0-02; J Bergin 0-02; K Brady 0-02; D Currams 0-01; D Horan 0-01; R Hanniffy 0-01