Wexford demolish Offaly with 24-point win in Tullamore

Offaly's Paddy Delaney and Matthew O’Hanlon of Wexford. Pic: ©INPHO/Laszlo Geczo

Wexford 5-24, Offaly 2-9: In-form Wexford used goals as their battering ram to an impressive 24-point Leinster SHC win over hosts Offaly in Tullamore.

Davy Fitzgerald's side overcame Dublin in a Round 1 arm wrestle but were never in danger here and had victory wrapped up at half-time.

They led by a whopping 15 points at that stage and went on to win by 24 as Offaly finished with just a dozen players.

Full-back Sean Gardiner, goalscorer Oisin Kelly and substitute Ronan Hughes were all dismissed for the hosts in front of 6,186.

Gardiner walked for two yellow card offences so will be available to play against Dublin next Sunday in a game that has been billed as a relegation decider.

But Kelly and Hughes both received straight red cards so will be suspended in what amounted to another huge hammer blow for manager Kevin Martin on the evening.

He acknowledged afterwards that his team was 'flat' and said he suspected as much before they even lined out.

They'd already been beaten by Galway and Kilkenny and a third game in succession was simply too much for them.

Wexford, in contrast, cut loose with some spirited play and had goalscorers in Conor McDonald, Aidan Nolan, goalkeeper Mark Fanning, Lee Chin and Jack O'Connor.

They also hit 19 wides over the 70 minutes or so and had a penalty saved so will feel they can improve ahead of Galway's visit to the south-east next Saturday evening.

Kelly opened the scoring for Offaly with a neat point just seconds into the contest but it was all downhill after that.

McDonald's opening goal for Wexford arrived after just two minutes when he capitalised on Paudie Foley's free that struck the post.

Nolan then volleyed home superbly in the 13th minute and Fanning struck their third from a 34th minute penalty following a Gardiner foul which resulted in his dismissal.

Wexford were 3-12 to 0-6 clear at the break and Chin, who moved into corner-forward after the restart, struck a fourth goal in the 41st minute.

The talisman turned provider shortly after for O'Connor to rifle home and it was a case of how much the visitors could tally before full-time.

Offaly did their best but with increasingly diminishing numbers as Kelly and Hughes were dismissed for what referee James McGrath deemed to be striking offences.

There was a late goal from Shane Dooley after a clever solo run through the middle but with almost 30 points separating the teams at that stage, it wasn't even consolation.

Offaly's Paddy Delaney and Matthew O’Hanlon of Wexford. Pic: ©INPHO/Laszlo Geczo

Scorers for Wexford: L Chin 1-4 (0-4f), R O'Connor 0-7 (0-5f), J O'Connor 1-3, C McDonald 1-1, A Nolan 1-1, M Fanning 1-0 (1-0 pen), H Kehoe 0-3 (0-2f), P Morris 0-2, D O'Keefe 0-1, K Foley 0-1, D Reck 0-1.

Scorers for Offaly: S Dooley 1-5 (0-5f), O Kelly 1-1, K Dunne 0-1, J Bergin 0-1, T Geraghty 0-1.

Wexford: M Fanning; S Donohoe, L Ryan, D Reck; S Murphy; P Foley, M O'Hanlon, D O'Keeffe; K Foley, A Nolan; J O'Connor, L Chin; C McDonald, R O'Connor, P Morris.

Subs: C Firman for Donohoe 46, L Og McGovern for Morris 51, H Kehoe for R O'Connor 51, W Devereux for P Foley 54, D Dunne for Chin 64.

Offaly: E Cahill; P Delaney, S Gardiner, B Conneely; D O'Toole Greene, D Egan, P Camon; S Kinsella, D King; B Murphy, C Mahon, O Kelly; S Dooley, J Bergin, K Dunne.

Subs: C Egan for Mahon h/t, T Geraghty for Murphy h/t, D Currams for Kinsella 43, P Rigney for Conneely 48, R Hughes for Bergin 54.

Ref: J McGrath (Westmeath).

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