HL1A: Model lower Banner to go top

February 25, 2018

Wexford's Liam Ryan and Podge Collins of Clare.
©INPHO/Ryan Byrne.

Wexford moved to the top of the league with an excellent 0-20 to 1-13 victory over Clare at Wexford Park.

The visitors went into the game with a 100% record but, with 7,800 looking on in glorious sunshine, the Model County had too much firepower as they leapfrogged them on the 1A table and made sure of a quarter-final place.

The Banner led narrowly at the break, having slotted eight of the 15 first-half points, Peter Duggan and John Conlon hitting seven between them. but Wexford blitzed them with ten of the first eleven points of the second half.

The first four points were shared as a Conlon brace cancelled out early Wexford scores from Paudie Foley and Lee Chin. With Duggan on target twice, the Banner went on to hit four in a row, only for Conor McDonald and Chin to make it four apiece at the midway stage in the first half.

Duggan's free had the visitors back in front and he tagged on another before David McInerney made it 0-7 to 0-4 with ten minutes left in the opening period. Kevin Foley reduced the arrears and Chin slotted a couple of scores either side of Conlon's third as the sides retired with everything still to play for.

Substitute Rory O'Connor and Mark Fanning supplied the first two points after the restart, with Chin having been withdrawn during the break. Fanning's second in as many minutes edged the Model County two ahead and Jack O'Connor tagged on aother before Shane O'Donnell replied. There were four between the teams by the 45th minute as McDonald and O'Connor added to the winners' tally, 0-13 to 0-9.

Paul Morris and Fanning nudged Davy Fitzgerald's charges six clear of his native county going into the last quarter; Foley and O'Connor, who had a super second half, having replaced Chin, added more points as the winners landed six in a row to lead by 0-17 to 0-9 with twelve minutes to go. Duggan and Conlon pulled a couple back but Cathal Dunbar and O'Connor registered either side of a Duggan point as the margin remained as seven with as many minutes left.

An exchange between Duggan and Foley meant it was still a seven-point game with 68 minutes played and Duggan's consolation goal on the stroke of full time was of little relevance.

Wexford - M Fanning (0-3f); C Firman, L Ryan, D Reck; D O'Keeffe, M O'Hanlon, S Murphy; K Foley (0-2), A Nolan; J O'Connor (0-1), C McDonald (0-2), P Foley (0-2); P Morris (0-1f), D Dunne, L Chin (0-4, 3f, 1'65). Subs: R O'Connor (0-4, 1'65) for L Chin, C Dunbar (0-1) for P Morris, H Kehoe for D Dunne, A Maddock for S Murphy.

Clare - D Tuohy; J McCarthy, C Cleary, J Browne; S Morey, D McInerney (0-1), M O'Malley; C Galvin, C Malone; N Deasy, J Conlon (0-4), D Reidy; S O'Donnell (0-1), P Duggan (1-7, 1-6f, 0-1f), P Collins. Subs: R Taylor for C Galvin, D Corry for N Deasy, G O'Connell for J McCarthy, M O'Neill for P Collins, D Ryan for S Morey.

Referee - C Lyons.

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