Martin's and Ferns to meet in Minor Premier final
It's that time of year again, as the Wexford People Minor hurling Premier championship final takes centre stage this weekend when St. Martin's face off against surprise finalists Ferns St. Aidan's in a bid to retain their title.
The Piercestown-based club bounced back from their football final loss to see off high-flying Naomh Eanna in the semi-final last weekend.
In what was always destined to be a tight, tough match, they led by 0-9 to 0-5 at the break.
However, Gorey hit back to take a four-point lead in the second-half and looked to be on their way to the final. Callum Quirke dispatched a penalty to the net to give his side hope but they still trailed by one heading into the last few minutes.
With time ticking away Ben Stafford drew St. Martin's level before Jack Devereux fired his club ahead.
Nerves were settled by a pair of Zac Firman points as the game moved into added-time and St. Martin's hung on to win.
Meanwhile, this final comes a full month after Ferns St. Aidan's won their Roinn 2 football title and a massive five weeks after they beat table-toppers Shelmaliers to book their spot in this decider.
With so much G.A.A. squeezed into the last couple of months, it's hard to believe that Ferns have had to wait this long. What effect it will have is yet to be seen, but it's hardly conducive to full match fitness.
These sides met back in July in the group stages but a much different encounter is expected from that 1-20 to 0-8 St. Martin's win in Piercestown. Ferns have come on since then, advancing to the knockout stages with a win in their final group game.
Underdog in both knockout ties, they have excelled when the chips are down and they will leave nothing on the field. That said, in a tight game, St. Martin's are expected to edge it after a titanic battle.
Earlier in the week, St. Patrick's Park (Thursday, 8 p.m.) plays host to the Wexford People Minor hurling Roinn 1 shield final between Oulart-The Ballagh and Hollow Rovers.
Like the Premier final, there has been quite the difference between when both won their respective semi-finals.
Oulart-The Ballagh beat Premier football champions HWH-Bunclody last weekend by 5-9 to 0-7 and are primed to claim the spoils. They are surely helped by the fact that Hollow Rovers won their semi-final against Dunbrody Gaels back in September.
Oylegate-Glenbrien, in unforgiving form, battered their way past Rapparees and into the Wexford People Minor hurling Premier shield final last weekend. Winning by 2-22 to 0-6, they are looking to double-up after already claiming the football shield.
In a recurring pattern this week, their opponents Glynn-Barntown beat Faythe Harriers in the other semi-final on October 1, so again it will be interesting to see how they adapt to the huge gap between games.
Finally, at time of going to print, there is no word on the staging of the Wexford People Minor football Premier shield final between Sarsfields and St. Anne's.
Wexford People Minor hurling Premier championship semi-final: St. Martin's 1-15, Naomh Eanna 2-9.
Wexford People Minor hurling Premier shield semi-final: Oylegate-Glenbrien 2-22, Rapparees 0-6.
Wexford People Minor football Roinn 1 championship final: Ballinastragh Gaels 1-11, Shelmaliers 1-6.
Wexford People Minor hurling Roinn 1 shield semi-final: Oulart-The Ballagh 5-9, HWH-Bunclody 0-7.
THURS. NOV. 9
AT ST. PATRICK'S PARK: Wexford People Minor hurling Roinn 1 shield final, Hollow Rovers v. Oulart-The Ballagh, 8 p.m.
NOV. 11 OR 12
Wexford People Minor hurling Premier championship final: Ferns St. Aidan's v. St. Martin's.
Wexford People Minor hurling Premier shield final: Glynn-Barntown v. Oylegate-Glenbrien.
Date TBC - Wexford People Minor football Premier shield final: St. Anne's v. Sarsfields.