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Thursday 5 December 2019

A fitting recipient

Lee chin wins first All Star Hurling Award

Lee Chin and Sarah Roche at the All Star awards ceremony
Lee Chin and Sarah Roche at the All Star awards ceremony

Lee Chin believes winning a PwC hurling All Star was a great honour for himself, family and club.

The Faythe Harriers clubman, along with Diarmuid O'Keeffe, are the county's first All Star award winners since 2004, an indication of the impact Davy Fitzgerald has had on Wexford hurling in his three years at the helm.

This time last year, Wexford had to be satisfied with nominations without getting over the final hurdle, but such were Chin's displays through the Allianz League along with the provincial and All-Ireland championships that he was always looked upon as a sure bet to be honoured this year.

At the start of 2019, Wexford sought to build on their progress of the previous year. To achieve this, it was always going to take the leadership of the Faythe Harriers player to steer them into the top four counties and set the county up for a real challenge for provincial and All-Ireland success.

Chin had many inspirational moments through both league and championship. Always prominent in the league, turning in some massive displays, it was in the championship that the skill and composure which he brings to his game shone through.

As the championship opened up, Chin and his colleagues had to draw on all their reserves to fashion away draws with Dublin and Galway in their opening round ties, two crucial results in the long run.

But the best was yet to come from the outstanding midfielder. He was inspired against Carlow, setting up a final group game with arch-rivals, Kilkenny, with so much depending on the result.

The tension in Innovate Wexford Park was off the charts as Chin stepped up to that 80-metre free in the closing seconds.

He kept his composure to steer the ball between the posts, giving his side a draw, and a place in the provincial final against Kilkenny, after Galway had been dramatically dumped out by Dublin.

One could see the confidence grow in Chin and his colleagues as they moved on to Croke Park. Like their previous clash, the result went right down to the wire so it was no surprise to see Chin in the thick of the action in the closing minute, as he plucked a T.J. Reid free from the air on the fringe of the square to ensure a first provincial title since 2004.

It was back to Croke Park for the All-Ireland semi-final and a clash with Tipperary. Once again Chin stamped his class on this game.

His second-half goal, following a powerful run through the centre, was without doubt one of the goals of the year.

Joint captain of the team along with Matthew O'Hanlon, this was without doubt Chin's finest year in the purple and gold.

He has done so much to bring Wexford back to the top flight of hurling, while his contribution in keeping Faythe Harriers and Wexford town in the ranks of Senior club hurling should not be forgotten either.

Wexford People

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