Classy Wexford secure promotion

A three-point win and promotion for Wexford in yesterday’s shootout in the sunshine at Casement Park, but the final score belies the story of the game and does the winners s scant justice.

Wexford were dominant for most of the game but a closing spurt by the home side brought Antrim into contention.

Ironically, that final fling was created despite the fact the Saffrons were down to 13 players after Brian Neeson and Tony Scullion were both dismissed within 30 seconds of each other on 64 minutes.

Wexford’s running off the ball was superb as they opened brightly to race into a 0-7 to 0-1 lead by the 17th minute.

Dathi Waters’ fielding was spectacular at times but the home side found their feet to close the gap to 0-8 to 0-5 on the half hour. Ben Brosnan pointed a 45, then a free-kick to leave the visitors 0-10 to 0-5 ahead at the break.

Wexford continued their superiority on the restart to be 0-13 to 0-7 up on 50 minutes but Antrim finally switched on and, after a five-man move from midfield, Michael Magill fired a rocket to the Wexford net. When Michael McCann pointed a minute later it was Wexford 0-14, Antrim 1-9.

McCann hit another point 19 minutes from time but the Saffrons’ only other score was a goal from the penalty spot by McCann on 39 minutes. Wexford went on to hit four points to polish off the opposition.

ANTRIM: C Kerr; K O’Boyle, R Johnston, M Johnston; T Scullion, J Crozier, J Loughrey (0-1); M McCann (1-2, 1-0 pen), A Gallagher; T McCann (0-3, 2f, 0-1 ‘45’), C Kelly, M Armstrong; M Magill (1-1), M Sweeney, C Murray. Subs: S McDonagh (0-1) for Armstrong (16), B Neeson (0-1) for Kelly (half-time).

WEXFORD: A Masterson; R Tierney, G Molloy, B Malone; A Flynn (0-3), D Murphy, A Doyle; R Quinlivan (0-1), D Waters; R Barry (0-2), C Morris, B Brosnan (0-3, 1f, 0-1 ‘45’); C Lyng (0-5, 4f), E Bradley, PJ Branville (0-3). Subs: L Chin for Quinlivan (50), P Byrne for Barry (50), S Roche for Morris (31), J Holmes (0-1) for Branville (70).

Referee: C Reynolds (Down).

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