Wexford GAA 2008

Made my season debut today at the Walsh Cup tie in Ballinastraw between two sides who will both have their eyes firmly fixed on All-Ireland Sunday in September. Wexford came out on top by 1-15 to 0-15. Can’t really tell much from a game so early in the season, pitch was very heavy and the grass was quite long, but nice to get off to a winning start anyway.

Positives to the game were the performances by wing forwards Willie Doran and Mick Doyle who both had good games, Doyle created 1-1 with two wonderful catches.

On the negative side (mainly my concerns about Meyler):

  • I was worried by Meylers tactics which seemed to consist of lumping balls in on David O’Connors head (O’Connor was introduced in the second half), direct quote “get it in on Docs head”, to be honest I thought we’d have a more sophisticated gameplan than that, granted this is the Walsh Cup and the first game of the season I wouldn’t expect a tactical masterplan (akin to John Conrans ambush of Kilkenny in 2004) but it is Meylers second season in charge and you’d expect better than high balls into the box.

  • In the second half, Brian Malone fooked up a relatively simple pick-up and palmed the ball away from himself. He managed to scramble over the ball and a Loais player nudged him in the back for which he won a free, Meyler seemed to think this was great play by Malone - “well played Malone”. For fook sake he fooked up and got lucky with a free.

  • In calling David O’Connor and Keith Burke onto the field in the second half he called the lads to warm-up. Doc and Burke managed to get one jog from the 40 yard line to the end line and back before Meyler forced them into the game, I’ve seen players in the ACHL 2D get more professional warm-up in, not intended to be a slur on the players. When O’Connor did manage to enter the field of play Meyler seemed to have a right pick on him, something not quite right with the two of them I think.

  • Meyler also seems to be sticking with his policy of trying to turn gangly full backs into forwards

I know it is the first game of the season but some simple things you’d expect to be right from day one, but observing Meylers behavior at close quarters today added to the rumours of discontent I’ve heard from within the camp (arguments over training in January, guys from the same club boxing at indoor training, players calling the manager at 3am etc), I’m not overly optimistic for our chances of a vintage season.

I’ll give my opinion on the footballers later.

Quality rant Tinnion.

This is an internet forum, the ideal place for spreading rumours, and I doubt any of the Wexford players read it, so give us more details on the little nuggets of information there please.

Who was fighting in training?

Who’s been ringing the manager (I presume pissed drunk) at 3am?

And what are the rows about training?

I’d like to think we’d have more to our game than lumping balls in too but I suppose we’ll need to see a bit more of them this season yet.

Also, I think it was the players that ambushed Kilkenny in 2004 with their plan.

Interesting to see Malone committing to both the hurlers and footballers so far this season. I wonder will he have to choose between them later in the year.

To be honest Bandage I don’t want to go into too much detail for the moment, my information is coming to me second and third hand and until I can verify the truth of it I don’t want to post too much of it.

On the rows about training, I understand the team trained on New Years Day, it was the managers desire to hold another training session two days later on the 3rd of January, this however displeased some members of the panel who muttered something about working that day. You’d have to wonder about the commitment of some of the players, if John Meyler is willing to take time out of his busy schedule and move any commitments he had for that day for extra sessions (I still have reservations about him mind), why can’t the players?

Because Meyler is getting paid and the players are not…

Just been looking at our football league fixtures for the season ahead. I’m still extremely dubious about the new management team so I’m not overly confident abour our prospects though it is an advantage to have 4 home games where we should pick up maximum points, especially against minnows like Leitrim. A lot of miles will be racked up in travelling to Sligo, Limerick and Fermanagh and they’ll be tough fixtures. Overall I’d tentatively predict a mid-table finish as the manager seeks to put his stamp on things and the panel takes shape with there being quite a turnover of players:

03.02.08 (Sun) @ 2.30pm
Loch Garman v Longfort

17.02.08 (Sun) @ 2.30pm
Sligeach v Loch Garman

02.03.08 (Sun) @ 2.30pm
Loch Garman v An Dn

16.03.08 (Sun) @ 2.30pm
Luimneach v Loch Garman

30.03.08 (Sun) @ 2.30pm
Loch Garman v Liatroim

06.04.2008 (Sun) @ 2.30pm
Fear Manach v Loch Garman

13.04.08 (Sun) @ 2.30pm
Loch Garman v An L

Full NFL 2008 fixture list here:

We lost 1-12 to 0-11 up in Tullamore in The Walsh Cup semi-final against Offaly today. Antrim continued on from defeating Kilkenny last week by knocking out UCD in the other last 4 match. I heard it was a septic performance - Tinnion’s tales of discontent in the camp appear to be well founded.

Wexford defeated Longford by 3-8 to 1-9 today. We were always ahead after an early Matty Forde 1-4 salvo and held on comfortably. It’s a positive start to the season as Longford have been in decent early season form and are in The O’Byrne Cup final next week against Dublin.

Heard a few reports on the game over the radio and Forde sounded like he had a smashing game at full forward.

apparently he chipped the 'keeper fomr 40 yards for the goal, after picking up a hashed clearance from said 'keeper

Report from the Indo below. That’s quite an experimental side and there’s a number of players there I wouldn’t expect to see featuring come Championship time. The full forward line is fairly lethal on paper and that’s even without Ciarn Lyng, our best player by a distance in league and championship last year involved from the start. Ben Brosnan is another one from the Eircom League / Waterford United production line for the Wexford team. We’ll need a stronger defence to achieve anything of note this season and a midfield partner for Eric Bradley too, as I’m unsure if Rory Stafford has rejoined the panel. All in all, a good win for the new management team and crucial to go 2 points ahead of Leitrim.

Forde revs up for Wexford

Wexford 3-8 Longford 1-9

A cracking goal from Matty Forde nine minutes before the break set Wexford up a five- point victory over Longford in their Division 3 National Football League game at Wexford Park yesterday afternoon.

Hotly fancied Longford, despite all their second-half possession, were punished for their first-half indiscretion which allowed the Model County boys to go in with a comfortable eight-point lead, which they managed to protect despite being reduced to 13 players in the closing minutes after Collie Byrne, straight red, and club colleague, Nicky O’Sullivan, second yellow, were dismissed by referee Brian Tyrrell, some of whose decisions left both sides quite frustrated.

Just 13 minutes into the game Wexford scored a rather fortuitous goal. Matty Forde lobbed a ball to the edge of the square which was flicked on by Ben Brosnan. Keeper Damien Sheridan could only smother the ball leaving Adrian Flynn with a simple tap-in from two metres.

A second goal, crashed into an unguarded net by Matty Forde nine minutes before the break, consolidated the Wexford lead and left Longford manager Luke Dempsey fuming.

Scorers – Wexford: M Forde 1-6 (3f), E Bradley, A Flynn 1-0 each; S Roche, B Brosnan 0-1 each. Longford: F McGee 0-5 (3f), P Barden 1-0 (pen), N Farrell 0-2 (f), D Farrell, P Dowd 0-1 each.

Wexford – A Masterson; C Morris, P Wallace, D Walsh; N O’Sullivan, B Malone, G Sunderland; E Bradley, B Doyle; A Flynn, C Byrne, S Roche; R Barry, B Brosnan, M Forde. Subs: A Morrissey for Flynn (39 mins); P Colfer for Bradley (64); D Murphy for Forde (70); C Lyng for Roche (70); P Curtis for Barry (70).

Longford – D Sheridan; D Brady, D Masterson, P McDonnell; S Mulligan, A O’Connor, N Farrell; L Keenan, E Farrell; L Keenan, E Farrell; D Farrell, P Barden, P Dowd; S Phillips, B Kavanagh, F McGee. Subs: K Mulligan for E Farrell (35); P Berry for Phillips (35); D Reilly for McDonnell (48); D Barden for D Farrell (54).

Ref – B Tyrrell (Tipperary).

Just found the report below online. It doesn’t mention anything really from a Wexford perspective. I believe David ‘Doc’ O’Connor netted for us and the defence played well. I doubt Appendage, Jugs or any of the other Wexford lads were there to give me more of a report?

Wexford defeated Tipperary by 1-19 to 2-12 in a Senior Hurling challenge game played on Saturday afternoon at the Clara GAA grounds in County Kilkenny.

Wexford dominated the early exchanges and led by 1-5 to 0-2 after the first quarter. Despite a Tipperary goal by Seamus Callinan in the second quarter, Wexford led by 1-11 to 1-5 at the interval.

Tipperary`s play improved in the second half and a goal by Darragh Hickey left just two points between the sides with less than 15 minutes to go. However, Wexford held on for a deserved four point victory in a useful game for both sets of selectors.

The Tipperary team and scorers were as follows:-

  1. Gerry Kennedy (Killenaule)

  2. Paddy Stapleton (Borris-Ileigh)

  3. Declan Fanning (Killenaule)

  4. Paul Curran (Mullinahone)

  5. James Woodlock (Drom & Inch)

  6. Conor O`Mahony (Newport)

  7. Conor O`Brien (Eire Og Annacarty, 0-1)

  8. Joe Ceaser (Killenaule)

  9. Diarmaid Fitzgerald (Roscrea)

  10. Ryan O`Dwyer (Cashel King Cormacs, 0-2)

  11. Pat Kerwick (Killenaule, 0-1)
    12.Seamus Callinan (Drom & Inch, 1-1, 0-1 free)

  12. Darragh Hickey (Boherlahan-Dualla, 1-1)

  13. Tommy Fitzgerald (Roscrea )

  14. Pa Bourke (Thurles Sarsfields - 0-5, 0-4 frees)

Darren Gleeson (Portroe) for Gerry Kennedy (35th minute - injured),
Benny Dunne (Toomevara, 0-1) for James Woodlock (56th minute),
Seamus Butler (Drom & Inch) for Joe Ceaser (56th minute).

made the trip down to walsh park yesterday and couldnt have asked for a better opening to the league securing a 2-12 to 3-8 win. good crowd, good result, more importantly good performance. Rossiter was rock solid, Willie Doran acquited himself very well at centre back, Richie Kehoe was very effective alongside him. we at least broke even at midfield if not slightly shaded it. Stephen Nolan (1-3) was excellent in the forwards while for my money centre-forward Eoin Quigley was man-of-the-match. he covered every blade of grass scoring 1-2 from play.

One of the most pleasing aspects of the game was after each of Waterfords three goals Wexford managed to score a point from the resulting puck-out, often games turn against us when we concede a goal and the next thing you know the opposition have tapped over two or three points in quick succession to open up a gap however this wasnt the case yesterday.

It was also good to see some new faces making an impact, John Breen form last years intermediates started, and although he was relatively quiet, contributed a point at a crucial stage in the second half. Dermot Flynn looked solid in the goal and will hopefully be given more game-time for throughout the duration of the league. Tommy Dwyer of Ferns who was very impressive last year for Ferns on their march through the intermediate county championship and also played well for the under 21’s against dublin last year was introduced with ten minutes to go, while David Redmond of Oulart was introduced to the forward line for the final minutes and won some good ball.

definetely a step in the right direction. overall a very encouraging display in a very entertaining encounter.

Cheers for the report Stevie G. I’ve been reading some of the match reports online but it’s good to get a perspective from someone who was there. What did you make of our teamwork and style of play Stevie? Donal O’Grady showed a few clips on Sunday Sport last night of us passing the ball around, even in our own half, and it appeared we were trying to pick out passes rather than simply launching the ball forward. Were these isolated incidents or did we show that method and purpose for most of the game? I believe we’re away to Antrim next and if a few more counties go on strike then we’ll have a really good chance of winning something this season.

Our teamwork was very impressive, actually meant to comment on that. to be honest it all stemmed from the half back line and midfield. Willie Doran and Richie Kehoe (Gizzy was busy shadowing big Dan and done a good job too) always seemed to have time on the ball and invariably found either John O’ or Mick Jacob in midfield or picked out a man in the forwards. i thought Rory Jacob showed very well and won some great balls and scored four points from play.

the odd time we tended to revert back to launching the ball in on ‘Doc’ but it just wasnt working so most of our scores actually came from good teamwork whereby our half backs and midfield supplied good fast low ball into the corners with our half forward’s then supporting and more often than not the ball was worked into a scoring position. Quigley at centre forward was central to our game plan and was involved in almost everything. I suppose the best way to sum it up is it looked like we had a plan which was great to see.

also it’s worth noting our minors had a one point win over their waterford counterparts in a challenge game in Ballygunnar yesterday morning. i also ventured to this and was quite impressed with how they performed, they seemed to be very strong down the middle and also possess some good scoring forwards, and with Tom Dempsey, Liam Dunne and Billy Byrne on the line maybe this year we might see a run from our minors.

Good stuff Stevie. It’s refreshing to see evidence of a tactical plan because for years hurling was just off the cuff type stuff. It was man-to-man combat and a matter of trying to beat your direct opponent before launching the ball as hard and as far as you could once you won it. I don’t mind a mixed or varied style where we try out the long ball on occasion but it’s good to see that we’re also concentrating on short, snappy passes and support play to retain possession. Long may it continue.

We’re away to Sligo on Sunday looking to make it 2 league wins out of 2 under new manager Jason Ryan. It appears to represent a tough test given the distance we must travel and the fact we’re still embedding a new style and some new players under Ryan’s regime. We also lost by a point to them on our last league visit west 2 years ago when their 'keeper Philip Greene engaged in some very unsporting baiting of Matty Forde after the maestro missed a last gasp goal opportunity so the difficulty of the challenge can’t be underestimated.

That said it’s not an insurmountable task as Sligo have a new manager themselves and there’s a possibility their hunger has been satisfied after their long-awaited Connacht title triumph last summer. They even lost by 0-12 to 0-7 to lowly Leitrim in a recent FBD Connacht League tie and will be without Eamonn O’Hara who received a straight red in their opening day defeat to Down. With Wexford having the advantage of 4 home games, all of which they’ll expect to emerge victorious from, a success in Sligo would set them up for a promotion push.

Wexford by 4.

It is very easy to call Wexford games in this division Bandage

If they have Matty Forde then they have a chance

If not then they don’t

I pity Matty. I see his plight similar to that of one Declan Browne, Peter Lambert or Kevin O’Brien. He plays for a county who’s has no chance of winning even a Provincial title and therefore has no chance of winning a medal.

In comparison think of players like Jack O’Shea, Brian Mullins or Seamus Quinn. Legendary players who are also decorated with silverware as well

I’m sure Matty is relatively satisfied with his county title haul, Inter-Provincial medals and having represented and scored goals for his country in the Compromise Rules series so he has quite a collection of medals in fact. It’s also blindingly obvious to state he’s crucial to Wexford’s chances given he’s our best player and the same applies to Cooper in Kerry to Brogan in Dublin and so on across any number of sports from Tom Brady of the Patriots to Kaka of AC Milan.

The hurlers have named an unchanged team ahead of the long trip up to Dunloy to take on Antrim on Sunday. It’s an opportunity to build on the morale-boosting victory away to Waterford last week and I’m confident we’ll get the better of Antrim even though they were victorious in the Walsh Cup recently. They lost to Dublin last week and have a few injury problems and our confidence should be up from our own victory. RTE are actually tipping an Antrim win but I expect us to prevail in a relatively close contest and I’d also be interested to see the betting on this.

So this is what Wexford hurling has come to?

Confident of beating Antrim because they have a few injury problems.

Good to see that you know your limits.