GAA Results – Wexford failed to make use of an extra man for the entire second-half and a 10-point lead as they drew 2-25 to 2-25 against Clare in Cusack Park after extra time.
An incredible opening quarter saw Liam Dunne’s men rush into a ten-point, 2-8 to 0-4 lead. But despite being reduced to 14 men with the sending off of Podge Collins before the break, Clare fought back from four points down with two minutes to go to force extra-time. Ten minutes each way failed to separate the sides so they will do it all again next weekend.
Early points from Liam Óg McGovern and Andrew Shore saw Wexford start brightly and within the first quarter, they were 10 points up. After Colin Ryan got Clare off the mark on five minutes, the Model County took control. Points from Paul Morris and Lee Chin either side of Conor McDonald’s goal saw them lead by six 11 minutes in. Eoin Moore, McGovern and David Redmond added points to push their lead out further, with two Colin Ryan frees the Clare response.
McGovern then sent Dunne’s team into dreamland, leaving Cian Dillon for dead and smashing the ball past Patrick Kelly in the Clare goal. Cathal McInerney replied instantly with a point but Morris made it a 10-point game with another free; 2-8 to 0-4 on 18 minutes. It finally triggered a response in Clare, with Conor McGrath from play and three Ryan frees bringing them back in the game.
His last point came after Kelly made a superb save from Rory Jacob who was replaced by Jack Guiney while Podge Collins and Morris traded points. Tony Kelly brought the deficit to five but Clare were dealt a massive blow when Podge Collins was issued a straight red for flicking his hurl at Redmond’s helmet; 2-9 to 0-10 at the break.
Wexford started with points from Guiney and McDonald but Ryan Tony Kelly and Colin Ryan got the deficit back to five. Paul Morris, from play, and Colin Ryan, 65, traded points before Cian Dillon scored narrowed the gap to four with a big score; 2-12 to 0-14 after 47 minutes. Wexford were wasteful and soon had notched up their 11th wide of the game.
Substitute Diarmuid O’Keefe ended almost 10 minutes without a point for Wexford, but Colin Ryan two quick scores (one from play) and Tony Kelly closed the gap to two points, 2-13 to 0-17 inside 55 minutes. Morris and Ryan traded points, McGovern gave them a three-point cushion from play. It was tit for tat as McGrath and McGovern were next to trade points.
A Morris 65’ made it a four-point game after O’Keefe was denied by a brilliant save by Kelly with five minutes to go but another Colin Ryan free saw three between them again. Morris took a point when Wexford were given a penalty with two minutes remaining and within 60 seconds a solitary point was between them. McGrath was fouled in the large rectangle and despite Tony Kelly’s penalty being saved, Seadna Morey buried the rebound. With the last puck of the game, who else but Colin Ryan sent the game into extra-time.
Clare were back to 15 in extra-time but Chin got the first score, but it looked like Clare would edge it. Conor McGrath fired to the back of the net giving Clare the lead for the first time in the game. But Wexford didn’t crumble with Morris and Chin points levelling the game; 2-21 apiece. Kelly kept Clare in the game with a great save from Guiney before McInerney gave Clare a half-time 2-22 to 2-21 lead.
Tony Kelly made it a two-point game after the restart, but Ian Byrne and Rory Jacob points levelled once more. McGrath edged Clare ahead but Morris clawed it back to 2-24 apiece with two minutes remaining. McGrath restored the one-point lead but Jacob equalised immediately to send the game to a replay next weekend, but Wexford with an extra man for 35 minutes should have knocked the reigning All-Ireland Champions out.
The All-Ireland Champions crashed out of the Munster Championship with a five-point, 2-23 to 2-18, defeat to Cork in what was a very underwhelming performance by the Banner. Their defense looked very average as Cork showed class to upstage the All-Ireland Champions. Despite a set-piece masterclass by Cork’s Horgan (2-11) Clare could and should have been beaten by a greater scoreline while Colin Ryan was perhaps the only shining light, scoring 0-6.
After disposing of Antrim by 12 points in the Leinster Quarter-Final, Wexford succumbed to a five-point loss to Dublin with Dubs keeper Alan Nolan saving twice to deny Podge Doran two goal-bound efforts. In defense Lee Chin was excellent while teenage Conor McDonald showed class beyond his years.
Paul Morris v Jack Browne
Paul Morris was excellent from placed balls against Dublin, converting four frees and two ’65s. As with Horgan in Clare’s Munster Championship exit, if Wexford are given the chance to keep the scoreboard ticking over, they will have a chance to keep it close. Morris will also need to step up with a few points from play, but his free-taking may be critical to Wexford’s chances.
Jack Browne made his Championship debut marking Alan Cadogan and had a torrid day. Cadogan caused Browne many problems with a major doubt hanging over Browne’s selection. But Davy Fitzgerald has showed faith in the back to learn from that performance. If he can make the grade, it will make it easier for Clare and should limit the input of Paul Morris on the game.
Clare recall shot-stopper Patrick Kelly whose only game-time this year was against Laois and Galway in the National League. The only othe change is Cathal McInerney at corner forward, while Shane O’Donnell failed to recover to make the starting fifteen. Wexford’s Liam Dunne has made three changes with Oulart The-Ballagh trio Eoin Moore, David Redmond and Garrett Sinnott all coming in.
Wexford: Mark Fanning; Liam Ryan, Matthew O’Hanlon, Keith Rossiter; Eoin Moore, Lee Chin, Ciaran Kenny; David Redmond, Harry Kehoe; Garrett Sinnott, Podge Doran, Liam Og McGovern; Paul Morris, Conor McDonald, Rory Jacob.
Clare: Patrick Kelly; Cian Dillon, David McInerney, Jack Browne; Brendan Bugler, Conor Ryan, Pat O’Connor; Colm Galvin, Pat Donnellan; John Conlon, Tony Kelly, Colin Ryan; Podge Collins, Conor McGrath, Cathal McInerney.
Surely the All-Ireland Champions Clare can’t go out in the qualifiers. Wexford missed their chance at catching a top tier side on the hop when Dublin beat them in Wexford Park. Clare won’t let their All-Ireland reign end in Cusack Park. They have too much quality to relinquish their title without a fight. As with their route through the back-door brought them to Croke Park in September, they will be hoping to do the same today. Clare by seven.