Wexford survive late Louth comeback

Wexford 2-13 Louth 1-15

Wexford survive late Louth comeback

Wexford 2-13 Louth 1-15

Wexford edged out hosts Louth by 2-13 to 1-15 in a pulsating Leinster SFC quarter-final in Drogheda.

A late Louth fightback saw them get back to within one point, however a late red card for defender John O'Brien killed off their hopes.

Ciaran Lyng found the net as Wexford stormed into a 1-10 to 1-05 interval lead.

Ben Brosnan led the Wexford scoring in the first half and his free with a minute left was enough to see the Model men through.

With a noticeable breeze at their backs, Wexford opened the scoring with a dead centre free ten metres out from Brosnan barely one minute into the game.

Shane Lennon replied with an almost identical free at the opposite end for the Wee County, before Adrian Flynn put the visitors back in front in the fifth minute with an effort from the right.

As the action swung from end to end in the frantic first few minutes, Lennon hit the back of the Wexford net when he caught a high ball into the Wexford full-back line and the full-forward twisted his way free from his marker and slammed the ball beyond goalkeeper Anthony Masterson.

Undeterred, Wexford popped over a wonderful free thanks to Brosnan to leave just a point in it with eight minutes gone.

Scores were grabbed at either end during an energetic period of play midway through the opening half. Once again it was Lennon doing the damage for Louth, while Brosnan was keeping the scoreboard ticking over for Wexford.

An Aindreas Doyle point for Wexford, with 20 minutes on the clock, levelled the clash at 1-03 to 0-06.

Another Lennon free edged the Wee County in front a minute later, but the last 15 minutes of the first half saw a strong and powerful Wexford performance emerge and with Brosnan and Lyng both pointing for the visitors, Louth looked in a bit of bother.

The home side were in further trouble seven minutes before the interval when Lyng charged onto a breaking ball in midfield and the Wexford full-forward broke free of the defence to fire a long range effort past a stranded Neil Gallagher in the goal.

With the home crowd silenced, Brian White got a free for Louth to raise a small cheer, but Wexford saw out the half with two further points from the ubiquitous Brosnan and Lyng once again. That left the visitors with a five-point buffer.

The home side looked more interested in the second half and White fired over his second free to close the gap to four.

But a solo James Holmes effort redressed the balance once more. White again struck back after 13 minutes of the half, however a freak goal from PJ Banville proved to be a killer blow.

A long effort from Shane Roche struck the post and fell kindly into Banville's arms and he made no mistake.

Louth did go on a scoring spree for the next 11 minutes, knocking over five scores to Wexford's one.

Yet Wexford clung on for the win and they now face either Wicklow or Meath in a Croke Park semi-final in three weeks' time.

WEXFORD: Anthony Masterson; Michael Furlong, Graeme Molloy, Lee Chin; Brian Malone, David Murphy, Adrian Flynn (0-01); Daithi Waters, Rory Quinlivan; James Holmes (0-01), Ben Brosnan (0-05, 0-05f), Aindreas Doyle (0-01); Ciaran Lyng (1-03, 0-01f), Redmond Barry (0-01), PJ Banville (1-00).

Subs used: Shane Roche for Barry (47 mins), Paddy Byrne (0-01) for Doyle (56), Conor Carty for Holmes (61), Robert Tierney for Chin (62), Kevin Gore for Waters (65).

LOUTH: Neil Gallagher; Padraig Rath, Dessie Finnegan, John Bingham; John O'Brien, Derek Crilly, Adrian Reid; Paddy Keenan (0-02), Brian Donnelly; Andy McDonnell (0-01), Brian White (0-06, 0-03f), Conor Rafferty; Ciaran Byrne, Shane Lennon (1-05, 0-03f), Derek Maguire (0-01).

Subs used: Colm Judge for Byrne (42 mins), Pauric Smith for Donnelly (48 mins), Ronan Carroll for Rafferty (52), Jim McEneaney for Judge (66).

Referee: Fergal Kelly (Longford).

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