Carlow hurlers, under new manager John Meyler, gave Wexford a real fright of it in Dr Cullen Park on Sunday afternoon.
The home side led for long periods of the match, and at one stage a huge upset looked on the cards. However, the side from the South East finished the stronger, and eventually ran out six point winners.
The hosts made the brighter start to the match, and after some ill discipline by the opposing defence, they led 0-3 to 0-00 early on. Midway through the half, Carlow were coasting and led 0-6 to 0-2. They were picking off scores with ease and it looked like Wexford had been caught on a real off day. Gary Moore scored two points for the visitors to narrow the gap and at 0-7 to 0-5 they were back in the match. His fifth point, and one from Andrew Kenny suddenly had the teams level, and two further points saw Wexford lead 0-9 to 0-7 at the break. A melee just before the interval saw two players red carded, and unfortunately for Carlow, their free taker Michael Kavanagh saw the line.
Calow scored the first point of the second half, but then a goal from Paul Morris gave Wexford the breathing space they required. To their credit, Carlow recovered well and two quick scores saw them trail by just a point, 1-10 to 0-12. The hosts kept up the pressure and added the scores that saw them regain the lead, before Morris again pointed for Wexford. Shane Kavanagh and Gary Moore swapped scores to keep the match deadlocked, before two from Moore, and one from Harry Kehoe stretched the visitors lead.
Rory Jacob scored a late goal, which was hard luck on a Carlow side that scarcely deserved such a fate. The final three minutes were played out without a further score, and Wexford ran out 2-15 to 0-15 winners. This was a game that could have gone either way for long periods, and there is little doubt but that Carlow were unfortunate not to have finished much closer.