Tyrone hold out for win over Wexford

Tyrone 1-9 Wexford 0-10

Tyrone 1-9 Wexford 0-10

Tyrone survived a huge fright to squeeze through to the second round of the Qualifier series with a slender win over Wexford's braves at Wexford Park.

The home side laid siege to the Red Hand goal for a rousing final 20 minutes, and only some superb defending and wayward shooting saved the Ulster champions from what would have been a shock defeat.

A superb Brian Dooher point from far out on the right wing was the pick of Tyrone's three early scores, with Kevin Hughes and Stephen O'Neill also hitting the target as the Ulster champions set about asserting themselves.

Wexford had made an encouraging start with a Mattie Forde point in the fifth minute, but they failed to raise another flag for a further quarter of an hour, Leigh O'Brien getting them back in contention with the first of three firmly struck long range frees.

But Tyrone were always dangerous, if not productive. They squandered some excellent chances, none more so than Peter Canavan's penalty miss in the 15th minute.

Ollie Murphy dived to his right to save superbly, but the former Allstar quckly put the disappointment behind him to kick two points and set up a 21st minute goal for Kevin Hughes, who first-timed to the bottom corner of the net for a finish which would have had World Cup pundits singing his praise.

Wexford stuck to their task, however, and finished the half strongly with points from Forde and O'Brien to go in at the break trailing by 1-6 to 0-5 and still very much in the game.

Tyrone stretched their lead through Gerard Cavlan and Dooher, while some excellent defending from Chris Lawn frustrated the Leinster side's best efforts.

The second-half was almost 16 minutes old before Wexford added to their tally through Paul Carley.

But with Tyrone continuing to squander chances, the home side gradually took control, and playing with real spirit, fired over points through John Hegarty, Forde and substitute Jason Lawlor to leave just two points in it.

And with Redmond Barry and Diarmuid Kinesella urging them on, Wexford surged forward in droves.

But some vital interceptions and tackles from Colin Holmes and Ryan McMenamin helped the Red Hands to hold out.

Tyrone: P Ward, C Gormley, C Lawn, B Robinson, R McMenamin, C Gourley, P Jordan, C McAnallen, C Holmes, B Dooher (0-2), S O'Neill (0-1), G Cavlan (0-1), S Cavanagh, K Hughes (1-1), P Canavan (0-4). Subs: B McGuigan for Hughes, D McCrossan for Dooher, C McGinley for Gormley

Wexford: O Murphy, C Morris, P Wallace, N Murphy, D Murphy, D Breen, L O'Brien (0-3), D Kinsella, W Carley, P Carley (0-1), J Berry, R Barry, S Doran, J Hegarty (0-1), M Forde (0-4). Subs: J Hudson for O'Brien, J Lawlor (0-1) for P Carley, P Berry for Hegarty, P Curtis for Kinsella

Referee: S Prior (Leitrim)

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