Oulart-the-Ballagh 2-15 St Martin’s 0-13: The spirit of Oulart-the-Ballagh was once again evident when winning their sixth title in seven years with a comfortable eight-point victory over St Martin’s in the Wexford SHC final at Innovate Wexford Park yesterday afternoon.
Oulart-the-Ballagh’s possession game, aided by a solid defence and more penetration in attack, saw them control this game for the entire 60 minutes. At no stage were they led, and two excellently executed first half goals was the making of a six-point interval lead.
Playing veteran Rory Jacob in a midfield role raised eyebrows, but he gave an excellent display, with long-serving full-back Keith Rossiter also inspirational. Centre-back Shaun Murphy was responsible for some excellent clearances and interceptions at crucial stages.
St Martin’s strategy of pulling one of their inside forwards outfield failed to prove of benefit for it allowed Eoin Moore and Rossiter to dominate in front of goal. Over-indulgence in their approach play saw them waste much hard-earned outfield possession; a major contributory to their second senior final defeat in seven days.
After Dessie Mythen and Ciaran Lyng, free, exchanged opening points, the eventual winners struck the front with a seventh-minute Garreth Sinnott point, a lead they were never subsequently to lose. Showing a far greater skill level leading to fast and accurate delivery of the ball they led 0-4 to 0-1 when they struck for the opening goal after 17minutes. Peter Sutton pulled a high ball from the air before placing inside to the inrushing Nicky Kirwan who flashed a ground shot to the net.
St Martin’s showed some fighting qualities, responding with Paudie Kelly and Joe O’Connor points, but a brilliant Garrett Sinnott goal in the 26th minute sent his side in with a 2-6 to 0-6 interval lead.
St Martin’s raised brief hope of a revival with points from Ciaran Lyng and sub Stephen Murphy within three minutes of the resumption. Nicky Kirwan and Rory Jacob, but St. Martin’s continued to fight gamely, Stephen Murphy and a Paudie Kelly free leaving the scoreline 2-8 to 0-10 after 35 minutes.
But with Oulart-the-Ballagh continuing to enjoy outfield dominance they went on to add a string of scores as St. Martin’s struggled up front. In the end they were worthy and comfortable winners regaining the title they lost last year.
Scorers for Oulart-the-Ballagh:
N Kirwan (1-5, 0-3 frees, 0-1, 65); G Sinnott (1-2); D Mythen (0-3); P Sutton (0-2); D Redmond, R Jacob (0-1 each)
Scorers for St Martin’s:
C Lyng (0-5, 0-1 free); P Kelly (0-3 frees); J O’Connor, S Murphy (0-2 each); H O’Connor (0-1)
C O’Leary; E Moore, K Rossiter, B Kehoe; K Sheridan, S Murphy, M Jacob; D Redmond, R Jacob; P Murphy, T Storey, D Mythen; G Sinnott, P Sutton, N Kirwan
T Dunne for Murphy (22); P Roche for M Jacob (36); M Og Storey (0-1) for Dunne (43); D Nolan for Sutton (58); K Nimmo for T Storey (59).
L White; W Devereux, D Hayes, C Firman; A Maddock, T Waters, P O’Connor; M Maloney, J O’Connor; J Firman, D Waters, H O’Connor; P Kelly, C Lyng, R O’Connor.
S Murphy (0-2) for Maloney (ht); J Coleman for H O’Connor (42); S Stafford for J Firman (55).
P Kehoe (Rathgarogue/Cushinstown).
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