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GAA Roundup: Wexford stun Tyrone in semi

February 17, 2011

By Staff Reporter

Substitute David Fogarty made light of the atrocious conditions to lob over a close-range point in injury time which sealed the result for Wexford. With victories to date in the competition over Armagh, Kildare, Limerick, Down, Laois and now Tyrone, the winners of the postponed semifinal between Armagh and Mayo stand between them and unexpected glory.
“You won’t be hearing any complaints from me,” said Tyrone manager Mickey Harte. “We thought we wanted it, but it came right down to it, they had a greater appetite. Wexford are a very good side.” Certainly, whatever about the destiny of the league silverware, Wexford have laid down a marker for the Leinster championship, in which they take on Carlow on 5 June.
With a sodden pitch and a slippery ball making the contest something of a lottery, an element of luck was bound to play a part in the outcome, and when Wexford goalkeeper John Cooper lost control of a shot in the seventh minute, Martin Penrose was on hand to strike for Tyrone’s goal.
However, Wexford responded superbly to that early setback and when Matty Forde jinked through the Tyrone defense, his clinical finish was no surprise. The winners led by 1-4 to 1-3 at the break with the full-back line of Colm Morris, Philip Wallace and Niall Murphy expertly fending off the Tyrone attack, while Forde was a constant thorn in the opposition defense.
A point by Mark Harte four minutes from the end to level matters made extra time probable, but Fogarty kept his nerve to strike for a the match-winning score.
“We’re far from being the finished article,” said manager Pat Roe, “and we’ll be getting back to hard training. But it’s great for the players that we’ve matched up against one of the top two teams in the country. A game like that tells you more about the lads than 20 training sessions.”
Meanwhile, Wexford’s opponents in the final will be decided when Armagh and Mayo meet at Croke Park on Sunday.
There were two Under-21 provincial finals up for grabs with Down edging out Cavan by 2-14 to 2-12 after extra time in the Ulster decider at Clones. Substitute midfielder Joe Ireland was the vital ingredient as Down shot 0-5 without reply in the first period of extra-time.
Dublin and Kildare will have to meet again after their compelling Leinster final at Navan finished 1-10 apiece. A goal for Kildare midway through the second half by Ross Glavin appeared to have settled the issue, but Daibheach Dineen hit back with a goal for Dublin.

Kilkenny as good as secured their place in the final of the National Hurling League when they crushed Wexford by 3-26 to 0-5 in the Div. One playoffs at Nowlan Park. Anyone who was expecting a genuine clash between traditional Leinster rivals was sorely disappointed as Kilkenny exacted retribution for last year’s championship defeat.
The winners had goals from Richie Power, D.J. Carey and Henry Shefflin, while Eoin Larkin and Brian Barry both hit eight points. In essence, Wexford failed to turn up as what should have been a meaningful contest quickly turned into a farce.
Clare continued their winning ways with a solid 2-15 to 3-9 win over Cork in Ennis, where the home team should really have won by more. Eight points ahead at the interval, Clare should have built on their lead, but in the end they had to withstand a Cork revival. The winners’ goals came from Andrew Quinn and Niall Gilligan, while Tom Kenny hit 1-4 for Cork who have now lost both their games in the second series.
Tipperary are still in touch for honors following their impressive 3-16 to 0-17 victory over Galway at Pearse Stadium. Mark O’Leary’s two goals were an important factor in the win, but Eoin Kelly’s 0-10 contribution which included six frees put the necessary daylight between the teams.
In Div. One’s relegation series, Limerick avoided the drop with a 3-14 to 3-8 win over Dublin, who are now relegated, while Waterford also maintained their status by beating Antrim by 3-21 to 1-10. Laois also survived for another season thanks to a 1-16 to 1-12 success against Down.
Offaly boosted their chances in the Div. Two promotion race with a massive 8-22 to 2-7 win over Kerry, while in the relegation section, Kildare defeated Wicklow by 0-17 to 1-10. Meanwhile, Mayo remain on course for promotion from Div. Three following their 5-21 to 0-5 victory over Monaghan, as do Donegal, who beat Louth by 6-11 to 2-7.

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