Wexford’s third round of the Leinster Senior Hurling Championship took place on Saturday in Croke Park…
Wexford lost out to Dublin on a score-line of 1-22 to 0-23.
Here, we’ll discuss some of the major talking points following Wexford’s loss to the Dubs.
There has not been a great buzz about Wexford hurling this year and that was reflected by the poor attendance. Despite the fact that it was a huge game on the calendar for Wexford and Dublin, only 9,000 supporters from both Dublin and Wexford attended the game and Croke Park looked empty as a result. There was a lack of atmosphere at the match, bar the final quarter of the game. It was hard to fathom the lack of buzz both prior to and during the game. This game definitely should have been played in Parnell Park; it would have had more of a Championship feel to the game.
It’s the same old story. Wexford and Wides is a combination that has hurt this team too many times. Yesterday, Wexford managed to hit 19 wides in comparison to Dublin’s six. Wexford’s game plan, whereby they crowd the middle and attempt to work through the lines, failed to work yesterday. While they did create opportunities, which can be seen as a positive, their wide-count will not win any games at this level. Some players were forced to shoot from distance when Wexford operated without a full-forward line for large portions of the game. The fact that they created the opportunities to score suggests that the game plan could work, but Wexford were just simply not clinical enough.
Speaking to RTE Sport following the game, Wexford manager Darragh Egan is under no illusion either:
“Massively disappointed. Nobody to blame other than ourselves, that’s the unfortunate reality of it,” Egan told RTÉ Sport.
“Fifty-one shots to 31 and we lose the game. The wides killed us. They stayed going at it, there’s great spirit in there, it’s just our quality in front of the posts was not good enough,” he said.
Dublin – there for the taking:
Wexford did not perform well. They did not perform to their ability whatsoever which was showcased by the wide-count. Aside from the wides, Wexford still didn’t really click as a unit and looked somewhat disjointed in their approach. Despite hitting nineteen wides, Wexford were actually on top for large portions of the game. One thing that kept Dublin in the game was Wexford’s fouls; giving away easy frees with Donal Burke on the pitch is criminal and he proved that yesterday, scoring 10 frees with a 100% record over them. As Dublin only won by two points, it proved that they were really there for the taking. Coming out of Croke Park, it felt like Wexford left it behind them.
Let the ball in:
Hurling is an easy game, but it can be complicated sometimes. That seemed to be the case yesterday; Wexford made it too complicated for themselves. The Model County had success in the final quarter of the game when they started to play more direct hurling. They started to let the ball in more frequently, in on top of Conor McDonald, or fast ball to Fethard’s Mikey Dwyer. Both players did well when they did come on, but Wexford left it too late. Shooting from distance wasn’t working; Wexford should have changed their game plan and supplied the full-forward line with faster and more frequent direct ball.
Wexford will require wins against Westmeath and Kilkenny, both of which are at home, in their final two games of the Leinster Championship for the battle for third place.
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