Iconic Doran brought the public to their feet
HE played 187 times for Wexford seniors across three decades, scoring an incredible 131-179, won an All-Ireland SHC medal in 1968, was Hurler of the Year in 1976 and continued to terrorise opposing full-backs until July 1984 when, at 38, he retired after Wexford’s one-point defeat by Offaly in the Leinster final.
The public have always responded to players who bring added excitement, generating a sense of anticipation. Doran had that quality in abundance. His scoring stats reveal an approach based on the premise that points should be seen what they were: scores to be taken only when a goal attempt wasn’t on. The high fetch, the turn and the barrelling run at goal was trademark Doran.
Critics will claim that he wouldn’t thrive in the modern game, which bans scores with boot and hand, but that’s unfair. Doran played the rules as they applied at the time and would, no doubt, have adapted easily in a different environment.
If Doran was an expert in the scoring business, Liam Dunne was equally effective in the art of defending. Tough and tigerish, he spent most of his career working diligently in the half-back line, often covering for colleagues who weren’t as literate at reading the game.
He would never be invited to a re-union of the tallest defenders but it didn’t stop him being highly effective in the air while the precision of his deliveries was a major plus. Third place goes to Damien Fitzhenry, one of the best ’keepers in history. His long-time consistency wasn’t adequately recognised in the All Stars scheme where he picked up only two awards.
1. Tony Doran, 2. Liam Dunne, 3. Damien Fitzhenry, 4. Martin Storey, 5. Mick Jacob, 6. Martin Quigley, 7. George O’Connor, 8. Larry O’Gorman, 9. John Conran, 10. Colm Doran, 11. Darragh Ryan, 12. Lee Chin, 13. Adrian Fenlon, 14. John Quigley, 15. Christy Keogh, 16. Conor McDonald, 17. Phil Wilson, 18. Ned Buggy, 19. Tom Dempsey, 20. Billy Byrne
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