Watching the opening round of the Wexford Senior hurling championship was reminiscent of the return to school for the boys after the long summer break.
Friday evening saw new kids on the block, St Martin’s assume the mantle of ebullient first years who were going to face down the sixth years and walk all over their patch, instead of observing the pecking order that normally exists. Meanwhile, Oulart-The- Ballagh were returning for another year, knowing full well that the Leaving Certificate requires steady work all year long. They won’t panic though; they’ve been repeating the Leaving Cert for many years – it’s filling out the CAO correctly that they’ve been having difficulty with. A third level qualification is a different animal altogether as they have been finding out over the years in the Leinster championship.
Cloughbawn and Rathnure came in on two different buses from the country and didn’t know what to make of each other for a while. They knew they were supposed to be Big Second Years now but they just pushed and shoved one another around the yard looking uncomfortable in the enclosed space. Their skirmishes lacked intensity until a couple of Rathnure boys who missed the early bus, dashed in and had a say in proceedings just before the final bell.
On Saturday evening, Buffers Alley and Glynn/Barntown came swaggering into town. The Glynn boys had given the Alley a good kicking before they broke up for the holidays so the Alley were more than ready for them. They knew they had to stand up to their aggressors and show them who was in charge. They’re heading into an exam year now and need to concentrate on getting good results which everyone knows they are well capable of. Sure hadn’t their fathers got several honours at leaving cert and were successful at third-level too…
Faythe Harriers and the Rapparees arrived back to school without any fanfare. The Wexford town boys had narrowly escaped being kept back because of a lack of effort the previous year. Luckily for them, their ever reliable class captain is still in charge and confident he can get them back on track during Transition Year. On the other hand, the Rapps’ are looking forward to kicking back during TY – they didn’t even bring school bags or the correct equipment with them. For them, it appears to be all about going on trips, doing GAA Coaching courses and making dresses out of seashells and cow manure. Hopefully, their teachers will set them straight and make them realise that all school work is serious, no matter the lesson.
Sunday saw the boys from Ferns and Gorey square up against each other. They had been in different classes the year before but there were rumours going around that they wanted to fight each other. The fight was arranged for the first day back which was a little risqué but overall was probably a good idea as nobody was expecting it. Neither did it disappoint as they slugged it out with no obvious winner evident until Bitsy O’Connor realised that they would miss the bus home if someone didn’t deliver the sucker punch seconds before the bell.
Oylegate are another bunch of first years to watch out for. They came striding into town not even sure where the school was but when they got there they caused havoc in the yard. They appeared to listen carefully to the rules but didn’t observe any of them. The Shelmaliers meanwhile didn’t want to go back to school. They had been playing with a big beach ball for the past two weeks and were enjoying their time away from the constraints of school in the fine weather. If truth is known, they were also annoyed because they had achieved honours in their exams a couple of years ago and believed they should do well every year. However, it just wasn’t happening and to make things worse, they were now getting picked on by lads just out of short trousers, who even had the audacity to steal their lunch, take their ball and pull the buttons off their new shirts.
Overall, it looks like there is a lot of homework to be done before Round 2.
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