Moran drills in goal with last puck to earn Dublin dramatic draw against Wexford

Dublin 1-22
Wexford 2-19

Kevin O’Brien reports from Parnell Park

FOR THE FIFTH time in the last 12 months, Dublin surrendered a second-half lead in the Leinster SHC but a last-second goal from a 21m Sean Moran free earned them a draw against Wexford this afternoon.

Having trailed by five after 55 minutes, goals from Liam Og McGovern and Rory O’Connor – both from turnovers in attack – put Wexford on the cusp of victory.

In Dublin’s desperate last-attempt at an equaliser, a long delivery into the area was grasped by Liam Rushe, who was fouled to the right of Mark Fanning’s goals.

Moran scored a last-ditch goal from a 21m free against Na Piarsaigh to send the 2018 All-Ireland club final to a replay and he repeated his heroics here to deny Davy Fitzgerald’s side a victory.

His low free bounced past the Wexford bodies into the net and within seconds the final whistle was sounded.

The Sky Blues led Galway, Wexford and Kilkenny heading into the last five minutes in last year’s championship but lost all three games. They were four ahead of Kilkenny at half-time last weekend and led Wexford by 0-20 to 0-15 midway through the second period here, but failed to win either game. 

Caolan Conway and Diarmuid O’Keeffe contest a high ball.

Source: Laszlo Geczo/INPHO

Lee Chin contributed 11 points, ten from placed balls, while his Dublin counterpart Paul Ryan scored 0-10, including two from play.

Wexford’s first championship outing of the year saw Fitzgerald start 13 of the side that lost to Clare in their 2018 championship exit. 

This was battle between two sides expected to battle it out for top-three finish in the Leinster SHC. In last summer’s encounter, Wexford ran out 0-22 to 2-14 victors, a defeat which ultimately ended Dublin’s summer on 2 June. 

In two late changes, Mattie Kenny brought in Cian Boland’s pace and Conal Keaney’s physicality in place of Cuala pair Darragh O’Connell and David Treacy. 

Wexford did not start with a seventh defender but midfielder Diarmuid O’Keeffe dropped into the centre-back position at every opportunity to release Kevin Foley to sweep in front of his full-back line. 

There wasn’t much separating the sides after a bruising opening-half, where they went in level at 0-11 apiece.

36-year-old Keaney justified his inclusion with a brace of scores. The veteran was responsible for the only piece of goalmouth action in the opening 35 minutes, with his shot from 21m easily saved by Fanning. 

Tempers flare between the sides during the game.

Source: Laszlo Geczo/INPHO

The majority of Wexford’s scores arrived from the stick of the accurate Chin, who had 0-6 on the board by the break. Dublin looked more dangerous from open play, with Boland and Eamonn Dillon sniping through from the half-forward line to create chances. 

Fitzgerald spent the first-half of this round 2 encounter in his usual position in the stands and returned to the sideline for the second period. A wonderful catch and score from Aidan Nolan send Wexford in front but Boland replied immediately for Dublin.

Four scores – including three frees – followed from Ryan to push Dublin 0-18 to 0-14 clear, the widest margin so far between the teams. Wexford were threatening though and Rory O’Connor drilled a goal chance into the side netting after a scramble in front of Alan Nolan’s goalmouth.

At the far end, a fantastic double-save from Fanning denied Ryan a green flag, but efforts from Moran and Connolly stretched the home lead to five. Then Jack O’Connor stole in to set-up McGovern for Wexford’s first goal 15 minutes from time and won a free for Chin’s ninth score moments later.

White flags from Murphy and Chin (free) sent the Model County in front and then Rory O’Connor rattled in their second goal to leave Wexford in control. But Ryan and Whitely pulled back points for the hosts before Moran’s late intervention from a free.

Dublin travel to Carlow next weekend in desperate need of a victory, while Wexford will point the bus towards Pearse Stadium to face reigning Leinster champions Galway.

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Scorers for Dublin: Paul Ryan 0-10 (0-7f, 0-1 65), Sean Moran 1-3 (1-2f), Cian Boland 0-3, Tom Connolly and Conal Keaney 0-2, Chris Crummey, Eamonn Dillon and Fergal Whitely 0-1 each. 

Scorers for Wexford: Lee Chin 0-11 (0-8f, 0-2 65), Shaun Murphy (0-2 sideline) and Conor McDonald 0-3 each, Liam Og McGovern 1-1, Rory O’Connor 1-0, Aidan Nolan 0-1.

Dublin 

1. Alan Nolan (St. Brigids)

2. Paddy Smyth (Clontarf)
3. Eoghan O’Donnell (Whitehall Colmcille)
9. Tomás Connolly (St. Vincents) 

7. Shane Barrett (Na Fianna)
6. Seán Moran (Cuala)
5. Chris Crummey (Lucan Sarsfields)

8. Seán Treacy (Cuala)
11. Danny Sutcliffe (St. Jude’s)

23. Cian Boland (St Oliver Plunketts Eoghan Ruadh)
22. Conal Keaney (Ballybioden St Enda’s)
15. Eamonn Dillon (Naomh Fionnbarra) 

13. Paul Ryan (Ballyboden St. Endas)
14. Liam Rushe St. Patrick’s (Palmerstown)
12. Fergal Whitely (Kilmacud Crokes)

Subs

10. David Treacy (Cuala) for Keaney (49)
20. Jake Malone (Cuala) for Boland (60)
24. Caolan Conway (Kilmacyd Crokes) for Sean Treacy (63)
26. Ronan Hayes (Kilmacud Crokes) for Whitely (68)  

Wexford

1. Mark Fanning

2. Damien Reck (Oylegate-Glenbrien)
3. Liam Ryan (Rapparees)
7. Simon Donohue (Shelmaliers)

5. Paudie Foley (Crossabeg-Ballymurn)
8. Kevin Foley (Rapparees)
6. Matthew O’Hanlon (St James)

9. Diarmuid O’Keeffe (St Anne’s)
4. Shaun Murphy (Oulart-The Ballagh)

12. Aidan Nolan (Halfway-House Bunclody)
11. Liam Og McGovern (St Anne’s)
14. Lee Chin  (Faythe Harriers)

13. Conor McDonald (Naomh Eanna)
10. Jack O’Connor (St Martin’s)
15. Rory O’Connor (St Martin’s) 

Subs 

20. Cathal Dunbar (Naomh Eanna) for Nolan (53)
25. David Dunne (Davidstown-Courtnacuddy) for McDonald (65)
22. Harry Kehoe (Cloughbawn) for Jack O’Connor (67)
17. Shane Reck (Oylegate-Glenbrien) for Murphy (73)

Referee: Fergal Horgan (Tipperary).

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