Naomh Eanna crowned Wexford Senior Hurling champions for 2023

The Wexford SHC final took place today, Sunday, in a Wexford Park bustling with a cracking atmosphere in front of almost 7,000 people…

Naomh Eanna of Gorey and Oylegate-Glenbrien battled it out for Bob Bowe Cup silverware in the Wexford Senior Hurling Final.

It was Naomh Eanna of Gorey town who were crowned victorious, on a score-line of 2-18 to 2-12.

The wind:

Oylegate-Glenbrien played with the wind in the first-half. They started off incredibly well, with the in-form Seamus Casey weaving his way through the Gorey defence in one of the opening minutes of the game to bury the ball into the back of Jack Cushe’s net. Oylegate followed up their good quick start with another two points, putting them up by five points in the opening six minutes of the game. After that though, Oylegate’s first-half performance could be characterised by poor decision making. Playing with a mighty wind in the first-half, the Oylegate-Glenbrien hit multiple unanswered wides from long-distance. As opposed to working the ball, and using their wind to their advantage, they hit multiple long-distance wides much to the disappointment of their large travelling support. Realistically, they didn’t utilise the wind in the first-half as much as they should have, going in at the break level with Naomh Eanna, with the scoreboard reading 1-08 apiece. Playing with a strong wind in the second-half, and still at a drawn game, Naomh Eanna would have been delighted and would have known that the game was there for the taking.

McGuckin’s Revelation:

From the start of the Championship, the Gorey team management switched Charlie McGuckin and Jack Cullen. Cullen has been one of the best wing backs in the county over the last number of years, while McGuckin was a favoured wing-forward not only for his club but also with Darragh Egan’s Wexford Senior Hurling team, especially for the first year of his two year tenure. McGuckin’s performances throughout the Championship, however, had people talking. He was one of the most consistent players of the Championship, popping up with multiple points from play in most games. He plays as an attacking wing-back, similar to the style of Diarmuid Byrnes of Limerick, and today, he popped up with four points from play. It was a performance for the ages from McGuckin, being awarded the TG4 Man of the Match in the process.

Magical McDonald:

For his own usual high-standards, Naomh Eanna’s Conor McDonald was probably not performing to the best of his ability for this whole championship. Yet, with Gorey’s best player not performing, they still made it to the final. I felt a big day was coming for McDonald – predicting earlier in the week to friends that he is due a big performance and that he’d score about 1-06. Today, he showed once again why he is still one of the best hurlers in the country. Often being double marked, McDonald’s ariel dominance proved to be a major handful for the Oylegate-Glenbrien defence. The full-forward finished with a personal tally of 1-04 from play. One moment which epitomised his performance was during the final moments of the game when Oylegate were all out attack and needed goals. McDonald went back into the full-back position, caught a high ball, soloed down the pitch and played an excellent ball to Naomh Eanna’s Jack Cullen who then calmly slotted the ball over the bar from the side-line. A magical personal performance, Gorey’s captain produced the goods on County Final day, when the team needed him the most.

Two time Wexford SHC Champions Naomh Eanna will celebrate tonight – and probably for the rest of the week – with their club members, families, friends and with the Junior A team who also won silverware in their respective county final today.

After that, they’ll also look forward to a Leinster quarter-final against the Offaly champions, which will take place in November.

Jason Redmond
Jason Redmond

From Gorey, Jason is the owner of Wexford Weekly. He is also a post-primary English and History teacher.

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