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Friday 15 December 2017

Stars have been impressive but Martin's get vote

Billy Dodd's Football Analysis

Billy Dodd
Billy Dodd

A novel pairing will take the field next Sunday for the Tom Doyle Supplies Senior football final.

For St. Martin's it is a date with destiny as they try to emulate the achievements of the great St. Anne's team of 2000, when they won an amazing double of Senior titles.

After their impressive success in the hurling final, the Piercestown and Murrintown men will be in confident form for their next assignment.

Starlights have their own special reason for winning as they look to celebrate the centenary of the club by winning the biggest title in Wexford football.

In 2004 Starlights won their last title and since then they were relegated in 2011, but showed their class by returning to the Senior ranks immediately, an exceptional achievement by any standards. They have been improving steadily as the championship progressed this year and saved their best performance for the second-half of their semi-final win against Castletown.

The first-half performance was forgettable but their second-half showed everything that is good about the team when they scored an impressive 2-9 in the 30 minutes.

The panel is well balanced with a fine mixture of youth and experience. Their excellent goalkeeper Pa Doyle, captain Jason Russell, Tom Wall, Mossy Mahon and Eamonn Furlong provide the experience, while the exuberance of youth will be on display in the form of Aaron Dobbs, Ryan Mahon and Dillon Redmond.

St. Martin's have an abundance of talent in their squad and emphatically dispatched Shelmaliers in their semi-final replay. They are a talented group of players striving to win the title they claimed for the first time in 2013.

Their selection will depend on how the players emerged from the hurling final, but county stars Daithí Waters, Ciarán Lyng, Conor Firman and captain Willie Devereux will be the driving force behind the team.

Add in the O'Connors, Jamie Carty, Aaron Maddock and Paudie Kelly to name a few and you can see the formidable opponents they will prove to be.

We have to give credit to both sets of management teams for the way they have prepared their panels by keeping them fresh and fit, bearing in mind that both clubs reached the semi-final in both Senior codes.

The task was made more difficult for the Martin's mentors given the success in the hurling and the unwanted football replay. I thought their performance in the replay would have been affected by the impending hurling final, but any doubts were unequivocally buried in a clinical victory.

I expect Sunday's game to be exciting as both teams normally play open, traditional football and are at their best when doing so. When you look through the teamsheets there is a lot of proven talent going to be on display with the aforementioned experienced players, but it is the young guns that I expect to bring something special to the game.

It's a bit unfair to put added pressure on by naming them, but both teams have potential new stars with the ability to win games with moments of magic.

Down to the prediction time now and time to get off the fence. I have been impressed with Starlights this year and they have reached the final with style.

They have loads of talent all over the field and will not lack confidence against their opponents.

I have to say though that St. Martin's have looked like winners since the start of the year. There have been games when they just did enough to win but that is the sign of a good team.

They have a youthful squad with loads of options on the bench and I expect them to complete an historic double next Sunday.

Wexford People

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