Friday 20 September 2019

Doyle: we want more

Under-21 boss targets All-Ireland after three-in-a-row

The Wexford players celebrate winning their third Leinster Under-21 hurling title on the trot in Innovate Wexford Park on Wednesday
The Wexford players celebrate winning their third Leinster Under-21 hurling title on the trot in Innovate Wexford Park on Wednesday

Brendan Furlong

Wexford manager JJ Doyle says his players haven't reached their goal yet despite annexing their third Bord Gais Energy Leinster Under-21 hurling title in a row at Innovate Wexford Park on Wednesday.

The Slaneysiders trailed by a goal after just 13 seconds, after Liam Hickey netted for Kilkenny, but Wexford stormed back, registering 3-5 without reply in a 25-minute period on the way to an eventual 17-point victory.

'We had a goal this year and it hasn't been achieved yet,' Doyle said.

'A lot of the lads who lost to Antrim two years ago are still in or around the squad. Ten of them from last year are back, and ten of them are under-age next year again, so every year there's new lads coming in and adding to it.

'We don't know who we are playing in the semi-final. I didn't even look at it yet. I don't even know when it's on yet! I presume the end of August like it normally is,' he added.

For the record, Wexford are due to meet the Ulster champions on August 22.

'We'll really enjoy tonight and the next few days and we'll push on then. We have a long wait though until an All-Ireland semi-final, and if it was a bit closer it might be better, but we'll enjoy it until then.'

Doyle was thrilled with his side's character on their way to delivering a 17th provincial crown.

'Periods like our response to Kilkenny's goal certainly don't come around too often, especially in finals.

'If you are going to perform, the place to do it is in a final and the guys did it in fairness to them,' he said.

'I don't think we could have expected or got a better performance out of the lads. Every one of them stood up, and guys across the pitch stood up, and that's all we can ask from any of them.'

Senior player Conor McDonald was selected as man of the match after contributing 1-10, 0-7 from frees, but Doyle was keen to point to the overall team performance.

'It was a team game. You don't score 4-17 with just two or three players playing well. It's a full team game, and the inspirational point that Jack O'Connor got off the sideline in the first couple of minutes just settled us down.

'It shows what we are capable of doing, and the guys believe in each other, and believe in themselves.

'We knew with that combination and the ability that they have, that the team would go a long way.'

Wexford will now meet the Ulster champions in the All-Ireland semi-final on August 22, while the Intermediate hurlers have their first outing in Portlaoise on Wednesday when they meet Galway in the Leinster decider. Those two teams will carry the flag after the departure of the Senior footballers in Owenbeg on Saturday when they lost to Derry by nine points.

Wexford People