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Senior Hurlers Edge Past Wexford In Tight Leinster Championship Encounter

Senior Hurlers Edge Past Wexford In Tight Leinster Championship Encounter

Sun, 7th May 2023

DUBLIN 1-22 


Two late frees from scoring talisman Dónal Burke proved telling as Dublin edged Wexford by two points in their tense Leinster Senior Hurling Championship Round 3 encounter at Croke Park on Saturday afternoon.

In doing so, the Dubs maintained their unbeaten start to the championship but they were made to work extremely hard against a wasteful Wexford side that finished the game with nineteen wides to their name.

In contrast, Dublin were far more clinical, registering just six wides, and it was that ability to make the most of the opportunities that came their way that ultimately proved the difference between the teams.

The Dubs enjoyed a narrow two-point advantage at the break thanks largely to a Cian O’Sullivan goal and despite moving five points clear in the final quarter, they still required Burke to stamp his class on proceedings in the dying minutes.

The hosts seized the early initiative through a cracking point from wing-back Paddy Doyle in the opening minute and their bright start was rewarded by two scores from Dónal Burke, both from placed balls.

Wexford finally opened their own account through a Lee Chin free in the 10th minute but Burke landed his third free of the quarter to restore Dublin’s three point lead following a foul on Danny Sutcliffe.

Chin added a quick-fire double soon after, one from play, to leave the bare minimum between the sides but points in quick succession from Sutcliffe and Burke saw Dublin lead by double scores (0-6 to 0-3) by the 15th minute.

The sides could well have been level a minute later but Cathal Dunbar saw his powerful effort smack off the crossbar and over before Rory O’Connor added a smart score to leave a solitary point separating the teams.

Dublin gave themselves some much-needed breathing room at the start of the second quarter when O’Sullivan was quickest to react when Burke’s free dropped short, flicking the ball home from six yards amid a plethora of away defenders.

Burke found the distance from play in the 19th minute to leave five points between the teams but their opponents struck three points on the bounce through Chin, Conor Devitt and O’Connor to minimise the effect of the goal concession.

Paul Crummey and Burke added to Dublin’s tally as the half progressed but late points by Richie Lawlor and Jack O’Connor saw Wexford enter the break just 1-9 to 0-10 in arrears. 

Despite Burke extending Dublin’s lead within twenty second of the restart, it was Wexford that looked the more likely after the break as two Chin points and a Simon Donohoe score saw the sides level by the 39th minute.

The hosts replied through Chris O’Leary and Burke before Oisin Foley and Mark Grogan traded points with Dublin doing just enough to preserve their slender advantage.

With the visitors increasingly errant with their shooting, Dublin took advantage to extend their lead to five points thanks to Crummey, Seán Currie and O’Sullivan and they kept their noses in front thanks to an excellent save from Seán Brennan to deny substitute Mikie Dwyer.

However, Wexford continued to create chances as two O’Connor points and a brace from substitute Conor McDonald helped restore parity late on only for Burke to have the final word, with the Na Fianna clubman taking his personal tally to 0-13 by the final whistle.

Scorers – Dublin: D Burke 0-13 (10f), C O’Sullivan 1-1, P Crummey 0-2, P Doyle, M Grogan, C O’Leary, D Sutcliffe, S Currie 0-1 apiece. Wexford: L Chin 0-8 (6f), R O’Connor 0-5 (3f), C Dunbar, O Foley, C McDonald 0-2 each, S Donohoe, C Devitt, R Lawlor, Jack O’Connor 0-1 apiece.

Dublin: S Brennan; P Smyth, E O’Donnell, P Doyle; C Donohoe, C Burke, D Gray; M Grogan, C O’Leary; D Sutcliffe, D Burke, C Boland; C O’Sullivan, R Hayes, A Considine. Subs: P Crummey for Hayes (8), S Currie for Considine (51), D Power for Grogan (59), F Whitely for Boland (64), D Purcell for O’Sullivan (74).

Wexford: J Lawlor; M O’Hanlon, S Reck, S Donohoe; C Devitt, L Ryan, D Reck; K Foley, R Lawlor; O Foley, C Dunbar, Jack O’Connor; L Óg McGovern, R O’Connor, L Chin. Subs: Joe O’Connor for D Reck (42), C McDonald for Lawlor (44), M Dwyer for Jack O’Connor (49), I Carty for Ryan (55), R Banville for Dunbar (71).

Referee: Thomas Walsh (Waterford). 

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