St James’ claim first Wexford football title

Former county player Brendan Doyle leads side to victory over favourites St Martin’s

St James’ (Ramsgrange) 0-11 St Martin’s 1-6

This was a special occasion as St James’ created their own piece of history with a first senior football title and the reaction on the final whistle said it all as they emerged with a thoroughly deserved two-point victory over favourites St Martin’s in their Wexford decider at Wexford Park on Saturday.

The reaction on the final whistle said it all as hundreds of St James' supporters streamed on to pitch to celebrate with their new-found heroes and on former intercounty player Brendan Doyle receiving the cup for the very first time. But this was a victory inspired by inter-county hurling full-back Matthew O'Hanlon who turned in a mighty sixty minutes as he controlled the pattern of the game from midfield with a man of the match display. O how David Power would love to have him in his senior football squad.

Having fallen two points behind inside the opening five minutes when points from Ciarán Redmond and Ciaran Lyng set the tone for St. Martin's, last year's intermediate champions, St. James' got back level 0-2 each through Daniel Keating and Brian Molloy. With Matthe O'Hanlon outstanding in midfield it was St. James' who went in with a 0-5 to 0-4 interval lead.


Within 30 second of the restart, Ciaran Lyng goaled a penalty after Jamie Carty had been fouled. But St. James' never panicked and inspired by O'Hanlon and Graeme Molloy they stormed right back and with Kevin O'Grady, Adam Parle and Brian Molloy kicking excellent points they were the more composed side as they edged their way to a two point lead, 0-9 to 1-4,

St Martin’s were hanging in but were shot shy in front of goal until Ciaran Lyng kicked over two points, one free, to tie the sides 0-9 to 1-6 with two minutes remaining. But with O’Hanlkon and Molloy driving their side forward it was Brian Molloy who lofted over a huge point from just in off the wing, while it was Kevin O’Grady after collecting a sublime 60 metre O’Hanlon pass that secured victory with a mighty point as the game moved into additional time denying St. Martin’s a possible senior double.

ST JAMES: J Ryan; P Barron, J Barron, G Doyle; D Doyle, G Molloy (0-1), R Barron; B Doyle, M O'Hanlon (0-1, free); D Barron, K O'Grady (0-5, for frees), D Keating (0-1); L Murphy, B Molloy (0-2), A Parle (0-1). Subs: D Lyons for D Barron (56 mins); L Murphy for Keating (59 mins); M Molloy for L Murphy (62 mins).

ST MARTIN'S: N Greene; H O'connor, W Devereux, M Maloney; Joe O'Connor, D Hayes, J firman; D Waters, S Murphy; R O'Connor, J Carty, A Maddock; C Redmond (0-1), C Lyng (1-4, 1-0 pen), R Murphy (0-1). Subs: P O'Connor for R Murphy (40 mins); J Coleman for Redmond (46 mins); E O'Byrne for R O'Connor (55 mins).

Referee: D Jenkins (Gusserane).