Colfer helps Wexford find long missing silver

WEXFORD required extra-time at Parnell Park to claim the Division 3 league title - but after 63 years without silverware they could afford another 20 minutes.

Matty Forde kicked 1-7 but it was sub Paddy Colfer’s 80th minute extra-time goal followed by three unanswered Wexford points that proved decisive.

The victory preserves Wexford’s unbeaten league run, ending Fermanagh’s in the process, and represents the first piece of silverware for rookie boss Jason Ryan.

Yet Wexford should have wrapped up victory in normal time as they got the best possible start with two goals in the first seven minutes.

Forde kicked one of them – Adrian Flynn hit the other – but the former All Star missed another 1-2, allowing Fermanagh to gradually reel them in.

By half-time, and with Mark Murphy inspired after moving from full-forward to midfield, resurgent Fermanagh only trailed by a point at 0-9 to 2-4. By the 52nd minute the scores were tied at 0-12 to 2-6 when Wexford were awarded a crucial penalty for Fermanagh over-carrying in the square and Forde presided.

Goalkeeper Fergal Murphy saved it and it proved a turning point as a goal would surely have saw stuttering Wexford finally turn the screw. As it turned out Wexford – who lost Redmond Barry to a second yellow card after 67 minutes – sniped a point from Murphy’s palmed save and further points from PJ Banville and Paddy Colfer put them three clear.

But Fermanagh knew they’d been let off the hook and three unanswered points in return from Tom Brewster, Ryan Keenan and the excellent Murphy tied it up. Banville thought he’d kicked Wexford’s winner but Keenan’s fifth of the day ensured an extra 20 minutes with the scores tied for the fifth time on 2-10 to 0-16.

Fermanagh hit the first two points in extra-time but an unanswered 1-3 from Wexford, the goal an 80th minute Colfer fist home from close range, proved decisive.

WEXFORD: A Masterson; C Morris, P Wallace, B Malone; A Morrissey, D Murphy, N Murphy; B Doyle, E Bradley; S Roche, R Barry (0-1), A Flynn (1-1); C Lyng (0-3), PJ Banville (0-2), M Forde (1-7; 2f). Subs: D Walsh for Morrissey 38, C Byrne for Roche 49, T Howlin for Bradley 51, P Colfer (1-1) for Flynn 57. N O’Sullivan for Morris 70, R Stafford for Boyle 80.

FERMANAGH: F Murphy; P Sherry, H Brady, D O’Reilly; D Kelly, R McCluskey, T McElroy; M McGrath (0-2; 1 s/l), S McDermott; C McElroy (0-1), J Sherry, R Keenan (0-6; 3f); M Keenan (0-1; 1f), E Maguire (0-1), M Murphy (0-5). Subs.: N Bogue for O’Reilly 31, T Brewster (0-2; 1f) for M Keenan 43, L McBarron for C McElroy 54, S Lyons for Brady 55. M Little (0-2; 1f) for Brewster 77, S Doherty for McDermott 84.

Referee: P Fox (Westmeath).

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