Dubs grab draw in Wexford thriller

by Aaron Dunne
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Wexford 1-21

Dublin 2-18

It proved a thrilling start to Dublin’s Leinster Senior Hurling Championship campaign as they salvaged a share of the spoils with Wexford at Chadwicks Wexford Park on Sunday afternoon.

The Dubs looked dead and buried as they trailed by five points a minute into added time but a Danny Sutcliffe goal offered hope of an unlikely comeback.

A Cathal Dunbar point edged the hosts three points clear with time almost up but the final word belonged to Cian O’Sullivan, who fired home with the last puck of the game to rescue an unlikely point for the visitors.

The Dubs could not have wished for a more dispiriting start as they conceded a penalty in the opening minute, which Chin despatched confidently beyond Seán Brennan.

A brace of Dónal Burke frees saw Dublin respond well to this body blow but the hugely influential Chin restored Wexford’s two-point lead with the first score from play in the 8th minute.

O’Sullivan added two frees in the ensuing three minutes to leave the sides deadlocked while Chin and Sutcliffe traded points to ensure parity by the 15th minute.

Dublin took the lead for the first time when Paddy Doyle split the uprights from distance while a ‘65’ from Burke added to the visitors’ momentum.

A Chin free halved the home deficit in the 19th minute and while Conor Burke replied at the opposite end soon after, Dublin were beginning to struggle in terms of primary possession.

Their struggles manifested itself in five successive scores for Wexford with Chin accounting for three of those while the lively Rory O’Connor chipped in with two of his own.

Dublin ended a scoreless period of thirteen minutes when Burke added another free and further points from Sutcliffe and Chris Crummey ensured the teams could not be separated (1-8 to 0-11) by half-time.

O’Connor and Chin continued to cause trouble for the Dublin defence as they added to their personal tallies early in the second-half with the visitors relying on scores by Mark Grogan and Seán Currie to stay in touch.

Grogan’s second point of the half saw the sides deadlocked once again by the 44th minute and his Kilmacud Crokes clubmate Ronan Hayes could well have netted five minutes later when blazing over the crossbar from close range.

That appeared fatal as Wexford moved four points clear with Chin, Conor Hearne and O’Connor all on target with Burke replying at the opposite end through a brace of placed balls.

Liam Óg McGovern dragged narrowly wide in the 57th minute but that miss hardly seemed vital as Chin added another two frees to augment a Cian Byrne score to leave five points between the sides.

Burke clipped over what seemed a consolation point in the 64th minute but with Dublin opting to delivery high ball from deep, they began to reap their rewards.

Firstly, Sutcliffe crashed home from close range to raise Dublin spirits and with the last play of the game, substitute Paul Crummey gathered possession before finding O’Sullivan for a clinical finish beyond Mark Fanning.

Dublin’s Seán Currie in action against Niall Murphy of Wexford during the Leinster
Hurling Championship match at Wexford Park  on Sunday. Pic; Tyler Miller/Sportsfile

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