The Island rejoice
Our Lady's Island 3-13 St Mary's R/lare 0-6
Sunday's All-Ireland finalists weren't the only teams looking to emerge from the wilderness and capture some long sought-after silverware.
The previous afternoon's Permanent TSB Wexford District Junior 'B' football championship decider in Kilmore saw Our Lady's Island seeking only a third title, and first since their county-winning year of 1996, while St. Mary's (Rosslare) have yet to win outright in a competition in existence since 1977.
The game pitted a first team against a second string, with the Island happily back in action after a brief break from fielding in football.
And while their first-half display was patchy, they pulled away to record an emphatic victory after three players who weren't even born when they last won the District combined for a stunning goal.
It arrived in the 38th minute at a stage when the Island were leading by 1-5 to 0-5, with Quinn Saunders gathering the ball in the right half-back position and driving crossfield before playing a quick one-two with Cathal Devereux in a central location.
Saunders then spotted Cian Meyler darting goalwards from the left, and his handpass was gathered at pace by the corner-forward who jinked around the advancing Stephen Cogley before planting the ball into an empty net.
It was a sublime goal and, if truth be told, one of the few highlights from a generally scrappy affair.
The first-half was particularly disappointing, with the Island ahead at the break by 1-3 to 0-3 thanks to a 19th-minute individual goal from Saunders who cut in from the right and drilled an unstoppable shot beyond Cogley.
Meyler had hit the bar with a fisted effort earlier for the eventual winners, and a half-time switch paid immediate dividends as Fintan Mullins won the throw-in following his move from full-forward, and then raced through to find the man he swapped with on the edge of the square, Dylan Murphy, who blazed over the bar.
Two pointed Andy Cummins frees left St. Mary's trailing by a mere 1-4 to 0-5 though, but Cathal Devereux converted a placed ball before that brilliant goal left no way back for the Rosslare men.
They later lost Mick McInerney to a second yellow card but it was immaterial to the outcome as the fitter Island players finally showed their true capabilities.
Noel Dempsey rampaged forward from centre-back to be fed for the third goal by Fintan Mullins in the 45th minute, and young Cathal Devereux kicked a string of eye-catching points as the Island's name was added to the cup for a third time after previous successes in 1993 and 1996.
Our Lady's Island: Brian Moore; Robert Cloney, Davy Corish, Rory Reville; Gary Walsh, Noel Dempsey (1-0), Damien Breslin; Joey Murphy, Dylan Murphy (0-2); Quinn Saunders (1-2), Nicky Keane, Cathal Devereux (0-7, 2 frees); Eoin Wright (0-1), Fintan Mullins (capt., 0-1), Cian Meyler (1-0). Subs. - Kevin Wright for E. Wright (51), Nicky White for D. Murphy (54), Dylan Connick for Walsh (54), Shane Kehoe for Keane (57), James Vaughan for Reville (57), also Dean Maloney, Eoin Kinsella, Fran Corish, Darragh Sinnott.
St. Mary's (Rosslare): Stephen Cogley; David Wickham, Conor Murphy, Seán Kelleher; Jake O'Connor, Emmet Byrne, Seán Stewart (0-1); Richard Bent, Chris Walsh; Derek Brohan, Mick McInerney (0-1), Daire Heffernan; Larry Morrissey (capt.), Gavin Morris (0-1 free), Andy Cummins (0-2 frees). Subs. - Gavin Carroll for Bent, temp. (17-21), Darren Morris for Brohan (47), Andy O'Connor for Kelleher (48), Carroll (0-1) for Heffernan (51), Chris Brennan for Wickham (56), Alan Hyland for Cummins (56), also Colm Doyle.
Referee: Mick Lanigan (Shelmaliers).
New Ross Standard