Champions Dublin make hard work of trip to Wexford
A dominant final quarter ensured a nervy Dublin eventually overcame Wexford by 3-8 to 0-11 in their Electric Ireland Leinster Minor Football Championship quarter-final in Bellefield, Enniscorthy on Saturday.
With the Dubs trailing by a point in the 46th minute, a clinically-taken goal from substitute John Kindlon a minute later handed Dublin the initiative and Dillon Keating's second goal of the game six minutes later effectively settled the contest in their favour.
It was a far from convincing display by the holders, who struggled after an initially promising opening in which Tom Fox opened the scoring with a sublime point in the 2nd minute.
Matters were to improve for the visitors a minute later as Conor Kavanagh's piercing run was transferred to Keating via Oisin Kelly and the Ballymun forward cut inside before applying a tidy finish past Eoin Cummins.
After Shane Howard had added to Dublin's lead, the wheels seemed to fall off Dublin's challenge as their midfield dominance was eroded thanks in part to the redeployment of Wexford full-forward Nick Doyle into the middle third.
This allowed Tadgh Cody and Mikey Dwyer to exert a greater influence as the half evolved with the latter adding two points in quick succession prior to a Mark Rossiter point in the 16th minute.
Keating and Fox replied for the visitors but both Cody and Dwyer added points while late scores from Rossiter and Doyle ensured a 0-7 to 1-4 interval stalemate.
With the breeze at their backs, the hosts took the lead through Dwyer's 36th minute point but a brace of Paddy Small frees kept Dublin in touch and as Wexford nerves led to some poor wides after the break, Dublin took full advantage through those two precious second-half goals with Kavanagh adding the final score of the game in the 56th minute.
Scorers - Dublin: D Keating 2-1 (0-1F), J Kindlon 1-0, T Fox, S Howard, P Small (2f) 0-2 each, C Kavanagh 0-1. Wexford: M Dwyer 0-4, M Rossiter 0-3 (0-1f), T Cody, J Stafford, F Cooney, N Doyle 0-1 each.
Dublin: E Comerford; J Holland, P O'Hanlon, G McNamara; C Kavanagh, B Howard, O Kelly; A Elliot, D McIlgorm; T Fox, S Howard, B Shovlin; P Small, C Howley, D Keating. Subs: C Pearson for Shovlin (half-time), T O'Sullivan for McIlgorm (39, Black Card), J Kindlon for S Howard (45), C Keely for Kindlon (49, Black Card), C Hulton for Fox (60).
Wexford: E Cummins; J Dunne, R Deveraux, M O'Neill ; Tadhg Cody (Rathgorogue), S Doyle, J Sutton; D Lyons, J Gardiner; C Joyce, M Dwyer, J Stafford; M Rossiter, N Doyle, F Cooney. Subs: C Kirwan for Lyons (29), S Barden for Sutton (37), S Casey for Gardiner (52), M O'Connor for O'Neill (55), T Bowler for Joyce (60).
Ref: Chris Dwyer (Offaly)