Offaly 2-12 Wexford 1-13

Updated: Sunday, 03 Jun 2012 13:53 | Comments

Brian Carroll comes under pressure from Wexford's David Redmond
Brian Carroll comes under pressure from Wexford's David Redmond


Offaly survived a late Wexford fightback to reach the semi-finals of the Leinster SHC following a 2-12 to 1-13 victory in Tullamore.

Jack Guiney shot Wexford into a four-point lead, but Offaly rallied in the second quarter and a 1-4 salvo, including a 33rd minute goal from Shane Dooley, sent Offaly in with a 1-8 to 0-8 interval lead.

Joe Bergin netted a second goal, and while Guiney pulled back a Wexford goal from a free, time ran out for Liam Dunne’s side, who had cut a nine-point deficit back to two. Offaly now meet Galway or Westmeath in the last four.

Dooley and Paul Morris traded points as the sides went level on three occasions early on before Wexford began to find some fluency, pushing forward with intent and stretching the Faithful rearguard.

Liam Dunne’s side went four points clear after Guiney steered two frees between the posts and Diarmuid Lyng landed a superb score.

And they opened up the Offaly defence in the 17th minute, Paul Morris sending Lyng clear, but he was denied by goalkeeper James Dempsey, who pulled off a fine save with a trailing boot.

Rory Hanniffy made a couple of vital interventions to cut out the danger as PJ Nolan and Lyng took the game to the home side.

It was a crucial spell for Ollie Baker’s side and they came out of it without sustaining undue damage. To their credit, they made the most of the recovery that set in before the break, cutting the deficit with points from Brian Carroll, Bergin and a Dooley free.

Their comeback was not without its complications, however, and Guiney was unlucky to smash a 20 metre free against the crossbar.

Offaly, playing into the wind, went level with Dooley’s fourth point in the 31st minute and he brought his tally to 1-4 on 33 minutes, plucking the ball from beyond the grasp of two defenders to turn and plant the ball in the roof of the net.

Offaly led by 1-8 to 0-8 at the break and pushed on with a second goal 10 minutes into the second half, Joe Bergin punishing defensive hesitancy with a first-time shot to the net.

Soon they led by double scores, 2-11 to 0-9, after Brendan Murphy and Doley had rewarded enterprising approach play with unerring finishes.

Keith Rossiter and Ciaran Kenny tried to engineer a Wexford revival from the back, but one of the few attempts on goal they managed saw Harry Kehoe’s shot superbly blocked by David Franks.

They pulled back a goal through Guiney, who blasted a 58th minute free direct to the net and as play swung from end to end, Dooley was denied a second goal by a splendid Eanna Martin save.

Wexford grew in confidence as the game built towards a critical climax, Gareth Sinnott and Guiney pegging back the Faithful advantage to a flimsy two, and time ran out for the visitors when Guiney’s driven free was stopped on the line by Derek Morkan

Offaly: J Dempsey, D Morgan, D Kenny, D Franks, D Horan, R Hannify, J Rigney, C Mahon, K Brady, J Bergin (1-1), C Egan, B Murphy (0-1), S Dooley (1-8, 0-7f), C Parlon, B Carroll (0-2).

Subs: S Ryan for Parlon (20), C Hernon for Mahon (65), D Molloy for Murphy (72)

Wexford: E Martin, W Deveraux, K Rossiter, S Murphy, D Redmond, M O’Hanlon, C Kenny, S Murphy, D Lyng (0-2, 1 s/l), G Sinnott (0-1), E Quigley, PJ Nolan (0-1), R Jacob (0-3), J Guiney (1-3, 1-3f), P Morris (0-3).

Subs: E Moore for Deveraux (h-t), D Stamp for Murphy (h-t), H Kehoe for Quigley (43), R Kehoe for Murphy (50)

Referee: J Sexton (Cork).

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