Dublin produced a shaky performance in Sunday’s Leinster SFC final, but Pat Gilroy’s men still beat Wexford by 2-12 to 1-12 to regain the Delaney Cup.
A 51st minute goalkeeping mistake from Anthony Masterson proved to be the turning point of the match. The Wexford keeper tried to punch a high ball, but the ball rebounded off a Wexford defender and rolled slowly into the net to give Dublin a lead they never relinquished.
Dublin started the brighter of the two counties, opening up a four point lead after 19 minutes despite a collection of wides. Pat Gilroy’s men then failed to trouble the scoreboard for 25 minutes as Wexford came back into the game.
Ben Brosnan was especially impressive for Wexford, finishing the game with nine points and exhibiting some clinical free taking.
Wexford reduced the deficit to one point at the break and continued their good play after the interval. Brosnan leveled the scores in the 41st minute, while Redmond Barry’s 45th minute goal gave Wexford a deserved lead.
Banville made a great run through the heart of Dublin’s defense before passing to Redmond Barry, who was unmarked beside the Dublin goal. The Wexford forward rounded Stephen Cluxton before passing the ball into the Dublin net.
Kevin McManamon and Brosnan then swapped points before a Bernard Brogan point and Dublin’s lucky goal in the 51st minute gave Dublin the lead and changed the course of the game.
While Dublin’s first goal was fortunate, their second was beautifully worked and finished by James McCarthy. The Dublin defender made a great run through the Wexford defense before smashing a powerful shot into the top of the net to give Dublin a five point lead.
Dublin held a four point advantage with ten minutes to play and felt comfortable enough to take off talisman Bernard Brogan.
Wexford refused to go away, however. The Model County reduced the arrears to three points with three minutes remaining, while Paddy Byrne forced a good save from Stephen Cluxton.
Ross McConnell came on for Mossy Quinn, who himself was a substitute, in the final minute, and scored the insurance point that sealed the match for Dublin. Ben Brosnan scored his ninth point of the day in injury time, but Dublin held on for a 2-12 to 1-12 victory.
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