Limerick 0-11 Wexford 0-12
By Stephen Barry at the Gaelic Grounds
A catalogue of missed chances allowed Wexford to hold on for their first championship win in two years, and end Limerick’s summer in the process.
PJ Banville’s 69th-minute free was the winner in a game that was level nine times, although it didn’t look like it would be enough.
In the final moments, Jamie Lee missed frees from either side of the posts, while Peter Nash and Iain Corbett also missed chances to bring a game defined by errors to extra-time.
From the start, a woeful first ten minutes yielded no scores and little action inside either 45-metre line.
When a match finally broke out, both sides remained evenly balanced. They were level six times in an opening half in which they shared 14 points.
Séamus O’Carroll and Ger Collins gave Limerick brief leads, which Ciarán Lyng cancelled out both times. When Michael Furlong pilfered Limerick’s subsequent kick-out, he gave Wexford their first lead after 16 minutes.
O’Carroll and PJ Banville traded placed balls, before a brilliant over-the-shoulder point by full-forward Josh Ryan, on his first start, levelled matters again.
Furlong, wearing number two, added his second point only for Limerick captain Iain Corbett to equalise at five-all with a fine point.
Only once in the half did more than a point separate the sides, when Lyng and Adrian Flynn put scores together – although Flynn’s point should’ve been a goal only for blasting at Donal O’Sullivan, who palmed the ball over.
Early substitute Seán McSweeney narrowed the gap before Corbett carved the Model defence open and fed Darragh Treacy, who was bundled over for a penalty. However, Corbett blazed the spot-kick over.
Another drab stalemate emerged for the opening seven minutes of the second-half until PJ Banville hit two similar points down the left wing.
Corbett’s strong runs from deep set up Danny Neville, to end a 19-minute scoreless streak, and Jamie Lee (free) to level again.
Ryan powered through the Wexford defence in the 53rd minute but Shane Roche made a vital save before John Tubritt and Seán O’Dea traded scores to leave them level for an eighth time at 0-10 apiece.
Neville poked the ball just wide as another Limerick goal chance slipped away, although Treacy levelled again after Lyng’s lead score.
However, wides would leave Limerick falling short by the minimum again.
Scorers for Limerick: S O’Carroll (1 45’), I Corbett (1 pen) (0-2 each); S O’Dea, D Treacy, D Neville, G Collins (free), J Lee (free), S McSweeney (free), J Ryan (0-1 each).
Scorers for Wexford: PJ Banville, C Lyng (0-4 each, 2 frees); M Furlong (0-2); A Flynn, J Tubritt (0-1 each).
LIMERICK: D O’Sullivan; B Fanning, S O’Dea, G Noonan; P White, J McCarthy, I Corbett; S O’Carroll, D Treacy; J Naughton, G Collins, D Ward; D Neville, J Ryan, P Nash.
Subs: S McSweeney for Ward (28), J Lee for McSweeney (51), P Scanlan for Collins (56), S Buckley for O’Carroll (65), I Ryan for Naughton (67).
WEXFORD: S Roche; M Furlong, J Rossiter, B Malone; T Rossiter, J Wadding, E Nolan; N Rossiter, D Waters; C Carty, K O’Grady, A Flynn; B Brosnan, C Lyng, PJ Banville.
Subs: J Tubritt for O’Grady (47), P Curtis for Brosnan (54), J Firman for Flynn (63).
Referee: P O’Sullivan (Kerry).