Comeback sees Wexford into final

Wexford 4-18 Antrim 1-12

Wexford 4-18 Antrim 1-12

Antrim scored only three points in the second half as Wexford came from behind to qualify for next month's Allianz NHL Division 2 final.

Colm Bonnar's side struggled in the opening period at Wexford Park, as Antrim broke into a deserved 1-9 to 1-6 interval lead.

But a brace of goals each from Rory Jacob and Peter Atkinson saw Wexford take control after the break, sealing their place in a Thurles decider against Clare in two weeks' time.

Jacob, Andrew Hore, Diarmuid Lyng and Atkinson pointed Wexford ahead in the early stages, after PJ O'Connell had opened the scoring for Antrim.

Atkinson played a high ball in which led to corner forward Jacob firing home a tenth minute goal.

But two quick-fire frees from Neil McManus, the second of which was a well-executed goal, brought the Saffrons back level at 1-5 apiece.

A point from an acute angle from midfielder Paul Shields edged Antrim back in front and Shields' five-point tally was the difference between the sides' by half-time.

However, Antrim suffered a considerable setback just before the break when attacker PJ O'Connell was given a straight red card for a head-high challenge on Keith Rossiter.

Wexford made a lightning quick start to the second half, with a long ball in from Ciaran Lyng and a mistake by Antrim goalkeeper Chris O'Connell allowing Atkinson collect his first goal.

That score came just 52 seconds after the resumption of the game and Wexford were soon ahead with Jacob and Shore adding points.

Atkinson notched his second goal in the 52nd minute. Again, a high ball in caused problems for net minder O'Connell and the Wexford number 15 nipped in ahead of him before firing low to the net.

The win was sewn up just four minutes later, as yet another lengthy delivery - this time from substitute Tomas Waters - caught O'Connell out and Jacob was first to the ball, flicking it home.

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