Wexford 3-18 Kerry 0-12: The biggest cheer of the afternoon was reserved for Wexford substitute Jack Guiney, who ended a two-year absence from the inter-county scene with 1-1 as Wexford coasted to a 15-point victory over Kerry in this Allianz HL Division 1B game played at Innovate Wexford Park yesterday afternoon.
Guiney, a 47th-minute substitute, slammed the door on the doubters with a splendidly taken goal to mark his return. While he still has a way to go before he reclaims a starting role, he has certainly given manager Davy Fitzgerald serious options for the remainder of the league campaign.
Fitzgerald was clearly happy to have the Rathnure attacker back in the fold.
“Jack has worked hard with us over the last number of months. He had an injury which set him back some seven weeks. While he has still some way to go, he is working hard to get there.
“There are also several other players striving to get back to fitness, so hopefully we will have a full squad shortly,” he said.
With two victories under their belt and promotion in their own hands, Fitzgerald had mixed feelings about Wexford’s first-half display.
“We played very well in the first half into the wind, created four goal chances but took none of them. What I was unhappy with was the way we finished the half. We were coasting 0-7 to 0-4, conceded three points to go in level. We addressed that problem at half-time. We were more clinical in the second half but still missed some easy chances from in front of goal.
“We now look ahead to what will be two serious games, Offaly next Sunday and then Laois. Offaly will be a massive game, that will be one hell of a game in Tullamore next Sunday. They beat us last year so that should be motivation enough for the lads.”
Kerry manager Fintan O’Connor was also able to take positives.
“We were hurting after the Limerick game, but these lads will give everything. They gave everything in the first half and got their reward. Two quick second-half goals killed them off but we will continue to battle through our remaining games.”
After Lee Chin had opened the scoring with a point, it was Kerry who led 0-3 to 0-2 after nine minutes through points from Bryan Murphy and two John Buckley efforts.
The sides continued to trade points but it was Wexford who were wasteful in front of goal as David Redmond, Lee Chin, and Harry Kehoe failed to convert, leaving Kerry to level with three unanswered points from Paudie O’Connor, Jordan Conway, and O’Connor.
Wexford began the second half with a brace of points from Conor McDonald and Lee Chin, before disaster struck in the Kerry defence. Harry Kehoe intercepted as they played out from the back and shot low to the net, 1-9 to 0-7 after 41 minutes.
A minute later a Diarmuid O’Keeffe point attempt rebounded off the post into the hand of the waiting David Redmond who picked out the in-rushing O’Keeffe to calmly slot low to the net.
Kerry’s opening score of the second half came from Colum Harty in the 45th minute. But Wexford maintained the pressure as they outscored their opponents who were reduced to 14 players 15 minutes from the end when Patrick Kelly was dismissed on a second yellow card.
Wexford’s third goal arrived after 56 minutes when Guiney gathered a crossfield ball and shook off his marker to shoot low to the net.
Scorers for Wexford:
D O’Keeffe, H Kehoe, J Guiney (1-1 each); C McDonald (0-6, 5 frees); L Chin (0-4, 2 frees); D Reck, M O’Hanlon, P Morris, E Martin, W Devereux (0-1 each).
Scorers for Kerry:
P O’Connor, C Harty, J Buckley (0-2 each); B Murphy. J Goulding, D Collins, J Conway, P Boyle (free), B O’Leary (0-1 each).
M Fanning; S Donohoe, L Ryan, J Breen; D Reck, M O’Hanlon, D O’Keeffe; S Murphy, J O’Connor; A Maddock, D Redmond, H Kehoe; C McDonald, L Chin, P Morris.
D Dunne for Redmond (49); J Guiney for Morris (49); G Moore for Mcdonald (59); E Martin for O’Keeffe (60); W Devereux for Breen (63).
M Stackpoole; K Carmody, R Horgan, S Weir; J O’Connor, B Murphy, D Dineen; J Goulding, P O’Connor; D Collins, P Kelly, C Harty; J Conway, P Boyle, J Buckley.
T O’Connor for Goulding (61); B O’Leary fpr Boyle (61); J Wallace for Buckley (65); D O’Carroll for Conway (65); J Godley for P O’Connor (68).
J Keenan (Wicklow).
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