Dramatic finish as Wexford refuse to give up

Limerick 1-19 Wexford 2-16

Limerick 1-19 Wexford 2-16

Neither side had a lot to play for at the Gaelic Grounds but they still produced a dramatic finish to a game played at a pedestrian pace for long periods.

Limerick, despite making eleven changes from last week, still led by1-9 to 0-10 having played against the wind in the opening half.

But Wexford rallied in the second-half and manager Liam Dunne will take heart from their second-half display against the wind when they refused to give up.

It seemed that they would snatch a third win of the campaign when Eoin Quigley latched on a Paul Morris free in the dying moments of the game to score a goal which put Wexford a point up.

But Limerick rallied and they maintained their unbeaten run in the league this season when Paudie O’Brien floated over a last gasp equaliser from distance on the right wing to secure a draw.

A draw seemed a likely outcome from the early exchanges in the opening half with the sides exchanging points seven times before Wexford hit the front for the first time after 25 minutes when David Redmond pointed.

But Limerick hit back a long delivery from James Ryan fell for Afrian Breen to dispatch it to the net with an excellent ground stroke. Paudie Ahern pointed straight afterwards to open a four points lead but a brace from Morris left it 1-9 to 0-10 at the interval.

Shane Dowling was in superb form for Limerick and he put them a goal in front with a point shortly after the restart but Lee Chin and Morris responded for Wexford.

Three points from Breen, Kevin Downes and Dowling put Limerick 1-13 to 0-12 after 48 minutes and they would have expected to close out the deal with the wind behind them.

Morris and Rory Jacob hit back with points for Wexford but with eight minutes remaining Limerick pulled five points clear to lead by 1-17 to 0-15.

Redmond pointed a long range free for Wexford with six minutes remaining and then Garret Sinnott blasted to the net after a short free by Morris. Suddenly there was just a point between them.

Another Dowling free put Limerick two up but then Quigley finished from close range after Morris dropped a long range free in front of the goal.

But there was still time for Paudie O’Brien to grab a fine equaliser from the right wing with the last puck of the game for a Limerick side who will now meet Dublin in the Division 1B final next weekend.

Limerick: S Dowling 0-8, 5fs; A Breen 1-1; N Moran 0-2; K Downes 0-2; C Allis 0-2; J Ryan 0-1; P Ahern 0-1, S Tobin 0-1; P O’Brien 0-1.

Wexford: P Morris 0-6, 3fs; E Quigley 1-1; G Sinnott 1-1; R Jacob 0-3; D Redmond 0-2; E Martin 0-2, 2 ‘65’s; L Chin 0-1.

Limerick: A Murphy; A Dempsey, R McCarthy, M Carmody; C King, W McNamara, T Ryan; C Allis, J Ryan; S Dowling, P Ahern, N Moran; A Breen, T Quaid, S Tobin.

Subs: K Downes for Quaid 17, P Browne for J Ryan 35, S Walsh for Dempsey 35, P O’Brien for McNamara 35, G Mulcahy for Breen 63

Wexford: M Fanning; B Kenny, T Waters, C Kenny; R Kehoe, A Shore, E Martin; E Quigley, H Kehoe; G Sinnott, L Chin, D Redmond; G Morre, P Morris, R Jacob.

Subs: S Murphy for Moore 51.

Referee: D Kirwan (Cork).

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