Wexford 1-13 Longford 0-15
Wexford dug deep to edge this titanic replay, scoring six of the game’s last seven points to deny Longford.
Glenn Ryan’s side will regret wasting at least three clear-cut goal opportunities that undoubtedly cost them the verdict.
It was Redmond Barry who was the Wexford hero, popping over a 69th minute winner from the right wing to set up a repeat of last year’s Leinster final against All-Ireland champions Dublin.
Longford dominated much of the possession and centre-back Michael Quinn was the standout operator on the pitch.
With Paul Barden, Brian Kavanagh and Sean McCormack also going well at various junctures, Longford should really have done enough to win this but Wexford refused to yield.
Barden burst out of the traps with two quick points and finished the first half with three. Kavanagh added two very good scores as well and with defenders, Quinn and Shane Mulligan also on the mark, they went in at the break leading by 0-8 to 1-4.
Kavanagh wasted a very good goal chance when dragging a shot wide and with Barry having planted a low shot to the corner of the Longford net in the ninth minute, that was to prove critical.
Longford continued to hold the upper hand for most of the second half, although Ben Brosnan and Shane Roche were more of a threat for the victors.
Barden shot wide with only Anthony Masterson to beat, having been sent through by McCormack, while Paul Kelly blasted inches over.
Having wasted so much ball, McCormack suddenly burst into life, winning and converting frees while also kicking a couple of excellent scores from play.
His 55th minute score under huge pressure from Niall Murphy, who was subsequently replaced, put seven points between the side but from the 59th minute, Wexford embarked on that match-stealing run.
It began with a Brosnan free from 44m and was quickly followed up by Roche. McCormack fisted over after skinning Joey Wadding but that 61st minute effort was Longford’s last score.
A minute later, the remarkable Quinn pulled off a brilliant block on Brosnan with the goal gaping and when Brosnan sent the resultant 45 wide, you felt that Longford might hold on.
It wasn’t to be though as Brosnan converted another free before last week’s five-point hero, Adrian Flynn popped up with his first score of the game to reduce the margin to one.
Brosnan brought the sides level for the first time since the 35th minute when winning a break from a Longford kickout and carrying the ball inside the 45 before shooting over on the run.
That set the stage for Barry, who created space brilliantly before curling over a wonderful right-footed effort.
Scorers – Wexford: S Roche 0-5(2fs); R Barry 1-2; B Brosnan 0-4(2fs); A Flynn, PJ Banville 0-1 each
Longford: S McCormack 0-6(4fs); P Barden 0-4; B Kavanagh 0-2; M Quinn, S Mulligan, P Kelly 0-1 each
Wexford: A Masterson; N Murphy, G Molloy, R Tierney; A Flynn, B Malone, L Chin; D Waters, R Quinlivan; C Carty, E Bradley, B Brosnan; PJ Banville, S Roche, R Barry
Longford: D Sheridan; D Reilly, B Gilleran, D Brady; CP Smyth, M Quinn, S Mulligan; B McElvaney, J Keegan; D Barden, P Barden, D McElligott; D Barden, B Kavanagh, S McCormack
Referee: C Lane (Cork)