Seven up in Leinster tests
THE LEINSTER outdoor team events were held in Carlow recently with Wexford well represented and coming home with seven titles and lots of gold medals too.
We are dominating for the past number of years in the rounders and skittles events and this year was no exception as the county won two titles in each category.
We also come up well in soccer and this year it was the girls' Under-15 team which won the Leinster title and the Castlebridge-Crossabeg Area also managed to win out the Leinster title in the Under13 girls' futsal category for the second year in a row.
The hardcourt tennis team from the Gorey Area which has also taken many Leinster titles won this year without having to play a game as their opponents did not have their paperwork in order. The hockey team from the Piercestown/Murrintown Area will play its Leinster final game against Meath this week and we hope they do well
The Taghmon Area had two skittles teams representing Wexford. First up were the Under-14 team of Clodagh Dempsey, Elsa Dunlop-Doyle, Jessie Doyle, Rachel Murray, Pádraig Hore and Luke Sinnott (missing was Danny Winters) who took on Enfield, Co. Meath.
The Taghmon side showed their experience and took the first round with a score of 59 to Meath's 29. The Taghmon team was up and running and both teams improved in the second round. However, the Wexford team still had the edge and took that round with a score of 80 to Meath's 58.
Taghmon scored 76 in round three to Meath's 46. Meath took round four with a score of 66 to Taghmon's 59 but the lead had stretched beyond Meath with Wexford taking the final round 68 to 47 to win out on an overall score of 342 to 236 to capture the Leinster title for the second year in a row.
Next up was Taghmon's Under-16 team of Declan Carroll, Daniel Furlong, Brona Murphy, Emma Shannon and Annie Stafford. Taghmon took the first round 54 to 39 for St. Conleth's (Kildare), putting them in the driving seat. They went on to win the second round (30-25) and going in to round three it was still a close competition with just 20 points separating the teams.
Wexford, however, continued their good form and won the third round 69-49. St. Conleth's could see the game slipping away from them and Wexford once again took the fourth set 45-23. Round five was no different with Taghmon throwing some excellent skittles, winning 65-16. The final score was Taghmon 263, St. Conleth's 152, giving Taghmon the Leinster title for the second year in a row. Both teams are now off to Athlone in August for the national finals. Well done to them.
UNDER-13 GIRLS' FUTSAL
Here the county was represented by a team from the Castlebridge-Crossabeg Area. They received a bye into the final with Enfield of Meath taking on St. Brigid's of Kildare in the semi-final where they came through on a 6-2 scoreline.
The sides were well balanced in the first-half with each scoring one goal to leave them 1-1 at the break. Fiona Kinsella was goalscorer for Wexford.
However, Wexford upped the pace in the secondhalf and dominated to add two more goals to their tally with no reply from Kildare. Fiona Kinsella and Sarah Harding-Kenny were the goalscorers in this half. The final whistle came and Wexford were declared the Leinster champions on a 3-1 scoreline and they too are off to the national finals in Athlone in August.
Two teams from the Piercestown-Murrintown Area won gold medals at the Leinster finals, with the other two teams losing out in the semi-finals. The girls' Under-15 team won a thrilling semi-final against The Heath from Co. Laois on a 21-13 scoreline. The Wexford girls led from start to finish but had to be at their best throughout to stay ahead of the Laois girls.
Super bowling by Bronagh Whitty featured strongly as did the batting of Aine Ennis and the fielding of Mary Barrett and Lucy McGuinness. The success of the Wexford girls was achieved despite the enforced absence of several of their players. Piercestown-Murrintown overwhelmed Johnstown from Meath in the final to retain their Leinster title on a 27-0 screline which featured brilliant home runs by Sarah O'Connor and Jacklynn Breslin.
Piercestown-Murrintown Under-15 boys won their semi-final against The Heath by staging a magnificent comeback after falling 11-3 behind after three innings. Brilliant teamwork in the final two innings saw the Wexford boys pull ahead to win on a 16-12 scoreline which had the crowd on their feet in a welter of excitement. Many spectators described it as the best game they had ever seen.
Wexford won the final against Johnstown on a 143 scoreline. All the winners were stars but the bowling of Nicky Greene and the fielding of first baseminder Barry O'Connor and catcher Philip McDermott was particularly outstanding.
The two Under-13 teams from Piercestown-Murrintown both went down to The Heath in the semifinal. The girls had a nightmare start, going 12-0 down in the first innings. They fought back gamely led by bowler Emma Codd and catcher Ciara O'Connor. They recovered the score to 12-19 but ran out of innings before they could catch up with the Laois girls.
The Under-13 boys from Piercestown-Murrintown fought bravely against a very strong Laois team. Despite their best efforts the Laois boys won the Leinster title on an 18-7 scoreline. Wexford put in a great effort with Jordan Hayes outstanding at bat and in the field. Unfortunately, it was not to be their year.
UNDER-15 GIRLS' SOCCER
The Leinster Under-15 girls' soccer semi-final was played in the Askea Presentation College grounds, Askea, Carlow, with Tintern-Ballycullane taking on Shinrone from Offaly.
Tintern raced into an early lead with a good Danielle Byrne goal within five minutes. Further goals from Danielle Byrne and two from Ciara Ryan left the Ballycullane girls with a commanding halftime lead which they were good value for.
Early in the second-half Lauren Egan made it 5-0 with a well-taken goal. Shinrone came back into the gane for the remainder of the half but could not break down the Tintern girls' defence.
After an hour's break, the final took place against Trim (Meath). This game started even with little chances falling to either side.
After 25 minutes Tintern made the breakthrough with a good run by Sinéad Egan on goal. She won a race with the 'keeper and her shot could only be parried and finished in the net.
Two minutes later, Tintern doubled their lead after good work by Alex Holden on the wing who found Danielle Byrne. She crossed for Ciara Ryan to finish at the far post.
Half-time arrived with Tintern 2-0 up. Within three minutes of the re-start, Sinéad Egan scored the best goal of the game with a brilliant shot into the roof of the net to put the Tintern girls 3-0 up.
As the second-half wore on, Trim came back into the game but the Tintern defence held out. Kerri Somers and Lauren Egan were working hard in midfield and Kerri had a great shot which was narrowly wide after 40 minutes. She again tested the 'keeper five minutes later.
Ciara Ryan had a shot which went just wide. After a period of pressure, Trim were awarded a penalty which was duly dispatched by Zara Sheridan.
Trim continued to press after this and were denied by a great save by Muireann Kehoe who tipped the ball over the bar from close range. Tintern made a substitution, as Caoimhe Power came on for Alex Holden.
Tintern broke up the field with a brilliant run by Kerri Somers which resulted in a corner and from this Sinéad Egan drove narrowly wide.
That was the last action of the game with Tintern coming through on a 3-1 scoreline.
After the match Sinéad Egan was nominated player of the match by referee Tony Nealon, who had an excellent game. Captain, Valerie Stafford, was presented with the cup and the celebrations began.
Great credit to all the Tintern girls who were outstandong in both games.
Team: Muireann Kehoe, Leanne Rossiter, Valerie Stafford (capt.), Ellie Sheehan, Anastasia Breen, Lauren Egan, Kerri Somers, Sinéad Egan, Danielle Byrne, Ciara Ryan, Alex Holden, Caoimhe Power. Players unavailable - Aine McGarr, Michelle Ryan.
Great credit to the managers - Derek Egan, Keith Holden and Cathal Somers - who guided this team to Leinster glory.
Gorey's Under-16 mixed hardcourt tennis team travelled to Carlow and left the Leinster champions without having to hit a single ball. Their opponents from Meath had to withdraw as their panel sheets and signature sheets did not correspond.
Weekend two of the national finals take place in Athlone over the weekend of August 17 to 19. During that weekend the final of the following activities will be held: cycling, gymnastics (individual and team), judo, swimming, Gaelic football, hardcourt tennis, hockey, handball, pitch and putt, soccer, skittles, variety and volleyball.
Activities taking place on weekend three from August 24 to 26 include athletics, basketball, camogie, futsal, hurling, rounders, rugby (mini) and tag rugby.
Areas need to get the sizes ready for their county tracksuits for the national finals. Please contact Brigid Crean with details. Her mobile number is 087-9873403.
The next county meeting takes place in the Ferrycarrig Hotel on Monday, July 23, at 8.30 p.m.