Tuesday 21 November 2017

We're lucky to have Lee as a wonderful Model ambassador

Tom Dempsey's Hurling Analysis

Tom Dempsey
Tom Dempsey

I make no secret of my admiration for Lee Chin's contribution to Wexford hurling on the field of play, but it cannot be underestimated the role this young man is playing in the promotion of club and county off the field also.

He is a wonderful ambassador for everything that is Wexford and a further example of this was his role in 'The Toughest Trade' which aired on RTE television on Friday.

I thoroughly enjoyed the programme and congratulate the men (and women) from the Harriers who did a wonderful job in showcasing the sense of community, spirit and togetherness of G.A.A. clubs everywhere.

Quite how Lee was able to master probably the most difficult sport in one week was quite breathtaking, and I have no doubt that he would would fit comfortably into any professional sport of his choosing.

I suppose one of the reasons for my admiration of the young Wexford man is that he is a constant reminder of the physical condition I myself reached when hurling with Wexford in the mid-nineties (I joke of course).

Larry O, Jimmy Meaney, Caw and Richie gave a great representation of the feeling of passion in all hurling people, and surely there is room for further development of Nicky Keeling and Iggy on the big screen or with maybe a future boy band contract in the offing. Louis Walsh take note.

David Mooney never missed a beat in getting a bit of free labour from the larger than life Canadian goalkeeper Alex Auld, and we learned the secret to Benny Jordan's speed is a jumbo breakfast roll every morning.

The bearded Philip Doyle gave a great flavour of how our weapons are made, and Damien Roche was excellent in linking both sports from his personal experience. Damien's ball alley session conducted in Cullenstown was played out to the spectacular backdrop of something resembling a scene from 'A Game Of Thrones'.

It was great stuff, a great advertisement for Wexford, hurling and the Harriers.

I met Davy on Thursday evening at a community night in Taghmon excellently organised by Brian Cantwell, and got a sense that he was treading very warily ahead of the Offaly game which he expected to be very difficult; so it proved.

Wexford conducted their business in a very professional way in Tullamore and closed out what has been a wonderful few months for hurling in the county culminating in promotion.

Conor Mac (the jewel in our crown) was again outstanding, with Mark Fanning's brilliant penalty save contributing in no small way to the end result. Fanning's performances in the most difficult of positions have been outstanding this year, and we have seen incredible leadership and commitment from this group which has led to the huge achievement of a seat back at the top table.

There is work to be done but for now let's enjoy it and thank Davy, his backroom team and all the players for what they have achieved and are striving to do in the future.

I was priveliged to be in an incredibly atmospheric Thurles on Saturday evening to witness Kilkenny answer some of the accusations of decline that have been levelled at them over the past few weeks.

I can only say that with 15,000 people attending it was a wonderful game of hurling, with the clear signal that although the Cats may have lost some of their invincibility they are not ready to roll over just yet.

Tipperary will be disappointed not to win the game given their big early lead. But as long as T.J. Reid, Walter Walsh, Richie Hogan, Pádraig Walsh, Conor Fogarty, Eoin Murphy and Cillian Buckley have stripes on their backs, Kilkenny will be no easy task for any team.

Tipp for me are still the strongest team in the country but they were met on Saturday evening with a passion and traditional type game that gave all present a spectacle that won't be easily forgotten.

The field in Leinster is levelling slightly however, and Wexford Park in June will be very interesting if we can secure the fixture.

Wexford People

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