St Anne's rise to claim a rare double

 

St Anne's completed a rare Wexford football/hurling double in Enniscorthy yesterday with a late surge to sweep aside Oulart in a thrilling hurling decider at the Bellefield grounds.

The Rathangan side, with 13 of their starting football line-up, did not take the lead until the 58th minute of a gripping final when Francis Simpson - top scorer in the football decider a fortnight earlier - bundled in their second goal.

The prospects looked grim for them at half-time as they were six points in arrears - at 1-7 to 0-4 - with former county player Paul Finn banging in the goal for well-fancied Oulart.

The gap grew to eight within a couple of minutes of the restart, but then began a remarkable comeback as the underdogs surged relentlessly forward with midfielder Rory Stafford leading the charge. On 41 minutes, helped by a goal from captain and full forward Diarmuid Berry, they levelled affairs at 1-9 each.

A three-pointer from corner forward Sean Dunne should have steadied the ship for the eventual losers, but instead they lost their way badly, with Simpson applying the killer touch. St Anne's, freshly promoted from the intermediate ranks last year, thus secured a double which had not been achieved since the Faytag Harriers in 1960.

St Anne's: P Parle; G Barry, D Berry, C White; K Byrne, D Ryan, P French; J Simpson, R Stafford; R Barry (0-7), J Berry (0-4), D O'Connor (0-1); R Doyle, D Berry (1- 0), F Simpson (1-0). Subs: S Berry for O'Connor, N Ryan for F Simpson.

Oulart The Ballagh: H O'Connor; T Dunne (0-1), A O'Connor, D Roche; G Jacob, L Dunne, D Stamp; J Mythen, J Jacob; M Storey (0-1), P Redmond (0-2), M Jacob (0-4); M Dempsey, P Finn (1-1), S Dunne (1-1). Subs: B Redmond for Dempsey, P Roche for J Jacob.

Referee: J Kelly.