Wexford class acts!
Three teams all set for Leinster finals
Wexford participated in the Class 4 Leinster qualifier competition, hoping to add to the tally of teams already in the provincial finals at the end of the month.
The Class 4 team certainly did not disappoint with dominant performances in all three matches. This brings to three the number of teams in the finals, with the Class 1 and 3 teams going through earlier in February. With a mixture of experience and youth, this team seemed to strike the perfect balance for the often nerve-filled atmosphere of inter-county competitions.
A 7-0 victory against Laois in the opening fixture was certainly a good start but with a worry that the team may become complacent after an easy win. It was Dublin next and a 5-2 victory here had manager Catherine Canavan delighted that her team still remained focused.
A third round victory against Wicklow also on a scoreline of 5-2 saw Wexford top the group and safely see their way to the Leinster finals. With a performance like that, there was no doubt that all players were well up for the games and that regular county training may have been the difference between Wexford and the opposing teams.
These opening games marked the Senior inter-county debuts of Taghmon brothers Brandon and Ryan Cogley who showed no nerves in any of their well-won games. Declan Carroll, also of Taghmon, dominated in the singles and is definitely a great addition to this Class 4 team.
The more senior members - Ciarán Doyle, Nicky Sinnott, Polly McNiven, Siobhán Creane and Helen Butler - all showed their experience in an overall great team performance. Clodagh Dempsey stole the show however with an excellent tenacious display of singles, especially against Wicklow in the final game.
Wexford now meet Meath in the Leinster semi-final later this month.
Panel: Nicky Sinnott, Declan Carroll, Ciarán Doyle (capt.), Brandon Cogley, Ryan Cogley, Siobhán Creane, Clodagh Dempsey, Helen Butler, Polly McNiven. Manager, Catherine Canavan. Selectors, John Joe Murphy, Mick Murphy.
Meanwhile, Wexford's Clodagh Dunne had yet another good day at the office, capturing two national titles at the Under-17 finals in Baldoyle. This amazing winning streak has the Taghmon native now holding five national titles, having won all three up for grabs in the Under-15 championships earlier in the year.
Clodagh Dunne (1) faced Rachael Woods (3) in the match of the Under-17 tournament. A nail-biting three-game match kept spectators at the edge of their seats. Woods took the first set 25-23, and Dunne fought back in the second 21-14.
The third game saw both girls give it their all but Dunne continued her winning form and took it 21-16, adding the Under-17 singles to her list of national titles.
Clodagh also went on to win the girls' doubles with partner Kerri Scott, beating Lana Browne and Karen MacNamara in the final 21-11, 21-9.
This amazing run of form by the Taghmon girl does not just happen by accident and is due to the hard work of the 15-year-old in addition to that of her backroom team (Clodagh's parents) who deserve a mention for all their help and support.
Also representing Wexford in the Under-13 section were Gorey players, Evan Byrne, Seán Bass, Aine Crowe and Leonie Ward, along with Paddy Nolan also from Taghmon.
Evan and Seán reached the semi-finals of the doubles while Evan finished runner-up in the singles event.
This being a national championship, it is a great achievement to get to any final or semi-final. Well done to all concerned and for the help and guidance of Wexford youth officer and coach, Ross McNiven.