Oulart-the-Ballagh beat Ferns to take fifth Wexford SHC title in a row
Jacobs brothers help champions to a dramatic win
Oulart-the-Ballagh’s Nicky Kirwan scores a goal against Ferns in the Wexford SHC final. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho
Oulart-the-Ballagh 3-12 Ferns St Aidans 1-16: There was no shortage of passion or drama at Wexford Park yesterday afternoon as Oulart-the-Ballagh created history with a fifth successive title disposing of a gallant Ferns outfit in this absorbing Wexford senior hurling championship final.
But the reigning champions having enjoyed a blistering start, finding themselves seven points up, 2-2 to 0-1, inside four minutes of the start were given an almighty fright by a Ferns side that fought back magnificently as they sought out a first senior title in this their first final appearance since 1969.
It was David Redmond, who was popping up in different positions during the course of the game who inspired his side striking over two crucial second half points on 23 and 25 minutes to give his side a single point lead. Although Ferns battled back to level it was the Jacob brothers who fired over two points in additional time to steer their side to a historic victory.
A Rory Jacob goal inside sixty seconds of the start followed by a Nicky Kirwan effort three minutes later, had the reigning champions leading 2-2 to 0-1. Ferns picked off a string of excellent points through Ian Byrne, Tommy Dwyer, Jonathan Dwyer and John Breen, as they transformed the game going in leading 0-12 to 2-4 at the interval.
The challengers were leading 0-13 to 2-6. when Kirwan goaled from close range after forty-one minutes. The champions weren’t setting the world alight but they were digging in after a Paul Morris point reduced the deficit to the minimum. Jonathan Dwyer and Darren Nolan exchanged points before keeper Ben O’Connor dropped a lobbing Paul Morris ball over the line, giving Ferns a 1-15 to 3-8 lead going into the closing ten minutes.
Oulart kicked on with some fine scores but Paul Morris kept his side in contention. Then in the fifth minute of additional time Tommy Dwyer had a twenty-one meter free saved giving Oulart-the-Ballagh a historic victory.
OULART-THE-BALLAGH: B O’Connor; P Roche, K Rossiter, B Kehoe; L Prendergast, D Stamp, S Murphy; E Moore, M Jacob (0-1); D Nolan (0-1), D Redmond (0-3), D Mythen (0-1); R Jacob (1-2), G Sinnott (0-1), N Kirwan (2-3, 0-2 frees). Subs: D Morton for Stamp (inj); C Goff for Moore (inj), C O’Leary for Murphy.
FERNS ST AIDAN’S: M Walsh; D Byrne, N Maguire, C Whelan; G Bailey, J Tonks, C Roberts; B Jordan (0-1), T Dwyer (0-4 frees); I Byrne (0-3), P Morris (1-3), J Dwyer (0-4, 0-2 sideline cuts); P Farrell, J Breen (0-1), C O’Connor. Subs: C Leacy for Byrne; D Thorpe for Farrell.
Referee: S Whelan (St Martins)