It's 54 years since Wexford defeated Dublin in the Leinster Senior Football Championship but they can’t have come any closer than they did in yesterday’s provincial quarter-final at Croke Park as it took a second half fight-back by the Dubs to force extra-time before prevailing.
Wexford dominated the opening half of normal time and were full value for their six-point lead, 0-8 to 0-2. The long-range dead-ball accuracy of Matty Forde and Redmond Barry was telling but Dublin’s inability to secure possession around the middle of the park put them totally on the back foot.
The introduction of substitute Eoghan O’Gara at half-time saw Dublin begin to win more possession and Conal Keaney had to show all his experience to lift this new-look team.
Dublin had cut the gap to three points, 0-10 to 0-7, with 15 minutes remaining but their task was made even more difficult by the straight sending off of wing-back Denis Bastick. Dublin finished normal time with 13 men after Ger Brennan was dismissed after a second yellow card offence.
Three minutes into the first period of extra-time Bernard Brogan grabbed his second goal after an initial point effort from Tomás Quinn rebounded back off an upright. It was the score that finally broke Wexford hearts as points from Bryan Cullen and Alan Brogan saw the Dubs coast to the finishing line.