mature model march on
Inexperienced Dublin minor hurlers can't handle a Wexford-led by Maddock
Wexford proved far too strong for a youthful Dublin outfit, deservedly prevailing by eight points in their Leinster Minor Hurling League Group A encounter at a sun-kissed Belfield last Saturday afternoon.
With a strong breeze at their backs in the opening half, the visitors assumed control from the early stages and a ten-point interval lead was just reward for their dominance in most sectors.
Dublin improved in terms of possession after the break but the goal required to kick-start an unlikely comeback proved elusive and their fate was sealed as Séamus Casey netted in the 58th minute to confirm Wexford's success.
In total, ten players scored from play for the visitors over the hour and that tally could well have been higher but for some errant shooting that saw the Slaneysiders amass eleven wides in the opening half.
Given Dublin's emphasis on their Under 17 players, it was expected that they would struggle with the physical advantage that their opponents enjoyed and so it proved as some early Wexford pressure eventually yielded a score through full-forward Murtha Doyle.
Points ensued from Ciarán O'Connor and Joe O'Connor before the Dubs finally opened their account in the 5th minute as Aidan Mellett popped over after excellent approach play from Johnny McGuirk.
Mellett added another tidy score four minutes later but it proved Dublin's final score of the half as they struggled for possession and territory against a Wexford outfit that built on their lead through points by Ciarán Kirwan, Ciaran O'Connor, Casey and Joe O'Connor.
Dublin's clearances from defence lacked precision for the large part, which allowed their opponents numerous opportunities in front of goal and despite their shooting proving array at times, Wexford finished the half strongly to build a ten point interval lead following scores from Darren Codd, Jack Pettit and Ciarán O'Connor.
Dublin proved far more competitive after the break with Colin Currie converting five frees in the second-half, reflecting a greater urgency by the hosts in the second-half.
However, Wexford, superbly marshalled throughout by centre-back Aaron Maddock, managed to create and convert sufficient chances as the half progressed to maintain their sizeable lead with substitute Rory O'Connor looking especially lively at corner-forward.
A brace of points by Aaron Coffey hinted at a more coherent Dublin threat but Wexford had fine-tuned their shooting to increase their advantage through points from Liam Pender, Doyle and Jody Donohue.
Maddock's influence was never more obvious when he drove masterfully from defence before Casey was on hand to fire an emphatic finish beyond Ryan De Felice to place a more accurate complexion to the final scoreline.
Scorers - Wexford: C O'Connor 0-5 (0-4f), S Casey 1-1, J O'Connor, R O'Connor, M Doyle 0-2 each, C Kirwan, D Codd, J Pettit, L Pender, J Donohue 0-1 each. Dublin: C Currie 0-5 (0-5f), A Mellett, A Coffey, J McGuirk (0-1f) 0-2 each, É Mac Domhnaill (0-1f) 0-1.
Wexford: O Foley; D Clarke, B Quigley, C Firman; R White, A Madock, C Kirwan; C O'Connor, C Flood; D Codd, J Pettit, J O'Connor; C Carty, M Doyle, S Casey. Subs: L Pender for Carty and C Hearne for Flood (21), R O'Connor for Casey (26), D Byrne for Foley (half-time), E Kelly for Hearne and D Rech for C O'Connor (40), E Corcoran for Codd (41), J Donohue for White (44), Casey for J O'Connor (45).
Dublin: D O'Neill; J McVeigh, L Corcoran, J O'Neill; C Byrne, E Foley, L Finnegan; P Kelly, J McGuirk; A Mellett, C Currie, P Smyth; A Coffey, P Feeney, C Costello. Subs: S McCaw for Costello (23), R De Felice for D O'Neill and O Lanagan for Byrne (half-time), E McLoughley for McVeigh (40), É Mac Domhnaill for Kelly (45), G Dodrill for Currie and B Dennis for Coffey (52), J Gibbons for L Finnegan and J Byrnes for J O'Neill (53).
Mentors - Wexford: Larry Coleman, Joe Kelly, Podge Walsh, Pat Fitzharris. Dublin: Johnny McGuirk, Paul O'Brien, Andrew Coffey, Jim Ryan, Barry Mullane.
Referee: Michael Murtagh (Westmeath)
Wides: Wexford 14 (11+3) Dublin 6 (1+5)
Conditions: Glorious spring sunshine but strong breeze blowing down pitch.
Player of the Game: Aaron Maddock (Wexford)