Favourites St Martin’s fought off a still challenge from neighbours St Anne’s to claim their 4th Wexford Senior Hurling Championship at a sun baked Innovate Wexford Park today before an attendance of just under 6,000, the final score line in their favour was 1-15 to 1-13.
The first half was a tepid affair but the greater scoring potential of the St Martin’s forwards ensured that they led by double scores at the end of the opening quarter 0-6 to 0-3, Jack O’Connor and the Coleman cousins Conor and Joe with the pick of the white flags. St Anne’s had looked more likely to score a goal but veteran Red Barry was foiled on 2 occasions with smart saves by St Martin’s goalkeeper Luke White.
With Diarmuid O’Keeffe scoring 6 points (5 frees) for St Anne’s only 3 points separated the sides deep into first half injury time. However impressive wing forward Jake Firman following uncertainty in the St Anne’s defence scored a late goal for St Martin’s to leave the score at the break St Martins 1-10 St Anne’s 0-7.
Spearheaded by a tremendous display from midfielder Aidan Rochford St Anne’s swept back to within 3 points by the end of the 3rd quarter 1-12 to 0-12, O’Keeffe again piling on the scores from placed balls.
With the excitement growing with 10 minutes to go following a foul on dangerous corner forward Darragh Furlong St Anne’s were awarded a penalty but Mark Furlong’s well struck strike came back off the post to safety. After Darren Codd had put the Martin’s 4 points in front in the 56th minute St Anne’s Aidan Rochford somehow found space in the St Martin’s square to score a crucial goal and leave only a point between the sides and momentum on their side.
St Martin’s however who had lined out without injured Paidi Kelly and suspended Rory O’Connor showed their vast experience and saw out the game with full back and man of the match Joe O’Connor repelling any late St Anne’s attack and a couple of late Joe Coleman frees secured the title.
Luke White, Conor Firman, Joe O’Connor, Mark Maloney, Daithi Waters, Willie Devereux, Patrick O’Connor, Aaron Maddock, Harry O’Connor, Joe Coleman (0-6, 0-5 frees), Darren Codd (0-2), Jake Firman (1-2), Ciaran Lyng (0-1), Jack O’Connor (0-2), Mikey Coleman (0-2).
Michael Codd for Mark Maloney, Kyle Firman for Darren Codd, Eoin O’Leary for Patrick O’Connor, Ben Maddock for Mikey Coleman, Jack Devereux for Jake Firman.
Paul Brennan, Paraic O’Keeffe, Thomas Cullen, Kenny Clooney, Kevin Whelan, Aaron Craig, Mikey Fogarty (0-1), Diarmuid O’Keeffe (0-11, 0-8 frees, 0-2 “65s”, 0-1 play), Aidan Rochford (1-0), Liam Rochford, Liam Og McGovern, Mark Furlong, Darragh Furlong (0-1) , Redmond Barry, Jonathan Fogarty.
David O’Connor for Jonathan Fogarty.
Referee Dan Crosby (Kilmore)