Last Coiste fi­nal Satur­day

Naomh Eanna had an­other cam­paign to re­mem­ber

New Ross Standard - - SPORT - DEAN GOODISON

NINE MONTHS af­ter the ac­tion be­gan, the Peo­ple News­pa­pers Coiste na nÓg cham­pi­onships are fi­nally com­ing to an end.

The Wex­ford Peo­ple Mi­nor hurl­ing Roinn 1 shield fi­nal be­tween Ou­lart-The Bal­lagh and Hol­low Rovers on Satur­day com­pletes a set of ti­tle de­ciders that will have de­liv­ered 44 win­ners from Un­der-14 to Mi­nor level.

It’s at this stage that peo­ple start look­ing to the best per­form­ers in the county. Three is the magic num­ber this year, with a small smat­ter­ing of clubs pick­ing up tre­bles across the age brack­ets.

Peo­ple can ar­gue away about big clubs and small clubs, ad­van­ta­geous catch­ment ar­eas and what re­ally is suc­cess, but that misses the point. In gen­eral, these ar­eas have not trans­formed hugely in the last cou­ple of years, it’s sim­ply hard work pay­ing div­i­dends.

It’s al­most im­pos­si­ble to ar­gue that any club in the county has had a bet­ter year than Naomh Eanna. Out of the six top tier tro­phies, be­tween foot­ball and hurl­ing, from Mi­nor down to Un­der-14, they have won three of them.

That alone is a phe­nom­e­nal ef­fort. They won both Di­vi­sion 1 Un­der-14 ti­tles and the Un­der-16 Premier hurl­ing crown. On top of those, they lost in the Un­der-16 foot­ball fi­nal, made the quar­ter-fi­nals in Premier Mi­nor foot­ball and semi-fi­nals in Premier Mi­nor hurl­ing.

An­other Gorey Dis­trict side has seen a con­tin­u­a­tion of im­pres­sive form in 2017 too. Ki­lanerin and Tara Rocks were re­ju­ve­nated by their amal­ga­ma­tion at adult level, but it’s a for­mula that has treated both well at un­der-age level for a while.

The pick of their three wins as Bal­li­nas­tragh Gaels this sea­son was un­doubt­edly their Mi­nor Roinn 1 foot­ball ti­tle, won re­cently against Shel­maliers. How­ever, they have proved mas­sively gutsy at Un­der-16 level, where they bat­tled their way to a Premier foot­ball/ Roinn 1 hurl­ing shield dou­ble.

Also on the shield dou­ble were the Mi­nors of Oyle­gate-Glen­brien. They looked to have the po­ten­tial to go even bet­ter at times but didn’t al­ways get the rub of the green.

Still, their Roinn 1 foot­ball and Premier hurl­ing shields are a nice re­ward for their ef­forts. Their Un­der-14 hurlers won Di­vi­sion 3 to se­cure a club tre­ble.

Of those that dou­bled up, HWH-Bun­clody should be par­tic­u­larly proud of their ef­forts. They came close, los­ing other fi­nals, but their Un­der-16 Roinn 1 and Mi­nor Premier foot­ball ti­tles ar­guably puts them sec­ond in a ‘club of the year’ rank­ing.

Oth­ers that have picked up a cou­ple of ti­tles in­clude St. Martin’s, Black­wa­ter, St. James’, Ban­now-Bal­lymitty, Bal­ly­hogue and Askamore-Kil­rush. There have been 21 sin­gle win­ners, in­clud­ing com­bi­na­tion teams, Clúain O’Rahilly’s and Our Lady’s Is­land/ St. Fin­tan’s.

Over­all, the spread of ti­tles across the Dis­tricts has been fairly even. En­nis­cor­thy will come out on top of the pile with an im­pres­sive 13, a slight drop from the 15 of last year. Mean­while, Gorey’s twelve is up one on 2016.

Wex­ford Dis­trict slipped the most, from 16 down to eleven. Fi­nally, special men­tion to the work of the New Ross Dis­trict, as they leap from just two ti­tles last year to eight in 2017, with six of those com­ing at Un­der-14 level.

Wex­ford Peo­ple Mi­nor hurl­ing Premier cham­pi­onship fi­nal: St. Martin’s 1-14, Ferns St. Ai­dan’s 1-10 (AET).

Wex­ford Peo­ple Mi­nor hurl­ing Premier shield fi­nal: Oyle­gate-Glen­brien 1-18, Glynn-Barn­town 0-7.

SAT. NOV. 18

AT ST. PA­TRICK’S PARK: Wex­ford Peo­ple Mi­nor hurl­ing Roinn 1 shield fi­nal, Hol­low Rovers v. Ou­lart-The Bal­lagh, 11.30 a.m.

The feast of St. Martin was cel­e­brated on Satur­day, and the tal­ented play­ers of St. Martin’s were wel­comed to Pierces­town Church with an ar­ray of sil­ver­ware they have picked up al­ready in the course of a truly won­der­ful year.

Sam Aud­s­ley (St. Martin’s) wins the ball from Shane Stafford (Ferns St. Ai­dan’s) in Satur­day’s Wex­ford Peo­ple MHC Premier fi­nal.

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