A golden weekend!
WEXFORD COMPETITORS joined with hundreds of others to compete in the final part of the national Community Games finals in Athlone. Over the two-day festival, the Wexford children and their supporters were concentrating on athletics, as well as rounders and futsal.
As the bowl of light was slowly extinguished on the Sunday evening, Wexford had completed two very successful days and the children were heading home with medals from all of the above events. What more could we ask for. Well done each and everyone on wearing the purple and gold with such distinction.
ROUNDERS: Piercestown-Murrintown girls won the All-Ireland Under-15 title when they defeated Bawn Lattin from Monaghan 13-12 with one innings to spare in the final. Both teams started well and the score was 0-0 after the first innings.
The Wexford girls went 7-0 ahead in the second innings, the highlight of which was a superb catch by Mary Barrett at shortstop. A quick throw to Eimear Doherty on second base got a second runner out.
The third innings saw the score extended to 80 with Sarah O'Connor catching brilliantly at longstop. The Monaghan girls fought back in the fourth innings to bring the score to 13-7. Bronagh Whitty bowled heroically despite a leg injury while Aine Ennis at first base got three runners out.
The final innings was nail-biting as the Monaghan girls brought the score back to 13-12 before a super catch off the bat by Lucy McGuinness brought the game to an exciting finish. The girls had earlier beaten Athenry 14-4 with two innings to spare in the semi-final.
The Piercestown-Murrintown panel consisted of Dervla Byrne, Orlaith Barrett, Sarah O'Connor (capt.), Lauren Kavanagh, Mary Barrett, Eimear Doherty, Jacklynn Breslin, Gráinne Shirley, Áine Ennis, Lucy McGuinness.
The Under-15 boys from Piercestown-Murrintown won the All-Ireland bronze medals when they defeated Sixmilebridge from Clare 14-8 with two innings to spare. Catch Philip McDermott was man of the match, getting six batters out and scoring three runs himself. Earlier the team had lost their semi-final to an exceptionally strong Mayo team on a 19-4 score.
Nicky Greene bowled brilliantly in both games while the fielding of Conor Coleman and Barry O'Connor was admired by supporters from all sides. Captain Daragh Kenny led his players by example throughout the weekend.
Piercestown-Murrintown: Nicky Greene, Shane Parle, Kyle Firman, Conor Firman, Adam Cantwell, Michael Codd, Conor Coleman, Barry O'Connor, Callum Quirke, Rory O'Connor, Daragh Kenny (capt.), Philip McDermott. Both teams were coached and managed by Eamonn Barrett.
UNDER-13 GIRLS' FUTSAL: The CastlebridgeCrossabeg Area once again had a team in contention, and lady luck deserted them when they lost the semi-final to Burrishoole from Mayo 2-1 on penalties after the sides were scoreless after extra-time.
All was not lost for the Wexford side who came out more determined than ever in their play-off for the bronze medals against Duagh-Lyne, Co. Kerry. Wexford were always in control with Sinéad Ronan-John putting her side on the scoreboard first. They followed this up with goals from Mikaela Lanigan, Larah Campbell and Ailis Neville to win 4-2 and take home the bronze medals.
The team consisted of Sarah Kenny-Harding, Sinéad Ronan-John, Larah Campbell, Chloe Mythen, Sadbh McCarthy, Fiona Kinsella, Ailis Neville and Mikaela Lanigan, and they were managed by Paul Kenny and Adrian Carr.
RELAYS: The county had eight teams in action in the relay events and seven of them qualified for the semi-finals, with six of these progressing to the finals. What a record.
The boys' Under-14 team from Clonard won their final in fine style to claim the national title and the gold medals. Well done to Aaron Smith, David McDonald, Luke McRedmond, Luke O'Neill and Sam O'Neill.
No sooner was that race over when the Under14 girls from Bree-Davidstown took to the track and they too completely dominated to win the gold medals. Well done to Aoife Cloke-Rochford, Aoife Codd, Chloe Whelan, Nicole Furlong, Olivia Howe and Sophie McCabe.
Bree-Davidstown's Under-12 boys' team of Cian Wickham, Daire Rochford, Eamonn Doyle, John Kehoe, Paul Roche and Peter Rodgers came home in fourth place and won the medallions, as did the Bree-Davidstown Under-15 mixed team of Aideen Kane, Darragh Byrne, Finn Condon, Kasey Doyle and Ryan Murray.
The Under-10 mixed relay team from BreeDavidstown and the boys' Under-16 team from Rathangan both finished sixth in their respective finals. The Under-13 mixed team from Rathangan came through their heat in second and finished fifth in the semi-final, while the Under-12 girls from Horeswood finished fifth in their heat.
FIELD EVENTS: Early on Saturday morning, Wexford claimed its first gold in the field events when David McDonald from Clonard won the long jump Under-14 competition with a jump of 5.42.
On Sunday morning, the county won their second gold medal when Shannen Dawkins from Horeswood won the Under-16 high jump (1.68). Well done to both athletes.
Bronze medals were won by Patrick Cummins (Horeswood) in the Under-12 long puck; by Kathlyn Furlong (Bree-Davidstown) and Kevin McRedmond (Clonard), both in the Under-14 shot putt; and by Ian Bennett from Rathangan in the Under-16 discus event.
A medallion for fourth place was won by Dylan O'Sullivan from Enniscorthy in the Under-12 ball throw final. Kate Fenlon from the Bree-Davidstown Area finished fifth in the Under-12 ball throw final, while Saoirse Burke from Kilmore was fifth in the Under-16 discus as was Niamh Cloke-Rochford (Bree-Davidstown) in the Under16 javelin.
TRACK EVENTS: A silver medal was won by Ryan Murray from Bree-Davidstown in the Under-14 hurdles. Bronze medals were won by Chloe Whelan (Bree-Davidstown) in the Under14 hurdles and by Aisling Kelly (Taghmon) in the 200m Under-10
Medallions for fourth place were won by Nadine Kenny (Gorey) in the 1,500m Under-16; by Sophie Codd (Bree-Davidstown) in the 60m Under-10 hurdles; by Amy Doyle (Bree-Davidstown) in the 60m Under-8 final; by Raphael Abidoye from Enniscorthy in the 100m Under-10 final, and by Aoife Cloke-Rochford from BreeDavidstown in the 100m Under-14 final.
Others who made it through from the heats to the finals were Seán Rowley (CastlebridgeCrossabeg), fifith in the 60m Under-8; Leah Nolan (Bree-Davidstown), sixth in the 80m Under-8; Katie Whelan (Bree-Davidstown), fifth in the 100m Under-10; John Kehoe (Bree-Davidstown), fifth in the 100m Under-12; Luke O'Neill (Clonard), seventh in the 100m Under-14.
We had one girl competing in the marathon, Lauren Kinsella from Enniscorthy, and she had a very good race, coming home sixth overall. Three boys lined up with Ian Carty from Taghmon the first home for Wexford, followed in by Stephen Stafford from Taghmon and Peter O'Connor from Enniscorthy.
MEDAL TALLY: At the end of the TWO-day festival of sport, Wexford competitors were travelling home with 22 gold, one silver, 26 bronze and 17 medallions. Roll on 2013.