The boys of Wexford just love being drama queens. An innocuous Walsh Cup final between two understrength sides on a winter’s afternoon seemed to be heading west, with Shane O’Neill poised to collect his first silverware since taking charge of the Tribesmen.
It was a measure of St Anne’s performance that warm favourites St Martin’s were made battle to the bitter end before eventually emerging with a two-point victory in this Wexford SHC final played at Innovate Wexford Park yesterday afternoon.
Around 45 minutes from throw-in time, with the sense of anticipation building in Kingspan Breffni Park ahead of Donegal’s semi-final win over Tyrone, a familiar figure was calmly stepping out distances between the cones he was setting down and the poles he was plopping in.
The same week Stephen Rochford embarked on his first of three underwhelming Connacht championship campaigns with a visit to Ruislip, another manager familiar with some football grounds in London as well as working with top players for a support base craving silverware brought out a book called Quiet Leadership.
Although it wasn’t widely identified as a trend — more reported as a series of unrelated events — an intriguing development in 2017 was the signing by the managers of the country’s top four football teams to stay on until 2020, writes
Gerry Burke, father of All-Star Galway hurler Daithí, was 39 years young when Corofin landed the All-Ireland club title in 1998. Kieran Fitzgerald turns 37 in January. Fitzgerald is unsure if the legs will allow him match the longevity of that other Corofin stalwart. As it is, he’s plenty mileage on the clock.