Hurling & Camogie

Leinster SHC: Dublin snatch draw with Wexford as Galway cruise to win

Conor Cooney struck a Tribesmen goal in the midst of a run of 1-7 unanswered burst.

Galway manager Henry Shefflin during Sunday’s Allianz Hurling League Roinn 1 game at Corrigan Park in Belfast.
Galway manager Henry Shefflin at Corrigan Park in Belfast. PICTURE: COLM LENAGHAN

On paper, Dublin versus Wexford always feels to most neutral supporters like the game that will determine which team snatches third place in the provincial championship – well that matter is still very much up in the air after Dublin struck two late goals to salvage a most unlikely 1-21 to 2-18 draw at Chadwicks Wexford Park yesterday afternoon.

After an evenly-contested first half, Wexford had found another gear in the second half to lead by 1-20 to 0-18 with the clock ticking towards the 72nd minute, but Danny Sutcliffe’s goal heightened tensions in the crowd and set up a dramatic finish. Cathal Dunbar pointed from the next play to increase the lead to three, but the next play resulted in Cian O’Sullivan sweeping in a decisive equalizer to deny Wexford their win and give Dublin a real jolt of energy ahead of their trip to Carlow next Saturday.

Paul Boyle in Antrim colours, challenging Wexford's Lee Chin.
Paul Boyle in Antrim colours, challenging Wexford's Lee Chin.

They had energy at the start too, powered by Lee Chin’s penalty with barely 60 seconds gone. Dublin gradually sucked the life out of the home supporters however as they shot seven out of the next nine points.

Chin was the dominant force on the pitch as Wexford worked their way back into a three point lead, with Rory O’Connor also chipping in with an incredible point, but a majestic effort from Sutcliffe and another from Chris Crummey ensured a tied game at the break.

It was still level ten minutes into the second half, but from then on, Wexford were the dominant force.

Chin kept piling on the points – the Faythe Harriers man finished with 1-12 – while Conor Hearne, Rory O’Connor and Cathal Dunbar also chipped in, and it looked like they had done enough.

They hadn’t.

It was all much more straightforward in Pearse Stadium, where arguably Carlow might feel like they have more positive energy behind them on the back of Galway’s 2-25 to 2-14 win.

With 2,000 supporters more or less lost in the vast expanse of the Salthill venue, there was a real challenge match feel to proceedings, particularly in the first half. Henry Shefflin gave debuts to John Cooney and Donal O’Shea, both of whom were involved to help set up Gavin Lee for an early goal, and in all Galway had eight players on the scoresheet in the first half.

Carlow produced some excellent play in the third quarter however, and when Darach Fahy saved Marty Kavanagh’s goalbound effort but could do nothing to prevent Conor Kehoe sweeping the rebound to the net, there was just four between the sides.

The bear had been poked. Conor Cooney struck the Tribesmen’s goal in the midst of a run of 1-7 unanswered, and the Carlow uprising had been quelled.

It’ll all be very different next week when Kilkenny come to town.