NHL Proposals

We’ve just received the latest proposals from Croke Park on the structure of the National Hurling League. Central Council of the GAA will vote on adopting a new format for next year’s national hurling league on November 16th.croke-park

There are two proposals, one from the National Fixtures Planning Committee and one from Carlow/Westmeath jointly.

You can download these proposals now:




Dual challenge calls for split.

In post match interviews, after winning their first Senior Football title ever, a number of St Martin’s players and officials pointed to their early exit from the hurling championship as being a decisive factor in their Senior Football Championship success.  They explained how this gave them seven weeks to focus purely on football something which they credited with setting them up for ultimate success.   DSC_0310

Looking at the evidence it certainly appears that focusing on one code at the business end of the season pays dividends with Oulart dominating hurling for the past 5 years while in football we’ve had Anne’s, Horeswood, Castletown and Kilanerin all claiming honours in years there progress in hurling ended early.  It seems that the odds are stacked against our dual clubs. 
10,000 hours to acquire a skill:

Research shows that it takes about 10,000 hours of dedicated practice to truly master a skill, be it playing the violin, computer programming, hurling or football and that the biggest factor in success is not innate talent or blind luck, but rather dedication to a chosen craft. Accepting this how can we in Wexford expect our minor hurlers to complete with their counterparts in Laois, Kilkenny, Cork, Clare and Waterford where they focus on developing either hurling or football?

In counties like Waterford, Tipperary, Laois, Cork, Galway they have distinct hurling and football areas and at club level this means that a typical player in one of these counties is racking up probably twice the amount of games in hurling or football to a comparable player is a Wexford club.

So while every second week, our lads have to drop the hurls and pick up footballs their counterparts in Waterford will be training twice as much, playing twice as many games, will have more time for challenge games, this non-stop dedication will over time give the player with greater focus an advantage.

It’s not rocket science- if Nadal were to play two weeks tennis and two weeks cricket he would not be among the best in the world, same if Johnny Sexton were to kick a rugby ball for a fortnight and then kick a soccer ball he would not be at the top of his game!

Split season?
The simmering tension in Wexford which divides along hurling and football fault lines has of late subsided as an uneasy truce is observed. This is to be welcomed but we should not take the peace for granted and should use it to start a dialogue and to seek to construct a ‘Wexford solution to this Wexford problem.’ Would a split season, mirroring that at intercounty at minor and U-21 be of benefit?  Would such a solution enable more clubs to follow St Martin’s lead and make a serious challenge for championship titles in both codes. Would it remove the advantage that some clubs enjoy due to a predominant focus on one code – either by design or an early unplanned exist from the championship?

We all want to maximise the success of our intercounty teams and our clubs and to meet the needs of players and facilitate their development and enjoyment. However in the ultra competitive sporting environment that exists in Wexford, we need our elite teams to be performing and winning or Wexford GAA will lose ground to soccer and rugby so success really is not optional for the organisations long term health in Wexford. Coaching needs to be right, finances need to be right and structures, including how we deal with the demands of hurling and football needs to be right if we are to deliver on the potential within the county.

We need to step back and take a cold hard look at the facts, can Wexford players who split their attention as we currently demand, consistently compete and succeed against specialists, the evidence would suggest not and the question is what do we do about it? Maybe a split season would be a workable solution?


GAA history has been known to turn quests for five-in-a-row into doomed high-wire acts and Oulart’s hurlers did well not to topple into the pit of a rain-darkened Wexford Park yesterday.


“We’re going down in history now, it’ll be a long time before that’s done again,” beamed veteran corner-back Paul Roche after the champions held off the ferocious challenge of a young Ferns team to climb to a height no Wexford side has ever done before.

Their fifth consecutive title thus broke the hearts of men featuring in St Aidan’s first county senior final since 1969. That was the year man first landed on the moon, as the match programme giddily informed us. But the taking of a giant step for Ferns was rendered instantly improbable by their concession of a ruinous 2-2 in the opening four minutes of what would evolve into an epic contest.

Actually, an embarrassing rout seemed to loom after those early Oulart goals by Rory Jacob and Nicky Kirwan, only for St Aidan’s to come thundering back, outscoring Martin Storey’s men by 0-9 to 0-2 between the fourth and 29th minutes.

True the weather was at its most callous in this period, torrential rain whipping into the Oulart faces as they struggled to codify a high-energy game that looked to be taking its toll on some of the more seasoned bodies in black.

The impressive Jonathan Dwyer took advantage of the conditions, floating over two sublime sideline cuts as well as taking two scores from play as Ferns – seven points adrift after that opening four minutes – got to the break a scarcely credible two to the good.

Ian Byrne was having a stormer at right half-forward, while the free-taking of Tommy Dwyer had been flawless. There was, you suspected, but one small ghost chasing their attention as they went to tea – Oulart would be resuming with the wind.


What followed was wonderful and in its own way impossibly cruel. Ferns were like fishermen seeing their cordage jerk in the water, only to reel in an old boot. They would hurl magnificently but the lavishly decorated old warriors of Oulart were just not ready to acquiesce.

Eleven minutes after the resumption, Roche’s delivery broke off David Redmond – operating temporarily at full-forward – and Kirwan finished high and decisively for his second goal. That put Oulart two to the good, only for quick points from Paul Morris and Jonathan Dwyer to level matters for only the second time all day.

Soon after, Oulart goalkeeper Ben O’Connor spilled an unremarkable Morris delivery into his own net and the din from the 5,300 attendance spoke of looming revolution.

Yet, Oulart were not about to go timidly. “We were ready for that, we knew exactly what we were coming up against,” smiled Roche afterwards, his fifth medal safely secured. “We knew there’d be nothing between us.”

Points from Rory Jacob and Redmond (two) eased Oulart ahead only for Morris to level again in the last minute of normal time, Eoin Moore now in a heap on the far side of the pitch having crumpled to the ground with no opponent near. Moore’s knee just seemed to collapse under him and, with Darren Stamp already in the infirmary for something similar, Oulart slipped into injury-time looking like old champions just one, last haymaker from oblivion.

But that punch never landed. Des Mythen might have had an Oulart goal before setting up Michael Jacob for a 61st-minute lead point and we were three minutes into added-time when Garrett Sinnott fouled Gavin Bailey on the half-way line.

Tommy Dwyer’s hands and hurley were wet as he faced into a stiffening wind. The crowd hushed. Dwyer struck the ball well, but it never had sufficient legs and was quickly transported down the field to Rory Jacob, who swept over Oulart’s security point.

Ferns did get one last throw of the dice, Brendan Jordan floored after a sweeping move between Tommy Dwyer and Morris. Referee Sean Whelan signalled for a 20-metre free and when Tommy Dwyer’s effort rebounded to Morris, his shot leaked apologetically left and wide. All around the field, Ferns men slumped to their knees.

Oulart had their fifth title in a row and, for Roche particularly, none had ever been sweeter. Earlier this year, two torn abductor muscles and a pair of Gilmore groins looked to be easing the 31-year-old towards retirement.

“I was told in February I’d never hurl again, told I’d never sprint again,” he said. “I had a big operation and only got back hurling in July. I was just trying to get myself ready to, hopefully, go full stride next year. So for me, there was always motivation there, whether it was every day going to do rehab, whatever it took, to get back.”

Proof the underdog doesn’t always have sole custody of romance.

SCORERS – Oulart: N Kirwan 2-3 (2fs), R Jacob 1-2, D Redmond 0-3, M Jacob, D Nolan, G Sinnott, D Mythen 0-1 each. Ferns: J Dwyer (2 lcs), T Dwyer (4fs) 0-4 each, I Byrne, P Morris 0-3 each, B Jordan, J Breen 0-1 each, B O’Connor 1-0 (og).

OULART – B O’Connor; P Roche, K Rossiter, B Kehoe; L Prendergast, D Stamp, E Moore; M Jacob, S Murphy; D Nolan, D Mythen, D Redmond; R Jacob, G Sinnott, N Kirwan. Subs: D Morton for Stamp (40), C O’Leary for Murphy (53), C Goff for Moore (60).

FERNS – M Walsh; C Whelan, N Maguire, D Byrne; G Bailey, J Tonks, C Roberts; B Jordan, T Dwyer; I Byrne, P Morris, J Dwyer; P Farrell, J Breen, C O’Connor. Subs: C Leacy for Byrne (23), D Thorpe for Farrell (57).

Ref – S Whelan (St Martin’s).

– See more at: http://www.wexfordgaa.ie/2013/10/oulart-the-ballagh-5-in-row-champions/#sthash.BQqOV4V7.dpuf

Oulart-the-Ballagh Pettitt’s Senior Hurling Champions 2013 – 5 in a row champions!

Ferns 1-16 Oulart 3-12 (FT)

Champs resized

Well done, what a team, heartbreak for Ferns. Super game, our thanks to all involved in what was a true classic!



The Irish Times report on the game  is on this link:


Oulart-the-Ballagh 3-12 Ferns St Aidans 1-16: There was no shortage of passion or drama at Wexford Park yesterday afternoon as Oulart-the-Ballagh created history with a fifth successive title disposing of a gallant Ferns outfit in this absorbing Wexford senior hurling championship final.

But the reigning champions having enjoyed a blistering start, finding themselves seven points up, 2-2 to 0-1, inside four minutes of the start were given an almighty fright by a Ferns side that fought back magnificently as they sought out a first senior title in this their first final appearance since 1969.

It was David Redmond, who was popping up in different positions during the course of the game who inspired his side striking over two crucial second half points on 23 and 25 minutes to give his side a single point lead. Although Ferns battled back to level it was the Jacob brothers who fired over two points in additional time to steer their side to a historic victory.

A Rory Jacob goal inside sixty seconds of the start followed by a Nicky Kirwan effort three minutes later, had the reigning champions leading 2-2 to 0-1. Ferns picked off a string of excellent points through Ian Byrne, Tommy Dwyer, Jonathan Dwyer and John Breen, as they transformed the game going in leading 0-12 to 2-4 at the interval.

The challengers were leading 0-13 to 2-6. when Kirwan goaled from close range after forty-one minutes. The champions weren’t setting the world alight but they were digging in after a Paul Morris point reduced the deficit to the minimum. Jonathan Dwyer and Darren Nolan exchanged points before keeper Ben O’Connor dropped a lobbing Paul Morris ball over the line, giving Ferns a 1-15 to 3-8 lead going into the closing ten minutes.

Oulart kicked on with some fine scores but Paul Morris kept his side in contention. Then in the fifth minute of additional time Tommy Dwyer had a twenty-one meter free saved giving Oulart-the-Ballagh a historic victory.

OULART-THE-BALLAGH: B O’Connor; P Roche, K Rossiter, B Kehoe; L Prendergast, D Stamp, S Murphy; E Moore, M Jacob (0-1); D Nolan (0-1), D Redmond (0-3), D Mythen (0-1); R Jacob (1-2), G Sinnott (0-1), N Kirwan (2-3, 0-2 frees). Subs: D Morton for Stamp (inj); C Goff for Moore (inj), C O’Leary for Murphy.
FERNS ST AIDAN’S: M Walsh; D Byrne, N Maguire, C Whelan; G Bailey, J Tonks, C Roberts; B Jordan (0-1), T Dwyer (0-4 frees); I Byrne (0-3), P Morris (1-3), J Dwyer (0-4, 0-2 sideline cuts); P Farrell, J Breen (0-1), C O’Connor. Subs: C Leacy for Byrne; D Thorpe for Farrell.
Referee: S Whelan (St Martins)

– See more at: http://www.wexfordgaa.ie/2013/10/oulart-the-ballagh-5-in-row-champions/#sthash.BQqOV4V7.dpuf



Ireland’s most trusted optician*, Specsavers were announced as the official sponsor of the new Hawkeye points detection technology at Croke Park on April 22, 2013.

This state of the art system will be used for both Hurling and Football games at Croke Park, and will support the decision making of the referee in the eventuality of any ambiguity as to whether a point has been scored or not.

How HawkEye (sponsored by Specsavers) Point Detection Technology Works – Watch the Video

The new Hawkeye point detection technology for both hurling and football at Croke Park was first utilised on June 1 at the Leinster GAA Football Senior Championship Quarter-final double header.

Hawkeye provides real-time imagery on the stadium’s big screen of a ball’s trajectory over the posts to remove any ambiguity over whether a point was scored or missed. Here’s a full explanation of how the new system will work.

Where will it operate?

  • National Research Committee recommends the introduction of Hawk-Eye to Croke Park in 2011.
  • Hawk-Eye Point Detection System trialled for the past 14 months.
  • Having commenced on June 1, 2013 Hawk-Eye will be used in Croke Park for a 2 year trial period on the basis of the approval of Motion 52 at this year’s Congress – 86% in favour; 14% against

What will it NOT do?

  • Does NOT detect goals
  • Does NOT cover playing rule infringements e.g. Square Ball
  • Does NOT involve a TMO (Television Match Official)

What WILL it do?

  • Covers Gaelic Football and Hurling
  • Detects points only

How does it work?

Watch a video on how HawkEye will work – click here.

  • 8 high speed cameras
  • Ball position triangulated using 4 cameras covering each end
  • Height: Up to 26metres i.e. maximum height of goal posts (13m) and a further 13m on a virtual basis.
  • Width: Ball is tracked up to 4 metres outside of each post on a virtual basis.
  • Where there is any contact between the ball and the virtual post the shot will register as a ‘miss’ i.e. wide.
  • This is per the Playing Rules: Rule 3 – Scores: “A point is scored when the ball is played over the crossbar between the posts by either team”.
  • Ball and posts both tracked in real time
  • Automated decision made within 1 second

Primary Protocol

  • Umpire makes a ‘box’ signal with his hands to indicate to the Referee that a request for a Hawk-Eye review is being sought
  • Referee seeks Hawk-Eye review via communication system and makes ‘box’ signal with his hand
  • The Hawk-Eye replay is shown on the Big Screen
  • Referee confirms Hawk-Eye decision and indicates and awards either a ‘point’ or a miss i.e. a wide or a ’45/’65. Umpire signals the decision

Communicating The Decision

  • Virtual Reality (VR) replay of point
  • On Big Screen
  • On TV

What happens if Umpire does not make a decision?

  • Where Umpire does not indicate that a point has been scored and the play continues:
  • Review Official communicates to Referee that a Hawk-Eye review is necessary
  • Referee stops play
  • Referee makes a ‘box’ signal with his hands to seek Hawk-Eye review
  • The Hawk-Eye replay is shown on the Big Screen
  • Referee confirms Hawk-Eye decision and awards a ‘point’. Umpire signals the decision.

What happens if Referee seeks Hawk-Eye review of an Umpire decision?

Where Umpire makes an incorrect decision regarding a ‘point’ or ‘wide’:

  • Umpire makes incorrect decision (i.e. ‘point’ or ‘wide’)
  • Review Official communicates to Referee that a Hawk-Eye review is necessary
  • Referee makes a ‘box’ signal with his hands to seek Hawk-Eye review
  • The Hawk-Eye replay is shown on the Big Screen
  • Referee confirms Hawk-Eye decision and makes the appropriate decision. Umpire signals that decision.

Back-up Communication

Unavailability of Big Screen

  • Where the Big Screen is unavailable all decision will be announced to spectators via the PA system
  • Where the games is televised the decision will be shown on TV despite the unavailability of the Big Screen and confirmed with the match officials
  • Hawk-Eye data unavailable
  • If for any reason the Hawk-Eye result is unavailable, the final decision of ‘point’ or ‘wide’ will be made by the match officials
  • An appropriate graphic indicating same will appear on the Big Screen.

Wexford County Board affirms their opposition to National League proposals.

At tonight’s Special meeting of the Wexford County Board, County Chairman, Diarmuid Deveraux confirmed that he had formally contacted Croke Park asking for minutes of Ard Comhairle (AC) where the new National Hurling League proposals were discussed. The response received was it that it hasn’t been discussed at AC but members were emailed and opinions sought.DSC_0066

In light of this Wexford have asked that the proposal to be taken off the Clár of Saturdays Ard Comhairle meeting as it is not in order. It was decied at tonight’s meeting that Wexford will fight against the implementation of this proposal. Wexford are seeking a meeting with an Coiste Banaisti (Management Committee) on Friday prior to the AC meeting on Saturday. Wexford insist that a 2/3 majority is required to overturn the status quo.

If these changes occur this will be the 9th change to the National Hurling League structures in 16 years.  County Board have resolved, should the motion be passed, that Wexford will oppose them with all means at our disposal and will exhaust all the GAA’s appeal mechanisms and resort to legal remedies should it be required.


Fearna abu

Going to be a Ferns and Oulart SHC final after wins for the two teams on Sunday gone. Ferns won 2-12 to 1-10 against Glynn and Oulart won 0-17 to 0-10 over the Shells going be a good Senior Hurling Championship on the 20th October in Wexford Park please come and suport the clubs. #wexfordgaaImage