Monday, September 5, 2011

Wexford Hurlers Win First NACB Junior Title

Final: Wexford 3-13 Na Fianna San Francisco 2-7

Action from the Junior A Final.
Wexford’s journey to their first junior hurling title was not without its bumps. At first it seemed as if the journey to San Francisco was all for nothing after the team was disqualified for showing up late on Saturday morning for an 8:00am start, but the Slaneysiders were given a reprieve and a game Sunday morning against Toronto. Wexford took their second chance and came away with a comfortable win by a score of 3-20 to 1-10. The Wexford boys then had to gather themselves for a 12:00 final against local side, Na Fianna. Wexford survived both battles to emerge victorious with a few players limping through the final stages of the final. Steven Corcoran was invaluable at corner forward, his speed an accuracy caused problems for Na Fianna, while at the back Peter Nolan, Denis Brennan, Ronan Shaughnessy and James Brennan were solid.

The first half of the final saw Wexford pull away into a lead that they retained for the rest of the game. Not that things were comfortable all the way through. Corcoran was the man to put the first few points over the bar, and a goal after 10 minutes settled Wexford. Na Fianna managed two points and when in attack looked dangerous if given the space. Wexford worked hard and showed composure when clearing from defence however. With the Boston side leading by 1-6 to 0-4 Na Fianna propelled themselves right back into the game with a goal from a ball down the middle and over the top. Andy Shore in goal got a stick to it but the ball ended up in the roof of the net. Wexford answered by finishing the half strongly and netted twice. The first came from Tony Murphy. Corcoran provided the assist, and a minute later put one away for himself. At the break Wexford looked to be in a commanding lead, 3-6 to 1-5.

Wexford Celebrate the NACB Junior A Hurling Championship.
The second half was not quite as comfortable for Wexford. Playing their second game in the space of three hours, there were a few players hobbling. Na Fianna enjoyed plenty of possession and on a few occasions threatened the Wexford goal. Wexford made good use of the outlets available in the forward line. Peter Ryan, Murphy, and Corcoran accounted for points to keep Wexford’s noses ahead. Mid-way through the half Na Fianna scrambled a goal to bring them within six points, but that was the last score of the game for them. Shore made one fine save and Wexford fell back to hassle and harry. With Wexford looking very tired Corcoran popped up for a beautiful score to give the Bostonside a boost. The game ended with Wexford points from Corcoran and Moloney to lift their first North American junior trophy.

Wexford: R. Leydon, P. Nolan, D. Brennan, R. Shaughnessy, A. Shore, J. Brennan, S. White, T. Moloney, D. Reddin, C. McArdle, P. McArdle, T. Murphy, S. Corcoran.

By Rory O'Donnell

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