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In a shocking show of dedication and resilience, Westmeath orchestrated a wide ranging comeback, overturning a 16-point halftime deficit to safe a outstanding victory towards Wexford within the Leinster round-robin conflict at Chadwicks Wexford Park on Sunday.
Westmeath’s first hurling championship win over Wexford since 1940.
Initially, it appeared that Wexford, led by Darragh Egan, was on a easy path to victory, holding a commanding 2-14 to 0-3 lead after 32 minutes. Nonetheless, the tides shifted dramatically within the second half as Westmeath unleashed a strong resurgence, with Niall O’Brien scoring two essential objectives to ignite their rally. The outstanding turnaround was finally sealed by substitute Niall Mitchell, who delivered two late objectives to safe an unforgettable win.
Wexford, now going through a difficult fixture towards Kilkenny subsequent Sunday, finds themselves in a relegation battle alongside Westmeath and Antrim. The upcoming conflict between the latter two groups shall be pivotal in figuring out their destiny.
The primary half showcased Wexford’s dominance as they rapidly established a formidable lead, racing forward to 1-7 to 0-1 inside the first quarter-hour. Westmeath struggled to make an affect, managing only a single level from a Ciarán Doyle free within the opening 21 minutes. In the meantime, Rory O’Connor and Mikie Dwyer spearheaded Wexford’s early onslaught, with Conor McDonald capitalizing on their efforts to seek out the web twice.
Wexford’s Jack O’Connor added to their first-half brilliance with a outstanding line-ball rating from a powerful distance of fifty yards, additional extending their result in a commanding 2-15 to 0-5 at halftime.
Nonetheless, Westmeath, below the steering of supervisor Joe Fortune, a Wexford native, regrouped throughout the break and made crucial modifications to their lineup. They emerged within the second half with renewed vigor, instantly closing the hole with 1-4 unanswered factors, bringing the rating to 2-15 to 1-9 by the forty third minute. Ciarán Doyle contributed three factors, together with two frees, whereas Niall O’Brien’s uplifting objective injected additional momentum into Westmeath’s resurgence.
Though Wexford appeared to regain their rhythm with three Lee Chin factors and one other distinctive sideline reduce by Jack O’Connor, they have been denied a number of objectives, leaving Westmeath counting their blessings. Jack O’Connor missed a penalty after a foul on his brother, and each he and Conor McDonald have been thwarted in fast succession on 57 minutes.
Westmeath’s relentless pursuit paid off when Niall O’Brien acquired a protracted supply and transformed it right into a objective, decreasing the deficit to 2-22 to 2-13 within the 62nd minute. Factors from Joseph Boyle, Niall O’Brien, and substitute Derek McNicholas, who had beforehand secured a draw for Westmeath in final yr’s encounter, continued the astonishing comeback. Lastly, Niall Mitchell emerged because the hero, delivering two extraordinary objectives within the seventieth minute and two minutes into added time, propelling Westmeath to a 4-16 to 2-21 lead.
Regardless of virtually six minutes of added time, Wexford did not bridge the hole, and their championship hopes have been shattered by Westmeath’s unwavering dedication.
Notable scorers for Westmeath included Ciarán Doyle with 0-11 (10 frees), Niall O’Brien with 2-3 (1 free), Niall Mitchell with 2-0, and several other others contributing single factors. Wexford’s standout performers have been Conor McDonald