A recent trend has emerged in the Wexford senior football championship
Battle lines have been drawn in the Wexford senior football championship with two rounds played ahead of the mid-season break, providing plenty of thrills and spills along the way. Such is the competitiveness of the Wexford senior football championship, that there have been five different winners in each of the last five editions, including first time winners’ St.Martin’s in 2013 and St.James’ in 2015. Indeed, apart from Duffry Rovers’ unmatched seven-in-a-row run between 1986 and 1992, only two clubs have managed to retain their title in the intervening twenty-six years, namely St.Anne’s in 2001 and Horeswood in 2006.
But current champions Starlights are certainly making a good attempt at reversing that record, as they have started their championship defence in imperious form, having compiled 7-20 from their two games to date, including an eight-point winning margin against their predecessors Gusserane in round one, and a ten-point gap against Glynn Barntown in round two. They top the Group B table of the Tom Doyle Supplies senior football championship ahead of Shelmaliers on score difference, who themselves have started with back-to-back wins over St.James’ and Taghmon-Camross. Glynn-Barntown and Gusserane make up the rest of the quarter-final berths with a win apiece, with the latter’s narrow win over district rivals St.James’ arguably the most crucial result of round two. But with the last three county champions contained in the one group, and consistent semi-finalists Shelmaliers featuring as well, it would be fool-hardy for anyone to assume that the top four will remain unchanged come the knock-out stages.
A recent trend has emerged in the Wexford senior football championship, whereby the intermediate champions of the previous year compete well in the senior ranks at the first time of asking. And after claiming the Leinster intermediate championship last winter, Kilanerin have certainly settled comfortably back into senior life, lying unbeaten after two rounds following a valiant comeback draw with their fierce Gorey district rivals Castletown on Grand National Saturday. The north county duo are level on a win and a draw apiece in Group A, with perennial contenders St.Martin’s leading the way on two wins out of two, and St.Anne’s completing the top four after registering a hard-fought opening win vs Leinster junior hurling champions Fethard in the second round. There is certainly plenty up for grabs with the majority of the championship still left to be played, and each and every team capable of defeating each other on any given day.
In terms of individual displays and scoring output, Starlights’ Alan Tobin is the top-scorer after two rounds, with a decent personal tally of 2-7 (five frees). Kilanerin’s flying forward Conor Devitt is next in line with 1-8, all from play, while Wexford senior footballer John Tubritt of Fethard is an a four-way tie for third having struck ten points (eight frees) so far. Jonathan Bealin (Castletown, 0-10, five frees), Seamie McLoughlin (Taghmon-Camross, 1-7, six frees), and Wexford hurling panellist Michael O’Regan (Glynn Barntown, 1-7, four frees) all join Tubritt near the top of the charts.
Wexford football legends Ciaran Lyng (St.Martin’s, 1-0 penalty, four frees) and Redmond Barry (St.Anne’s) are in good form for their respective clubs too with a haul of 1-6 each, while current Wexford senior footballer Craig McCabe has registered the same total (1-0 penalty, four frees and one ”45) for Shelmaliers. Incidentally, Devitt’s 1-4 vs Sarsfields was the highest individual tally from play in round one. Meanwhile, Wexford senior football stalwart Brian Malone compiled the joint-highest score from play in round two, with his impressive 1-3 matched by Barry, while Luke Sinnott struck for two goals for Taghmon-Camross.