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Wednesday 17 January 2018

Last Coiste final Saturday

Naomh Eanna had another campaign to remember

Dean Goodison

Nine months after the action began, the People Newspapers Coiste na nÓg championships are finally coming to an end.

The Wexford People Minor hurling Roinn 1 shield final between Oulart-The Ballagh and Hollow Rovers on Saturday completes a set of title deciders that will have delivered 44 winners from Under-14 to Minor level.

It's at this stage that people start looking to the best performers in the county. Three is the magic number this year, with a small smattering of clubs picking up trebles across the age brackets.

People can argue away about big clubs and small clubs, advantageous catchment areas and what really is success, but that misses the point. In general, these areas have not transformed hugely in the last couple of years, it's simply hard work paying dividends.

It's almost impossible to argue that any club in the county has had a better year than Naomh Eanna. Out of the six top tier trophies, between football and hurling, from Minor down to Under-14, they have won three of them.

That alone is a phenomenal effort. They won both Division 1 Under-14 titles and the Under-16 Premier hurling crown. On top of those, they lost in the Under-16 football final, made the quarter-finals in Premier Minor football and semi-finals in Premier Minor hurling.

Another Gorey District side has seen a continuation of impressive form in 2017 too. Kilanerin and Tara Rocks were rejuvenated by their amalgamation at adult level, but it's a formula that has treated both well at under-age level for a while.

The pick of their three wins as Ballinastragh Gaels this season was undoubtedly their Minor Roinn 1 football title, won recently against Shelmaliers. However, they have proved massively gutsy at Under-16 level, where they battled their way to a Premier football/Roinn 1 hurling shield double.

Also on the shield double were the Minors of Oylegate-Glenbrien. They looked to have the potential to go even better at times but didn't always get the rub of the green.

Still, their Roinn 1 football and Premier hurling shields are a nice reward for their efforts. Their Under-14 hurlers won Division 3 to secure a club treble.

Of those that doubled up, HWH-Bunclody should be particularly proud of their efforts. They came close, losing other finals, but their Under-16 Roinn 1 and Minor Premier football titles arguably puts them second in a 'club of the year' ranking.

Others that have picked up a couple of titles include St. Martin's, Blackwater, St. James', Bannow-Ballymitty, Ballyhogue and Askamore-Kilrush. There have been 21 single winners, including combination teams, Clúain O'Rahilly's and Our Lady's Island/St. Fintan's.

Overall, the spread of titles across the Districts has been fairly even. Enniscorthy will come out on top of the pile with an impressive 13, a slight drop from the 15 of last year. Meanwhile, Gorey's twelve is up one on 2016.

Wexford District slipped the most, from 16 down to eleven. Finally, special mention to the work of the New Ross District, as they leap from just two titles last year to eight in 2017, with six of those coming at Under-14 level.

Wexford People Minor hurling Premier championship final: St. Martin's 1-14, Ferns St. Aidan's 1-10 (AET).

Wexford People Minor hurling Premier shield final: Oylegate-Glenbrien 1-18, Glynn-Barntown 0-7.

SAT. NOV. 18

AT ST. PATRICK'S PARK: Wexford People Minor hurling Roinn 1 shield final, Hollow Rovers v. Oulart-The Ballagh, 11.30 a.m.

Wexford People

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