United Striders A.C. Well done to the Juvenile United Striders who won the Wexford winter league for an unprecedented third year in a row at the Sports Hub track, Enniscorthy.
Leading after three rounds, we needed lots of big performances in the fourth and final round to ensure that the trophy returned Barrowside. As the afternoon unfolded, it became clear that the Striders, with 60 or so athletes competing, were looking good to retain the trophy.
Winners on the day were Rebecca Bawden, Ciara Kelly, Elaina Browne, Myles Hewlett, Aidan Shannon, Adam O'Connor and Aaron Browne. In addition, we had great performances from Lucy Power, Aoife Barry, Chloe Berry, Sara Finn, Leona Berry, Ruby Murphy, Aisling Ryan, Isabel Bawden, Juno Clarke, Erinn Shannon, Clodagh Foran, Eve Byrne, Leah Meyers, Méadhbh Rogers, Aisling Power, Cathríona Ryan, Méadbh Whitty, Aoife Nic Eochaidh, Zara Murphy, Alannah Byrne, Joanne Kelly, Conn Clarke, Ronan Shannon, Sam Meyers, Patrick Pyne, Donnacha McCarthy, Liam Murphy, Cillian Browne, Seán Lennon, Luca O'Connor, Kevin Phelan, Cosmo Hewlett, Finn Kelly, Eoin Shannon, Caolain Costello, Ben Meyers, Ryan Murphy, Ciarán McCarthy, Brian Whitty, Luke Finn, Conor Redmond, Darragh Flannelly, Owen Lennon, Oisín Mac Eochaidh, Seán Barry, Conor Phelan, Cian Flanagan, Conor Murphy, Ryan Kielthy and Travis Phillips.
After an agonising wait, whilst the scores were being compiled, the Striders were, once again, announced as the middle distance champions of Wexford and the celebrations began. With music, food, birthday girl Leona, birthday cake, medals and that trophy, it was quite an evening back in New Ross.
A big thanks to Menapians for all their organisation on Sunday (and previous weeks) and for making it a very special day for our children.
See www.unitedstriders.com or United Striders on Facebook for more details.
Well, the tension really is turning up a notch after week eleven as we have two players tied for the lead in the league standings. And with only one point separating the top three players, it's really all to play for.
The ladies' final saw Caroline Bradley play Inez Brennan in a close match that went to the fifth and deciding leg to get our winner. Caroline is leading the ladies' section at the moment but she had to give second best to Inez on this occasion.
This was a repeat of the previous week's final which Caroline won, but Inez has been playing really well of late and she took her chance to close the gap on Caroline with aplomb. Inez is one to watch for the ladies' title this year.
The main section is really close at the top and here are the top six places: David Murphy, 53 points; Michael Meaney, 53 points; Jeff Nolan, 52 points; Tom Kent, 41 points; Paul Murphy, 40 points; Andrew McCormack, 40 points.
Michael got to joint top spot after a great performance last week where he threw some excellent darts, and he had the measure of David Murphy in the final in which both players hit 180s and several 140s to go with some clinical finishing.
Both of the lads will take some beating over the last five weeks of the league, and it all promises to go down to the wire for overall winner. And remember, Jeff Nolan is only one point behind as well so it's really too close to call at this point.
We look forward to next Wednesday night and week 12 of the season to see if someone can put some daylight between themselves and the chasing pack.
Wexford Eagles hosted the Cashel Crusaders on Saturday in Gorey in the I.A.F.A. Flag Football tournament 2016.
It was a close affair, with both teams enjoying the good, if somewhat chilly, weather. The action flowed fast from end to end, but unfortunately for the Eagles, they came out on the losing side by 37 points to 31. Terry Carey had four touchdowns, and John Lynch got one.
The Eagles American Football team train every Wednesday evening in Gorey, and always appreciate new recruits, so why not go along and play in one of the country's fastest-growing sports?
Enniscorthy ladies' XI were in action against Wexford on Sunday morning. The reverse of this fixture earlier in the season finished with a 1-0 victory to the girls in green.
From the start Wexford picked up from where they had left off in the previous encounter by putting pressure on the Enniscorthy defence. This resulted in an early short corner which provided the opening goal, with a thundering shot giving Fiona Rothwell no chance in the Enniscorthy net.
For the next ten minutes Wexford won two more short corners which failed to trouble the Enniscorthy defence. After this Enniscorthy kicked into action with Anna Flood starting to link well with Sonja Rynhart in midfield.
It was now Enniscorthy who began to boss proceedings with Nancy Dunphy winning the first attacking short corner. Rynhart's strike at goal met a Wexford foot. The resulting short corner led to a third in a row after an infringement in the goalmouth by a Wexford defender.
No mistake was made with the third attempt as Nancy Dunphy fluently cracked the ball off the Wexford backboard from the top left of the 'D'. Wexford kicked on again and Molly Boyne along with an impressive and quick Olive Lett had to be alert to keep Wexford at bay.
Boyne made a solid clearance to Sonja Rynhart who made a run to the circle where she won a short corner. Anna Flood got a quick, strong shot away from the resulting corner but Wexford dealt well with it.
Róisín O Muirí, on her debut with the firsts, made an outstanding effort to hold off the keen Wexford attackers, clearing the ball out wide to link with Nancy Dunphy. Dunphy, playing extremely well in a more forward role than usual, was finding some space on the right which led to Leah Chapman getting a strike on goal which was saved by the Wexford 'keeper.
At half-time it was honours even at one each, and before action resumed the umpires pulled in both captains to discuss discipline as events threatened to boil over on more than one occasion in the first-half.
Wexford started the second-half well and had an early short corner which proved to be unfruitful. Not long into the second-half, a clash of heads during a strong tackle unfortunately saw another one of our debutants, Laura Redmond, out of action for the remainder of the game.
Aine O'Brien, our final player on her debut with the firsts, had a number of key and skilful interventions at this stage to aid her defence, along with Molly Boyne and Katie Owen's excellent efforts in the back line.
Two more short corners were earned by Wexford, the second of which was beautifully cleared by Ruth Harrington. Chapman was now beginning to pick up loose ball in the centre of the field and linked well with Sonja Rynhart who was unfortunate not to score a goal.
It was shortly after when Rynhart picked up the ball on halfway and headed towards goal. Rounding the last defender she struck her shot while at the same time receiving a cynical push in the back which left the umpire with no option but to award a penalty corner. A war of words then erupted which resulted in a green card for a Wexford defender.
The resulting short led to a second short which Wexford dealt with. Wexford won a final short near the stroke of full-time but yet again no goal was produced. The game finished 1-1 which is an extremely encouraging and well-deserved result for the Cathedral town girls.
SLANEY OLYMPIC A.C.
The Leinster Senior cross-country races were held on Sunday in Kilmacow, Co Kilkenny, and Slaney Olympic's Ger Forde was second home in the men's race to earn an individual silver medal. Ger was also part of the Wexford team which won silver for the county. Well done Ger.
Slaney Olympic's Bobby Redmond was the organiser of a 5k race/walk fundraiser in Ballymurn in aid of Temple Street Children's Hospital. Over 250 people took part in this great event, with Niall Sheil first man home in 16.48 while Slaney Olympic's Catherine Murphy was the ladies' winner in 19.56. First clubman home was Billy Reck who also finished in second place overall.
The Johnstown Castle Parkruns take place each Saturday starting at 9.30 a.m., and for any members interested in taking part in this great free event, they should log on to www.parkrun.ie to register. First clubman home last weekend was Michael Thorpe in 23.06, and first lady home was Annis Kehoe in 25.28.
Full club results: Michael Thorpe 23.06, Annis Kehoe 25.28, Michelle Doyle 31.11, Andy Staff 32.38, Danielle Dempsey 33.26, Brigid Doyle 35.13.
A warm Slaney welcome to new member Gosia Szymura.
Don't forget training continues each Tuesday and Thursday at 7 p.m. at Enniscorthy Sports Hub and is free to all club members.
We are inviting runners who are interested in joining Slaney Olympic to come along and run on the track and enjoy the experience before joining up. Anyone interested in joining the club, please contact Mag Dunphy on 087-6366905.
Gorey 23, Suttonians 17: The Gorey J2s were also in Sutton on Saturday and managed to secure a 23-17 win against a very determined home team.
Gorey started brightly and after seven minutes Killian Breen with a quick penalty ran in to score under the posts, and Clinton Furney added the points.
With both defences on top it took until the 30th minute for the next score to arrive from a Clinton Furney penalty.
The game started to open up as both teams tried to move the ball around, and Suttonians found the opening with a fine individual try by their full-back. Another Furney penalty saw the visitors lead 13-5 at half-time.
The second-half saw Gorey again start well and good pressure saw Willie Kearney cross for their second try to take the score to 20-5. Gorey seemed to take their foot off the gas as Suttonians grew in confidence. It was not long until this paid off with a well-worked try which was converted.
Gorey responded and another Furney penalty saw them extend their lead to 23-12. Again Suttonians came back and the best try of the match saw them cross in the corner to narrow Gorey's lead to 23-17.
That was how it remained with Gorey just about deserving the win. Best for Gorey were Niall Cousins, Eddie Horan and Zack Sinnott, while Conor Hatton, Shane Rafferty and Seán Byrne played well in the backs.
Team: N. Rothwell, W. Kearney, D. Gregan, Z. Sinnott, J. Fanning , K. Breen, N. Cousins, E. Horan, C. Butler, C. Furney, C. Power, S. Byrne, C. Hatton, S. Rafferty, S. O'Leary, T. Tomkins, C. French, S. Carty, B. Horan, J. Mulligan.
Gorey 19, Tullamore 5: The Gorey Under-13s welcomed Tullamore to Clonattin on Saturday for their first Leinster League tie.
They had been due to start last week, away to Carlow, but the match was called off.
The visitors on the other hand had the benefit of a strong 31-5 away win to Kilkenny, so they came into this fixture on a high.
Tullamore made it clear that they intended to run at Gorey from the start by opting to receive the kick-off, but the Gorey boys were quick in following up Lee Cushe's kick-off and prevented the Tullamore backs from getting into the game too early.
Tullamore were unable to clear their half and all the pressure paid off for Gorey in the eighth minute when Ewan Stephens got in for a try, with the conversion scored by Lee Cushe.
Tullamore came right back into the game immediately. A missed tackle on the wing allowed the visitors to advance to Gorey's '22. Another missed tackle, around the side of a following scrum, resulted in Tullamore gettting over for a try in the corner only four minutes after Gorey had scored. The conversion, from a very tight angle, was missed, leaving it 7-5.
Tullamore felt they were right back in the game but in fairness to the Gorey boys they didn't drop their heads, and in the 20th minute Evan Byrne scored a try following some great work by both the backs and forwards. Shamey O'Hagan's sweetly-struck conversion sailed over, bringing the score to 14-5 which is how it remained at half-time.
The second-half was played mainly in the Tullamore half as Gorey really ramped up their intensity after the interval. In the seventh minute great hands along the Gorey back line put Brian Cushe through on the wing and, following a great run and evading several tackles, he crossed in the corner for a fine try. The conversion was missed so the score was 19-5 which is how it remained to full-time.
Gorey really should have added more but some poor decision-making on the Tullamore line prevented them from doing so.
Any attempt by Tullamore to break into the Gorey half was very well dealt with, especially by Jack Higgins who showed great catching and kicking ability when he came on at full-back. Overall it was a good performance against tough opposition especially as Gorey haven't had a game, never mind a hard one, in some time.
Strong performances featured throughout the team with a special mention for John Milne, who left his sick bed to play this match, and was probably back in it again fairly soon after.
The lads are home again next week to Kilkenny.
Team: D. Fitzpatrick, S. Sawyer, E. Byrne, E. McCrea, A. Cleary, R. Tubritt, G. Hadden, E. Stephens, A. Doyle, L. Cushe, T. Baxter, J. Milne, M. Kruczek, B. Cushe, S. O'Hagan, C. Byrne, Z. Furlong, J. Higgins, P. Kinsella, O. McDwyer, S. Murphy, D. Wadding, R. Cleary.