Saturday 18 January 2020

Fitzhenry's saves shined brightest in golden age for goalkeepers

Martin Breheny

Martin Breheny

So what was Damien Fitzhenry's best save in a 17-season career which finally ended this week?

There's a very extensive list to choose from but my choice was his block from Offaly's Billy Dooley in the 1997 Leinster semi-final.

Wexford -- the reigning All-Ireland champions -- were three points clear in the final minute when Dooley, an excellent finisher, let rip for what looked certain to be the levelling goal. But Fitzhenry dived low, blocked the ball and knocked it away.

It was one of dozens of remarkable saves in what has been a golden age for goalkeepers. But nobody glistened more than Fitzhenry, whose departure is a serious blow to Wexford as they head into a season where they are priced at record long odds for championship success.

Did anybody ever think they would see Wexford at 150/1 to win the All-Ireland title and 40/1 to take Leinster?

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