Both Wexford and Galway could not be separated at Chadwicks Wexford Park yesterday…
The game ended on a scoreline of 1-19 apiece after a strong comeback from Wexford in the final stages of the match.
Here, we look at some of the major talking points following the game:
The New Scoreboard:
For many, the first thing that they witnessed when walking into the Park yesterday was the new scoreboard. It’s something that we can take some pride in. It would make one wonder if Wexford are well-ahead of the curve here too. With its ability to play video and display advertisements, more counties will likely opt to do something similar in the future.
A draw against Galway, considering the circumstances and the late comeback, looked well on the scoreboard at the full-time whistle.
Mac is back:
One of the major positives from yesterday was Conor McDonald’s performance. Scoring 1-02 from play, McDonald, for me, was the best player on the pitch. He looked dangerous each time the ball was played into him. Although the high-ball is usually his best asset, he was winning a lot of direct low-balls yesterday too. He was regularly seen out in front of Daithí Burke, and on another day, he could have scored a lot more.
His goal, where he caught the ball over Burke, and somehow managed to pull on the sliotar into the net, inspired the Wexford comeback.
It really feels like Mac is back to his best again in the purple and gold.
This was an interesting one. For large parts of the first half, Wexford pushed back when Galway were taking their puck out. This allowed the Galway keeper to go short. Many times, it resulted in the Galway goalkeeper passing it to Daithi Burke, who then hand-passed it back to the keeper. This allowed the goalkeeper a free clearance from the ’21, landing it directly into our full-back line.
Calls were made constantly from fans in the stand to ‘push up’ on the puckout. While Wexford could do this, sitting back on the puck-out does relieve some pressure too. It would be an interesting debate to have, but Darragh Egan must believe that sitting back on the puck-outs is better than pushing up.
The Waterford referee was a major talking point yesterday. For most parts, he let the game flow – but his inconsistency with the whistle has to be noted. He was inconsistent for both teams, with both sets of fans criticising the referee when leaving the stadium yesterday.
Wexford fans felt he did not give Rory O’Connor anything as he was being manhandled and pushed into the back on multiple occasions in the second half. Likewise, Galway fans did not believe that Conor Cooney was timewasting – and that it was an unfair call that ultimately led to Wexford’s comeback.
Wexford’s captain came on to a rousing cheer at Chadwicks Wexford Park. Although it was disappointing not to see the Faythe Harriers man start the game, it was nice to witness him come on in the dying stages of the game when Wexford needed a lift.
Chin scored four points after the 70th-minute mark of the game yesterday, including the last-gasp free won by Oylegate’s Damien Reck to level the game.
A crucial point:
Considering Wexford were down for most of the game, we’ll be quite happy with the point on the scoreboard. As it could come down to head-to-head at the end of the round-robin stages, we will definitely take the point. Going into the game we would have and when we were six points behind with 62 minutes on the clock, we definitely would have.
The general consensus leaving the Park yesterday was that we were lucky to come away with the point, but that the never-say-die attitude was brilliant to see too.
The draw against Galway could prove crucial. Those with fond memories of the 2019 Leinster Hurling Championship, which saw Wexford crowned champions, will remember the group stages when Wexford had drawn against Galway, Kilkenny and Dublin – and then went on to win the 2019 Leinster Hurling title.
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