Minor 9 WEB

AJ on the mark in historic minor hurlers victory

Wexford 1-21,     Laois 0-18

Rathnure’s AJ Redmond starred with a personal salvo of 0-13 as the Wexford minor hurlers marked the championship’s transition from an under-18 to under-17 competition with a determined victory over Laois in Saturday afternoon’s sun-kissed clash at Innovate Wexford Park.

Wexford demonstrated real nerve in fending off the midlanders after the lively O’Moore County outfit had regained parity on 0-16 apiece on 45 minutes. Moments later St. James’ Owen Whitty crashed home the clinching goal as Wexford made the telling breakthrough to prevail in this historic fixture.

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Under the guidance of James Sheil (St. Mary’s-Rosslare), Liam Roche (Geraldine O’Hanrahans) Eddie Cullen (Ferns St. Aidan’s), David Redmond (Oulart-The Ballagh) and John Conran (Rathnure), the minors have further group-games against Kilkenny (May 19th) and Dublin (May 25th). They are basically playing for position in the group in order to determine the draw for the quarter-finals, where Wexford will again be in action on June 16th next.

AJ Redmond certainly caught the eye on Saturday with his tidy finishing, and most especially with a few placed-ball scores from long-range.

He opened the scoring before Laois responded to lead 0-4 to 0-2 after eight minutes. Thomas Murphy, AJ Redmond (free), and Richie Lawlor with a classy score from midfield, got Wexford back level on 0-5 apiece after 13 minutes.

While Laois pressed clear by 0-8 to 0-5, Wexford certainly were not found wanting in terms of endeavour, and they turned the tables by 0-13 to 0-11 at half-time as AJ Redmond (5), Jack Kehoe, Paddy Whitty and midfielder Zac Firman obliged.

A couple more AJ Redmond scores (a free and a ’65) increased the margin to 0-15 to 0-11 before Laois no.14 Cathal O’Shaughnessy was denied a goal. But the midlanders twice got back level, including on 0-16 apiece moments before Blackwater’s Thomas Murphy paved the way for Owen Whitty to fire the decisive blow to the town-end net on 46 minutes (1-16 to 0-16).

The sides twice exchanged points before Thomas Murphy, substitute Cian Molloy and, rather fittingly, leading man AJ Redmond sealed a successful start by the purple-and-gold.

Wexford – Darragh Hayes (Oulart-The Ballagh); Shane Walsh (St. Martin’s), Rory Scallan (Ferns St. Aidan’s), Noel Rowsome (Monageer-Boolavogue); Éanna Doyle (Cloughbawn), David Codd (St. Martin’s), Billy Dunne (Oulart-The Ballagh); Zac Firman (St. Martin’s, 0-1), Richie Lawlor (Faythe Harriers, 0-1); Owen Whitty (St. James’, 1-0), Thomas Murphy (Blackwater, 0-3), Jack Kehoe (Horeswood, 0-1); AJ Redmond (Rathnure, 0-13, 9 frees, 2 ’65s), Jack Kirwan (Rapparees), Paddy Whitty (Cloughbawn, 0-1).

Subs: Cian Molloy (Naomh Éanna, 0-1) for Jack Kirwan (38); Dylan O’Neill (Shelmaliers) for Zac Firman (51); David Cantwell (St. Martin’s) for Paddy Whitty (54); Feidhlim Roche (Blackwater) for Billy Dunne; Eamonn Doran (Craanford) for Thomas Murphy (injury-time); also, Cian Byrne (St. Mary’s-Rosslare), Patrick O’Connor (Blackwater), Cian Browne (Naomh Éanna), Kevin Breen (St. Anne’s).

Photos: Noel Reddy Wexford GAA

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