DUBLIN 1-22 WEXFORD 1-12
Ger Cunningham’s Dublin hurlers maintained their winning streak when they defeated Wexford with ten points to spare in Saturday evening’s Bord na Móna Walsh Cup final at Croke Park.
Dublin face Tipperary in their NHL opener in Semple Stadium, Thurles boosted by victories over UCD, Antrim, Laois, Galway and Wexford and the inclusion of those players who were college-tied for Saturday week’s clash.
The Dubs were a more cohesive unit that the Slaneysiders, that said Wexford squandered a number of point scoring opportunities particularly from medium to long range as well as being denied by the reflexes of Dublin keeper Conor Dooley.
Paul Ryan added 0-10 to his personal scoring tally in the Walsh Cup to bring his overall scoring return to a healthy 5-21 (1-0 pen, 0-15f, 0-1 ’65’) as his steered Dublin to their seventh Walsh Cup title (1960, 1964, 1966, 2003, 2011, 2013, 2016).
Cunningham’s men will next cross paths with Wexford in this summer’s Leinster SHC on May 29 in Croke Park so maybe there was an element of early season ‘phoney war’ to Saturday night’s exchanges.
The elusive David ‘Dotsy; O’Callaghan got Dublin off the mark with a second minute point and they were three clear by the sixth minute, 0-3 to 0-0.
Wexford, however, did have a few early sightings of the Dublin goal but Conor Dooley was very much up to the challenge and denied Liam Og McGovern on two occasions.
Dooley also saved from David Dunne while wing-back Diarmuid O’Keeffe had a goal attempt cleared away to safety by Liam Rushe.
By the interval Dublin had steadied themselves to move seven points clear, 0-11 to 0-4 as Dublin’s forwards proved to be more clinical than their Wexford counterparts with O’Callaghan and the Treacy brothers, David and Seán, looking alert when in possession.
Dublin extended their lead on the restart with two points and a super David Treacy score pushed their further clear before a long-range effort from Jonny McCaffrey saw the Dubs move 0-14 to 0-6 in front by the 50th minute.
In the 54th minute McGovern pulled a goal back for Wexford but Eamonn Dillon responded with a goal of his own as he brought his tally to 5-12, all from play, during the Walsh Cup campaign.
SCORERS – Dublin: P Ryan 0-10 (0-8f, 0-1 ’65’), E Dillon 1-1, D Treacy, D O’Callaghan 0-3 each, F O Riain Broin, J McCaffrey, N McMorrow, D Plunkett, S Treacy 0-1 each. Wexford: H Kehoe 0-6 (0-6f), L Og McGovern 1-0, C Dunbar 0-2 (0-1 sideline), A Shore, L Chin, S Tomkins, D Dunne 0-1 each.
DUBLIN: C Dooley; J Boland, L Rushe, O Gough; F O Riain Broin, C Crummey, J McCaffrey; R McBride, N McMorrow; D Plunkett, P Ryan, D Treacy; S Treacy, D O’Callaghan, E Dillon.Subs: R Hardy for Boland, M Schutte for Hardy, S Reilly for Ryan.
WEXFORD: M Fanning; J Breen, M O’Hanlon, A Kenny; A Shore, L Ryan, D O’Keeffe; L Chin, H Kehoe; A Nolan, S Tomkins, P Morris; C Dunbar, L Og McGovern, D Dunne. Subs: J O’Connor for Morris, A Maddock for Nolan, B Carton for Dunne.
REF: J Keenan (Wicklow).