BILLY Lee’s opening league game as manager of Limerick’s footballers didn’t deliver the result in Wexford Park yesterday but at least he witnessed a gutsy performance before losing 0-14 to 1-8.
Wexford wasted no time to get going with Ciarán Lyng’s strike under pressure and regained the lead as PJ Banville swapped frees with Gerry Collins.
However, once Limerick began to get their share of possession and pressured the Wexford defence coming out, the spaces opened up, they found O’Carroll as their inside target and put together some quick moves.
These led to O’Carroll fisting over, Collins finishing a pass and return, Jamie Lee bursting to score from distance on the run, O’Carroll collecting, turning his man to point from the left sideline and Neville putting four between the sides when running onto the subsequent kickout. The game changed, however, when the Model began running at the ball at the full-back line instead of using the quick hand pass and could have goaled off Kevin O’Grady collecting off James Stafford’s burst.
Adding points from Lyng’s free, Colm Kehoe, Eoghan Nolan and Banville’s free, they had the scores tied at 0-6 each by the break.
Although Limerick missed an immediate chance on the restart but thereafter Wexford took over.
Their dominance in the middle told as Nolan and Banville’s free put them ahead. Neville could have restored Limerick’s advantage but his shot at the end of a breakaway attack was spectacularly saved by Shane Roche and after Collins sent over a free, his fisted effort from the edge of the square was again stopped by Roche.
John Turbitt pointed off Wexford’s clearance and the hosts shook off their inhibitions for Roche’s ‘45’, Banville and Lyng to stretch the gap to five. But the pressure then eased, Limerick fought their way back into the game, pulled back a Lee free and, after his effort minutes earlier was disallowed for a square ball, Neville resurrected the contest by fisting O’Carroll’s delivery to the net. However, the equaliser wouldn’t come, and Tiernan Rossiter and Banville’s free secured Wexford’s victory in injury time.
SCORERS, WEXFORD: PJ Banville 0-5 (4 frees), Ciarán Lynn 0-3 (2frees),Eoghan Nolan 0-2, Colm Kehoe, John Turbitt, Shane Roche (‘45),Tiernan Rossiter 0-1 each; LIMERICK: Danny Neville 1-1, Ger Collins 0-3 (2 frees), Séamus O’Carroll, Jamie Lee (1 free) 0-2 each.
WEXFORD: Shane Roche; Brian Malone, Jim Rossiter, Michael Furlong; Eoghan Nolan, John Leacy, Tiernan Rossiter; Daithi Waters, Colm Kehoe; Kevin O’Grady, Paul Curtis, PJ Banville; Ciarán Lyng, James Stafford, John Tubritt. SUBS: Jake Firman for Paul Curtis (58 mins), Naomhán Rossiter for Eoghaan Nolan (67 mins).
LIMERICK: Donal O’Sullivan; Daniel Daly, Johnny McCarthy, Seán O’Dea; Paul White, Iain Corbett, Cillian Fahy; David Ward, Brian Fanning; Peter Nash, Ger Collins, Danny Neville; Seán McSweeney, Séamus O’Carroll, Jamie Lee. SUBS: Garrett Noonan for Daniel Daly (blackcard, 18 mins), Brian Donovan for Peter Nash (half-time), Cian Sheehan for David Ward (43 mins), James Naughton for Sean McSweeney (baclcard, 46 mins), Pádraig Quinn for Cillian Fahy (62 mins), Barry Lynch for Jamie Lee (66 mins).
REFEREE: Alan Kissane (Waterford).