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Saturday 17 August 2019

Bloodless victory

Walkover and league for Wanderers

Team captain Sean O'Corcora receives the cup from Robert McDermot, senior vice-president of the Leinster IRFU
Team captain Sean O'Corcora receives the cup from Robert McDermot, senior vice-president of the Leinster IRFU
Wanderers squad after receiving the Division 3 League Cup and Pennant in Park Lane on Sunday

Wexford Wanderers R.F.C. Senior side were crowned Leinster League Division 3 champions on Sunday in front of an ecstatic home crowd at Park Lane.

The campaign, which was difficult for Wanderers, ended by default on Saturday when Arklow could not field a team and Wanderers were awarded the points to propel them above then league leaders, Balbriggan, who had a one-point margin over the Park Lane outfit coming into the weekend.

The format of Division 3 this season was somewhat disjointed with all teams facing off three times, with some of the teams benefiting from home advantage in crucial fixtures. Indeed, such was the scheduling that for a sustained period from mid-October in 2014 the side went six weeks without a competitive fixture.

However, this period allowed the side to recover from a narrow loss to Balbriggan to focus on the remaining fixtures in the run in to Christmas. Coach Mick Bolger wisely used the time to settle the style of play of the team, and when Midland Warriors arrived in Park Lane at the end of November they were duly dispatched 32-6.

The following week, and mindful of the earlier 22-17 loss away to Balbriggan, Wanderers delighted the Park Lane faithful by narrowly beating them in the re-match by 14-13 to set the tone for the rest of the league.

Strong January wins over Arklow, Ratoath and Midland Warriors led to a winner-takes-all clash in the third encounter against Balbriggan exactly a month ago. The tie in north Dublin was a real humdinger with Wanderers ending Balbriggan's campaign with a narrow 8-7 win to leave them trailing by one point with Wanderers having a game in hand.

For captain Seán O Corcora's men the title was sealed on Saturday when Arklow couldn't field a side and Wexford were awarded the points. The celebrations commenced in Park Lane on Sunday at 2.30 p.m. after a friendly fixture against Waterpark.

Congratulations are due to the coach Mick Bolger, manager Billy Morris, captain Seán O Corcora, vice-captain Kyle Roche and the rest of the team and their extended support network.

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