Wexford Football - Hurling <WexfordGAA09>
|History of Hurling||2/1/09|
Hurling is Wexford's stronger sport. This is in evidence in several one-sided results over the years: Kildare were beaten by 14-15 to 1-1 in an 1897 Croke Cup match. The Antrim team were beaten by 12-17 to 2-3 in a 1954 All-Ireland semi-final. Nicky Rackard, who scored 7-7 at that day, was Wexford's greatest hurler. He starred in two great clashes with Cork in 1954 and 1956. Wexford lost the first after having a goal disallowed, but won the second with the combination of a great Art Foley save and Nicky Rackard goal in the closing minutes.
In the 1970s, the distinctive red-haired Tony Doran was the star as Kilkenny and Wexford played ten rousing Leinster finals in succession. In 1984 they claimed that the final whistle was blown prematurely when they were beaten by a single point in the Leinster final.
Wexford had a great team during the 1990s and their hard work was rewarded in 1996 when Wexford, led by Liam Griffin and captained by Martin Storey, brought the Liam McCarthy Cup back to Slaneyside for the first time since 1968, they were waiting 28 years. Cork and Kilkenny have dominated the honours in recent years.
Wexford's most recent hurling success was in the Leinster Final of 2004 when they defeated Offaly. In the Leinster semi final, they shocked Kilkenny by beating them with a last-gasp goal scored by Mick Jacob after a clinical sideline cut by Adrian Fenlon fell into the hand of Kilkenny centre back Peter Barry, only for the brilliant Mick Jacob to block him down as he tried to get rid of the ball and Jacob subsequently fired the ball to the back of the Kilkenny net ending Kilkenny's 6 year reign as Leinster Champions. Unfortunately, however, hurling in Wexford has been on the slide since 1996, their last All-Ireland success, and the Leinster title in 2004 simply papered over the cracks. Since hitting rock bottom in 2006 Wexford have made great progress so far this season and there are signs that Wexford are becoming contenders again.
Honours in Hurling
All-Ireland Senior Hurling Championships: 6
1910, 1955, 1956, 1960, 1968, 1996
All-Ireland Intermediate Hurling Championships: 4
1961, 1968, 2005, 2007
All-Ireland Junior Hurling Championships: 2
All-Ireland Under-21 Hurling Championships: 1
All-Ireland Minor Hurling Championships: 3
1963, 1966, 1968
National Hurling Leagues: 4
1956, 1958, 1967, 1973
Leinster Senior Hurling Championships: 19
1890, 1891, 1899, 1901, 1910, 1918, 1951, 1954, 1955, 1956, 1960, 1962, 1965, 1968, 1970, 1976, 1977, 1996, 1997, 2004
|History of Gaelic Football||2/1/09|
Wexford had one of the greatest football teams in the history of the GAA during the 1910s with them winning six Leinster and four All-Irelands in a row. The team was trained by 1900 star Jem Roche - who had fought for the World Heavyweight boxing Championship, and featured Father Ned Wheeler, Aidan Doyle and the O'Kennedy brothers, Gus and Sean. The latter was the team captain. The six-in-a-row in Leinster was unequalled until Dublin's winning sequence between 1974 and 1979.
Wexford's last major football success was winning the Leinster title in 1945. From then on, hurling took precedent in Wexford and as a consequence, the Wexford footballers suffered and descended into obscurtity for many years.
However, recently Wexford have had a very strong team. The team beat all the odds to reach the Division 1 League final of 2005 under the management of Pat Roe but were beaten by a strong Armagh team that day.
In April 2008, Wexford beat Fermanagh to win the Division 3 League final. This proved to be the first success of what would be a historic year for Wexford football, as they reached their first Leinster final in over 50 years. Along the way they stunned favourites Meath by coming from 9 points in arrears to win their Quarter Final in Carlow and then beat Laois in the semi final. This was Wexford's 5th consecutive appearance in the provincial semi final, but their first victory. However, they comprehensively defeated the O'Moore county.
Unfortunately the occasion of their historic Leinster final appearance would seem to have gotten to them, and they were torn apart by a rampant Dublin team in the final, 3-23 to 9 points. This incredible 23 point victory for the Dubs sealed a 4th consecutive Leinster Championship, but Wexford would appear to have had the more successful year, based on what followed.
Dublin were well beaten in their All Ireland Quarter Final against eventual champions Tyrone, while Wexford recovered from their humiliation and came through the backdoor, beating Down by 7 points in a shock result to reach the last 8 and a game with Armagh. From here, they produced one of the shocks of the championship, winning 14 points to 1-12 to reach their first All Ireland semi final since the 1940s.
Unfortunately that was as far as they went, as despite a brave effort, they were beaten by 6 points by Tyrone in the semi-final, though they came to within 2 points of the eventual champions in the closing stages.
It was an amazing first season in charge for Jason Ryan, a newcomer to the management scene.
The Honours of Gaelic:
All-Ireland Senior Football Championships: 5
1893, 1915, 1916, 1917, 1918
All-Ireland Junior Football Championships: 1
Leinster Senior Football Championships: 10
1890, 1893, 1913, 1914, 1915, 1916, 1917, 1918, 1925, 1945
Leinster Minor Football Championship: 3
1937, 1950, 1969
Leinster Junior Football Championship: 6
1911, 1963, 1984, 1992, 2000, 2007