Thursday 22 March 2018

Leinster title glory

A SMALLER than usual number of teams from Wexford qualified for the Leinster semi-finals and finals held in Co. Longford recently. Still, we did have representation in rounders, handball, badminton, skittles and soccer.

Well done to all who competed and to those who were successful in taking a Leinster title, even better, as they are on their way to the national finals to be held in Athlone in August.

ROUNDERS: Piercestown-Murrintown Under-13 girls retained their Leinster rounders title on a beautiful sunny Sunday in Longford. They won their semi-final 31-4 against Limekiln from Dublin. They then continued their good form to defeat The Heath from Laois 29-18 in the final.

They led from start to finish in both games. The entire panel played well with bowler Fiona Esmonde and catcher Clare Barrett controlling the games superbly. Camille McGrath got six out on first base while Abby Mulligan and Lauren Divilly each got one out at second base.

Niamh Cullen got two outs at third while Aoife Dempsey caught two super balls at longstop. The batting was good all round with April Moran, Aoife O'Connor, Rebecca Breen and Amy Fitzpatrick all hitting two runners home. The Wexford girls will now go forward to the All-Irelands in Athlone in August.

The Under-13 rounders team overcame Sallins from Kildare in their closely-fought semi-final by 21 runs to 18. They lost a nail-biting final to The Heath by 13 to 11 after fighting back from a two-run deficit at the end of the second innings.

They led at the end of the fourth but the experienced Heath team played a great final innings to pip the brave Wexford boys at the post. The disappointed losers can be very proud of the way they represented their county.

With a little luck the outcome could have been so different. The Piercestown-Murrintown panel featured Diarmaid O'Leary, David Codd, David Cantwell, Ben Morris, Conor Kelly, Zac Firman, Joe Barrett, Adam Feery, Jim McDermott, John Hennessy and Conor Devereux.

ONE WALL HANDBALL: The Under-13 boys from Taghmon met Leixlip, Co. Kildare in the final. First on the court for Taghmon was Mark Doyle. He was in great form and in control at all times. He amassed an impressive scoreline of 58 aces to Kildare's seven in two ten- minute games.

He was followed on court by team-mates Quinton Kehoe and Conor Murphy who had three very tough games. After putting up a great fight they went down 55-25, but Taghmon still had a lead of 18 aces going into the final two games.

Gavin Lawlor was in fine form and showed he had far too much skill than his opponent with a 46-9 win. That gave Taghmon a winning scoreline of 126 aces to 71.

All games were hard-fought and Taghmon were very deserving winners. The team was Mark Doyle,Conor Murphy, Quinton Kehoe and Gavin Lawlor, while the substitutes were Bobby Doyle and Jack Murphy.

The Bannow-Ballymitty Area competed in the girls' competition but lost out to Leixlip, Co. Kildare in the final. They were represented by Niamh Miller, Maxine Byrne, April Moran, Emily Moran, Danielle Kinsella and Lilian Condon.

GIRLS' UNDER-12 SOCCER: The Kilrush-Askamore Area was in contention. Their opposition in the semi-final were from Monasterevan, Co. Kildare, who got off to a great start and quickly scored two goals.

Kilrush-Askamore's goalie Sianne Rothwell did not lose her concentration as she saved plenty of shots to keep the scoreline down. Aine Doran was kept busy in the Wexford defence and was subbed in the second-half by Sophie Doyle, due to injury. The scoreline remained at 2-0 to Kildare at the break.

Eimear Byrne for Wexford scored within minutes of the resumption and the girls from Kilrush-Askamore showed Kildare that they were still in with a chance of winning when a ball hit the post from the boot of Emma Tomkins and another shot went wide from Elizabeth O'Sullivan.

Wexford fought hard in this half and showed their strength with good defence from Sophie Doyle and Eilish O'Rourke which helped Emma Tomkins score another goal to bring the sides level at the end of full-time.

It was now down to extra-time, five minutes per half. Abbie Walsh was unlucky not to score as she had chances on the goal-line. Kildare, however, scored two goals in the last few minutes of the second-half, one from a free and the other from play, just on the final whistle.

Well done to the team of Sianne Rothwell (capt.), Eilish O'Rourke, Aine Doran, Elizabeth O'Sullivan, Emma Tomkins, Abbie Walsh, Eimear Byrne and substitute Sophie Doyle who came in for Aine Doye. Trainers were Bridget Kenny and Willie Maher. Well done to all on a magnificent attempt and for flying the colours for Wexford.

BADMINTON: Kilrush-Askamore were also involved in the badminton (boys) competition. In their semi-final they met Eadestown, Co. Kildare and quickly saw off that challenge on a 4-2 scoreline. Their opponents in the final were a strong team from Killoughey, Co. Offaly, who reversed the scoreline and took the match 4-2.

Kilrush-Askamore were represented by James Doran and Jack Nolan in the singles events and by Eoin Doran and Liam Sheehan in the doubles. Silver medals made their way home to Kilrush-Askamore and Wexford.

Wexford will be represented at the national finals in Athlone in August by the girls' Under-13 rounders team from Piercestown-Murrintown; by the boys' one wall handball team from Taghmon; by an Under-16 Taghmon skittles team of Clodagh Dempsey, Jessie Doyle, Pádraig Hore, Dylan Colfer-Furlong and Bronagh O'Hanlon (no competition in Leinster), and by the team of Rachel Long, Tadhg Harrington, Lorraine Windsor and Peter Rogers from the Bree-Davidstown Area in the debating competition.

New Ross Standard