Skil­ful Scott was a very spe­cial tal­ent from a young age

Enniscorthy Guardian - - SPORT - With Alan Ah­erne

ANY TEENAGER from Wex­ford with even a pass­ing in­ter­est in sport in the late-1980s and early-1990s was aware of the prow­ess of Scott Do­ran, whose sud­den death in Eng­land re­cently was greeted with wide­spread shock and deep sad­ness.

Whether it was Gaelic foot­ball, hurl­ing or soc­cer, this gifted all-rounder from Lake­lands in Bridgetown was a su­perb per­former.

He was feared by op­po­nents, revered by team-mates, and ad­mired by one and all be­cause he truly was a very spe­cial tal­ent.

In­deed, as the Kil­more G.A.A. club cor­rectly noted in a trib­ute, his first name alone suf­ficed when­ever sport was be­ing dis­cussed.

Ev­ery­one knew who Scott was, and with good rea­son, be­cause his rep­u­ta­tion for ex­cel­lence was so richly de­served.

He was a marked man from an early age in prac­ti­cally ev­ery game he played be­cause of his abil­ity, but that never seemed to ham­per his in­di­vid­ual con­tri­bu­tion.

In­deed, it only served to un­der­line his great­ness, be­cause he came up with the goods with­out fail for the var­i­ous sides he graced de­spite al­ways hav­ing that tar­get on his back.

All of those fan­tas­tic un­der-age squads pre­pared by ded­i­cated Kil­more teacher Joe Caulfield were based around a solid team ethic, but the op­po­si­tion knew all the same that Scott was the player they re­ally needed to stop.

He was easy to spot on the field, with his jet black hair, dark com­plex­ion and, most of all, a left foot of sub­lime qual­ity. He wasn’t the tallest, but in one sense that helped his game be­cause it meant he had to fight even harder to win his own ball.

And that dis­tinc­tive phys­i­cal ap­pear­ance wasn’t what re­ally made him stand out, as it was some­thing else en­tirely: tremen­dous tal­ent that seemed to come so eas­ily to him, and the abil­ity to elec­trify a crowd with his pace, pass­ing ac­cu­racy, aware­ness and fin­ish­ing.

I was 16 months older than Scott, and I will never for­get the sheer guts he dis­played on a sum­mer’s day in 1992, the year I got to know him very well.

I was a young P.R.O. of the old Bord na nOg Loch Gar­man at the time, and he was a key fig­ure on a very promis­ing Wex­ford Mi­nor foot­ball team un­der the guid­ance of Jim McGovern, Mick Caulfield, Paddy Hughes, Ge­orge Rankin, Jim O’Con­nor and Scott’s Kil­more club col­league, Pat Bates.

He was ac­tu­ally one of four fine play­ers - along with Dar­ragh Ryan, Ciarán Roche and Damien Fitzhenry - who had missed a first round home vic­tory over Dublin which alerted the en­tire coun­try to the po­ten­tial of this ex­cel­lent team.

They met Meath in the Leinster semi-fi­nal in Croke Park, and it de­vel­oped into a dour strug­gle, with both sets of play­ers stricken by big day nerves. That wasn’t the case for ev­ery­one, though, be­cause Scott saved the day in the 59th minute when he stepped up to take a ’45 into Hill 16 and stroked it non­cha­lantly over the bar to earn a draw.

It was the ul­ti­mate pres­sure kick, and there was no bet­ter young man in the county of Wex­ford to take it. Un­for­tu­nately, Meath won the re­play by a goal de­spite a three-point haul from Scott and went on to clinch the All-Ire­land, but I’ll al­ways re­mem­ber that par­tic­u­lar score when I think of him in the years to come.

Just three months later, still aged 18, he made his Se­nior de­but against Sligo in the Na­tional League in Wex­ford Park, as that par­tic­u­lar com­pe­ti­tion started in Oc­to­ber at the time.

And iron­i­cally, it was against the same op­po­si­tion, at the same venue, and in the same com­pe­ti­tion, that his 100th ap­pear­ance ar­rived on March 7, 2004, scor­ing two points in the process.

Less than three months later, he had moved to London and lined out with them in a Con­nacht cham­pi­onship loss to Gal­way, while he was also on board with the ex­iles in 2005 when they were only pipped by a point by Roscom­mon (0-12 to 1-8).

He re­turned briefly to make two more league ap­pear­ances off the bench for Wex­ford in 2007, and he ended up play­ing 105 games and scor­ing the grand to­tal of 25-174 – a mag­nif­i­cent record.

Play­ers with Scott’s com­po­sure on the ball are al­ways a joy to be­hold, and he was one of the finest foot­ballers Wex­ford ever pro­duced with­out ques­tion. Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam dílis.

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