Sporting weekend of highs and lows

Jim Hayes

Published 12/11/2016 | 00:00

Tadhg Furlong is tackled by the All Blacks' Sam Cane during the game in Chicago on Saturday. Above, right: Lee Chin celebrates after scoring for Wexford Youths in last Monday's game.
Tadhg Furlong is tackled by the All Blacks' Sam Cane during the game in Chicago on Saturday. Above, right: Lee Chin celebrates after scoring for Wexford Youths in last Monday's game.

THE sporting boys of Wexford have been making national headlines on and off the pitch.

Campile's Tadhg Furlong was one of the heroes as Ireland scored a famous 40-29 victory over the All Blacks at Soldier's Field in Chicago on Saturday.

The 23-year-old Leinster prop showed his mettle at the highest level as Ireland beat New Zealand for the first time, bringing to an end 111 years of misses and bitter disappointments.

Meanwhile, on the soccer field, two Slaneysiders were also celebrating as they led Cork City to victory over Dundalk in the FAI Cup final at the Aviva Stadium on Sunday.

Midfielder Greg Bolger, a native of New Ross, had the honour of lifting the cup as Cork captain, while Screen's Kevin O'Connor was a key player for Cork in defence.

The news over the weekend was not so good for local League of Ireland side Wexford Youths as manager Shane Keegan quit to join Galway United on a two-year contract.

In the wake of Keegan's departure, Youths chairman Mick Wallace said the club would be lodging a formal complaint with the FAI and seeking adequate compensation for an alleged breach of League of Ireland rules by Galway.

Word of the move came on a black day last Friday as Wexford Youths were relegated from the premier division after a 3-0 defeat to Drogheda.

That game stirred up a storm in a teacup as some social media users rounded on hurler-turned-soccer player Lee Chin for choosing to attend the GAA All Stars awards night at Dublin's Convention Centre rather than make himself available to play for Youths in their crucial game.

But Chin, who had scored for Wexford Youths in the first leg of the play-off the previous Monday, rejected the criticism, saying he was only giving the club a dig-out and had always maintained GAA would come first.

The Wexford hurler who played seven games for Wexford Youths had signed a short-term amateur contract after several players had left for New Zealand.

Shortly after Friday night's final whistle, Shane Keegan moved to put the matter to rest, saying Chin wouldn't have started anyway. 'If everybody is fit and available is he in the first eleven? No. And he knows that. He's not a make or break player for Wexford Youths and I don't intend to be derogatory when I say that.'

For full coverage of all the above, plus much more, see our 24-page sport pullout

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