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Wexford in relegation trouble after letting 17-point lead slip following sensational Westmeath comeback

Wexford might face the possibility of playing Joe McDonagh hurling next season after throwing away a 17-point lead against Westmeath.

Wexford are in a dangerous spot with their standing in the Leinster SHC in great jeopardy heading into the final weekend after sensationally losing a 17-point lead against an inspired Westmeath side this afternoon.

Victory looked a formality for Darragh Egan’s Wexford side when they led by 2-14 to 0-3 after 33 minutes while they held also held a commanding 16-point lead at the half-time break, 2-15 to 0-5.

There was only one team in it in the first half but they were only able to tag on 0-7 in the closing period as Westmeath produced a comeback for the ages, and possibly the greatest comeback in GAA history.

Joe Fortune’s men returned for the new half a different team and they fired 1-4 without reply, but in truth, no one in Wexford Park could have confidently predicted what would unfold thereafter.

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Niall O’Brien added his second goal for the Lake men in the 62nd minute tto cut the gap to seven, 2-20 to 2-13, while Wexford were twice denied goals within a minute as Jack O’Connor saw two shots, including a penalty, saved by Noel Conaty.

Niall Mitchell, introduced in the 51st minute, further helped to turn the game on its head with his aerial threat and his 70th minute goal really threw the cat among the pigeons.

He repeated the dose two minutes later with another green flag as the home support were left stunned following a 4-18 to 2-22 loss which could have seismic ramifications for the Model men.

Should they lose to Kilkenny next Sunday on home soil, combined with victory for Antrim against Westmeath at the same time in Cusack Park, Wexford will be relegated to the Joe McDonagh Cup based on their head-to-head deficit with Westmeath.

Victory against the Cats will save their bacon and leave them on four points but Egan faces a savage task to lift their spirits after one of the darkest days in their hurling history.On the flip side, this sensational victory will rank as one of the greatest days in Westmeath’s history. However, their Leinster status is also not safe just yet and they will be eyeing another win to control their own fate next weekend.

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