With that July 11 Munster final date with Cork now in Déise sights, this game threw up far more negatives than positives for Fitzgerald, and most disconcertingly of all will have been the porous defensive play throughout a game in which the Wexford trio of Rory Jacob, Jim Berry, and Eoin Quigley time and time again put the home defenders to the sword.
Among the positives for Fitzgerald will have been the excellent goalkeeping of stand-in keeper Adrian Power, and the fine outfield play of Shane Fives and Eoin McGrath.
The first half ended with Waterford unflatteringly leading by 0-10 to 0-6 with four of those Waterford points coming from Eoin McGrath at corner-forward.
However a number of substitutions at the interval transformed Wexford, and they restarted in a manner that suggested they well and truly meant business.
Berry and Jacob rifled over quick fire points before full forward Steven Banville had their first goal in the 42nd minute when he fastened onto to Jacob’s pinpoint pass and gave Power no chance from close range.
Waterford, to their credit, responded with a goal of their own within minutes with Shane Casey brilliantly firing home after the gambit of a short puck out by Wexford goalkeeper Noel Carton badly backfired on him.
Eoin Kelly’s goal from a 20 metre free on fifty minutes had Waterford back in front, and when they stretched into a six point lead with super points from Kelly(4) and Seamas Prendergast with just ten minutes remaining they looked to be home and hosed.
Wexford finished in rampaging style with points from Berry and Tommy Dwyer, supplemented by a goal from substitute Thomas Mahon, and while John Mullane replied with a Waterford point that was to be their only score as Wexford closed out the game with further minors from Berry and Jacob.
Scorers for Wexford: R. Jacob(2-6, 0-2 frees); P. Atkinson (0-4, 0-2 frees, 0-2 “65s’’); T. Mahon(1-0); J. Berry (0-3); E.Quigley (0-3); T. Dwyer (0-1).
Scorers for Waterford: E. Kelly (1-7, 1-4 frees); E. McGrath (0-5); S. Casey (1-0); S. Prendergast (0-2); K. McGrath, S. O’Sullivan, K. Moran (0-1). J. Mullane (0-1) each.
WEXFORD: N. Carton; P. Roche. B. Kenny. C. Kenny; L. Prendergast. R. Kehoe. D. Redmond; M. Molloy. C. Farrell; P.J. Nolan. J. Berry. E. Quigley; R. Jacob. S. Banville. P. Atkinson.
Subs: D. Kehoe for B. Kenny; M. Jacob for Nolan; T, Mahon for Prendergast; T. Dwyer for Farrell.
WATERFORD: A.Power; J. Maher. L. Lswlor. M. O’Brien; S. Fives. R. Foley. D. Prendergast; S. O’Sullivan. K. McGrath; S. Prendergast. K. Moran. E. Kelly; S. Casey. S. Walsh. E. McGrath.
Subs: E. Whelan for O’Sullivan; J. Murray for Foley; M. Walsh for K. McGrath; J.Mullane for S. Walsh; S. Molumphy for Moran.
Referee: C McAllister, Cork.