Fantastic Feile!

Wonderful weekend on and off field

Alan Aherne

The Fethard boys celebrate after beating near neighbours Horeswood by 0-9 to 0-3 in Nowlan Park on Sunday to capture the Division 5 hurling Cup
The Fethard boys celebrate after beating near neighbours Horeswood by 0-9 to 0-3 in Nowlan Park on Sunday to capture the Division 5 hurling Cup
Craig Bradley, captain of Adamstown, receiving the Division 7 hurling Shield from Martin Skelly, national Chairman of Féile na nGael, in Ferns Centre of Excellence on Sunday
Katie Breen-Sherlock of Duffry Rovers accepts the Division 4 camogie Shield on behalf of her team in Fenagh on Sunday

The sun shone like never before this year over a glorious weekend, and it proved the perfect backdrop for an extremely successful John West Féile na nGael hurling and camogie festival which attracted thousands of visitors to the county.

A total of 684 matches were played over three days in counties Wexford, Kilkenny and Carlow, with a record 176 hurling teams taking part along with 112 camogie sides.

And when the dust had settled after hour upon hour of frenetic activity in the blistering heat, three local clubs were among the 36 victors.

A Wexford winner was guaranteed in the Division 5 hurling Cup after Fethard and Horeswood qualified for Sunday's decider in Nowlan Park, and the St. Mogue's boys added a new name to the national roll of honour when they prevailed by 0-9 to 0-3.

The second hurling title arrived in the Division 7 Shield when another New Ross District club, Adamstown, defeated Roscrea of Tipperary in the Halo Tiles and Bathrooms Ferns Centre of Excellence, following in the footsteps of their triumphant Division 4 Cup hurling team of 1998.

There was also success for Wexford on the camogie front, with Duffry Rovers claiming the Division 4 Shield in Fenagh on Sunday when they overcame Drumsurn from Derry.

There was a Slaneyside involvement in eight of the 36 finals, and it was a particularly good weekend for the Oylegate-Glenbrien club as their two teams contested deciders.

Indeed, they were in action at roughly the same time in separate venues on Sunday, with the hurlers losing the Division 6 Cup final to Cuchulainns of Cork in Nowlan Park while the camogie side went down to Naomh Eoin (Myshall) from Carlow in the Division 3 Shield in Ferns.

Three more Wexford teams lost finals on Sunday in Carlow, namely Ferns St. Aidan's in the Division 4 hurling Shield in Tinryland, Rathgarogue-Cushinstown in the Division 5 camogie Cup in Fenagh, and Davidstown-Courtnacuddy in the Division 9 hurling Cup, also at the latter venue.

The following advanced to the last day of activity on Sunday before going down at the semi-final stage: Buffers Alley (Division 1 hurling Cup); St. Martin's (Division 1 camogie Shield); HWH-Bunclody (Division 2 hurling Cup); Naomh Eanna (Division 4 camogie Shield); Ferns St. Aidan's (Division 5 camogie Cup); St. James' (Division 5 hurling Shield); Marshalstown-Castledockrell (Division 6 camogie Cup); Ballinastragh Gaels and Monageer-Boolavogue (Division 7 hurling Cup); Ballyhogue (Division 10 hurling Cup); Ballygarrett (Division 11 hurling Shield).

Sarsfields from Cork retained their Division 1 camogie Cup crown, while Dicksboro from Kilkenny succeeded Faythe Harriers as Division 1 hurling champions.

However, Buffers Alley made a gallant effort to keep the title in the county, pushing Sixmilebridge from Clare all the way before losing Sunday's semi-final on a 0-7 to 0-5 scoreline after seeing off Mount Leinster Rangers from Carlow by a goal in the previous round.

After the weekend, the revised list of overall Cup winners from Wexford since the competition began in 1971 reads as follows -

Division 1 hurling: Oulart-The Ballagh (2001), Faythe Harriers (2016).

Division 2 hurling: Rathnure (1990); Horeswood (1991); Oulart-The Ballagh (1994, 1997).

Division 3 hurling: St. Patrick's (1999).

Division 4 hurling: Clonard (1985); Adamstown (1998); Blackwater (2015).

Division 5 hurling: Davidstown-Courtnacuddy (1998); Bannow-Ballymitty (1999); Fethard (2017).

Division 7 hurling: Craanford (2015).

Division 1 camogie: Rathnure (1974); Oulart-The Ballagh (1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002).

Division 2 camogie: Bunclody (1993).

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