The Boys of Wexford overcome neighbours Waterford to win All Ireland u14-15 Team title
Written by Antoin Ó Braoin, Rúnaí Contae
Wexford’s most successful 60×30 intercounty season for many years ended in magnificent style at Talbots Inch, Kilkenny today, Sunday, when the boys under 14/15 team of six produced a terrific display of controlled handball to defeat near neighbours Waterford by 90 points to 36 in the All Ireland 60×30 team of 6 final.
Adam Hanrahan and William Murray-Byrne gave Wexford the perfect start when they beat Adam Clarke and Ben Flynn 15-8 in the opening game of the contest. They were a little bit nervy in the early stages but settled down sufficiently to give themselves a vital lead around the halfway point. From there to the finish they dominated with the help of some inspired serving and their seven point lead was no less than their efforts deserved. The second game was again closely contested early on but once Murray-Byrne in particular got his ‘radar like’ serve sorted the points began to accumulate in Wexford’s favour. With Hanrahan using his strength to push the Waterford boys into the back court and Murray-Byrne continuing to find his angles in impressive fashion, the lead was stretched to 18 points following a 15-4 win.
The second pair in for Wexford were Patrick Boland and Jordan Barnes and once again the Slaneysiders brought their best form on to the court. Pitted against Rory Cusack and Jake Moore the talented Boland returned everything with interest while Barnes backed him up with a determined display. The first game was hotly contested throughout but the Wexford boys were stronger at the back of the court and hard though Cusack and Moore tried they just kept losing the rallies and consequently the points. In the end Boland and Barnes got home 15-10 to increase the overall lead to 45-22 and things were now looking good for Wexford. With that type of advantage the title was all but wrapped up and with little pressure now on their shoulders Boland and Barnes duly got the job done by winning the second 15-5.
With the destination of the All Ireland medals now decided 60-27 in Wexford’s favour the third match was effectively a ‘dead rubber’ but Colm Parnell and Ciaran Power took the court against Michael Linihan and Michael Dwyer determined to leave their own mark on this contest. And how the youngest members of the team did just that! Playing arguably the best handball of the day they totally dominated the opposition on the way to recording a facile 15-1, 15-8 success. Forgot the fact that the match was over because this was a very impressive showing from two talented youngsters irrespective of the points situation. These two have accumulated valuable experience playing for Wexford in recent years and it showed in the assured performance they produced.
All in all it was a hugely satisfying result for Wexford and Team Manager Anne Boland and notable too in that the six players came from six different clubs around the county. Ballyhogue, Bridgetown, Castlebridge, Coolgreaney, St. Mary’s and Templeudigan shared in this brilliant finale to the softball season and they will celebrate this success on equal terms tonight.