Classy Dublin see off Wexford

Wexford 1-14 Dublin 0-22

Classy Dublin see off Wexford

Wexford 1-14 Dublin 0-22

Leinster hurling champions Dublin displayed character and class to see off an emerging Wexford team and book their place in another provincial decider.

A tricky trip to Wexford Park asked searching questions of a Dublin side that had not seen competitive action for eleven weeks.

A first half goal from Podge Doran gave Liam Dunne’s men a massive boost, but the Dubs looked to experienced players like Conal Keaney, Paul Schutte and Alan McCrabbe to carry them through.

Just two points separated the sides at the break, but Anthony Daly’s side turned up the heat after the break to run out winners by five.

Wexford eased ahead with early points from Jack Guiney and Conor McDonald, but after hitting a handful of wides, Dublin began to find the range through the experienced Alan McCrabbe, who converted a free, before steering over a couple of gems from play.

Conal Keaney gave Anthony Daly’s side the lead for the first time in the eighth minute, but the advantage was instantly wiped out by Podge Doran’s goal.

Full forward Conor McDonald fired in a shot which was saved by goalkeeper Alan Nolan, but Podge Doran seize upon the rebound to smash the ball to the net.

Paul Morris added a point from a free, but Dublin were warming to the game, and showed no sign of panic, building their challenge upon the platform established at midfield by Joey Boland and skipper Johnny McCaffrey.

Substitute Paul Ryan hit the target, and McCrabbe was a constant source of scores, building further on his tally.

Doran’s point was followed by four Dublin scores on the spin between the 16th and 26th minutes, and Wexford needed some solid defending from skipper Matthew O’Hanlon, Lee Chin and youngster Liam Ryan to prevent further damage.

Liam Og McGovern scored Wexford’s first point in 11 minutes, but McCrabbe’s sixth sent Dublin in with a 0-11 to 1-6 half-time lead.

Wexford crafted another goal chance, but Nolan denied Doran, with Morris converting the resultant ’65, and the sides were level for the fourth time when Morris added a free.

But Keaney was the man for the moment, and his influence sparked another Dublin flourish.

He fired over two wonderful scores to nudge his side into a three points lead, before another volley of scores saw the gap extended to six, and Wexford were struggling to work possession into scoring positions.

McDonald, having a terrific battle with Paul Schutte, did manage to squeeze over a point to keep them within touching distance.

Once again, Nolan save from Doran, and Chin narrowed the gap to three with 10 minutes to play.

But Dublin were abler to deliver a telling response, wing back Michael Carton firing over two points in the space of a minute.

Wexford battled right to the end, Liam Og McGovern and Morris pulling back scores, but Dublin were well clear, and held on with assurance for a meeting with either Kilkenny or Galway in the final.

Wexford: M Fanning, L Ryan, M O'Hanlon, K Rossiter, L Chin (0-1), A Shore, C Kenny, D O'Keeffe (0-1), H Kehoe, P Morris (0-6, 4f, 2 ’65), P Doran (1-1), L Og McGovern (0-2), R Jacob, C McDonald (0-2), J Guiney (0-1).

Subs: G Sinnott for Guiney, D Redmond for O’Keefe, E Moore for Kehoe, I Byrne for Jacob

Dublin: A Nolan, S Hiney, P Kelly, P Schutte, S Durkin, L Rushe, M Carton (0-2), J Boland (0-1), J McCaffrey, A McCrabbe (0-9, 6f), R O' Dwyer, C Cronin (0-1), D O' Callaghan, C Keaney (0-5), M Schutte.

Subs: P Ryan (0-3) for M Schutte, N McMorrow for O’Dwyer, C McCormack for Boland, D Treacy (0-1) for O’Callaghan

Referee: C Lyons (Cork)

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