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Wexford county hurling team

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Wexford county hurling team represents Wexford in hurling and is governed by Wexford GAA, the county board of the Gaelic Athletic Association. The team competes in the three major annual inter-county competitions; the All-Ireland Senior Hurling Championship, the Leinster Senior Hurling Championship and the National Hurling League.

Wexford's home ground is Wexford Park, Wexford. The team's manager is Darragh Egan.

The team last won the Leinster Senior Championship in 2019, the All-Ireland Senior Championship in 1996 and the National League in 1973.

The team is nicknamed the Model men.[1] Or the Slaneysiders.[2] Or the Yellowbellies.[3][4]

Crest and colours

Wexford sporting colours are purple and gold. This iconic choice was made in 1913 before using the colours of county champions clubs[5] Disposal of the colours is changed during the year, being the traditional kit mostly gold with a purple horizontal half. Since the 1990s purple has gained more importance and has been used in sleeves and with gradients. The current kit is mainly purple with golden trims.

The crest has been changed several times. Until 1996, the team used Wexford Town's traditional crest (three burning wooden ships) then they adopted the new county's coat of arms. Since 2006, Wexford GAA launched their own logo, used also on the jerseys.

Kit evolution

Classic kit
c. 2014

Team sponsorship

Zurich Insurance Group sponsored the team on a four-year deal from 2020, following an announcement in October 2019.[6]


Hurling is one of the most prominent sports in Wexford. This is in evidence in several one-sided results over the years: Kildare were beaten by 14–15 to 1–1 in an 1897 Croke Cup match. The Antrim team were beaten by 12–17 to 2–3 in a 1954 All-Ireland semi-final. Nicky Rackard, who scored 7–7 at that day, was Wexford's greatest hurler.[citation needed] He starred in two clashes with Cork in 1954 and 1956. Wexford lost the first after having a goal disallowed, but won the second with the combination of an Art Foley save and Nicky Rackard goal in the closing minutes.

In the 1970s, the distinctive red-haired Tony Doran was the star as Kilkenny and Wexford played ten Leinster finals in succession. In 1984 they claimed that the final whistle was blown prematurely when they were beaten by a single point in the Leinster final.

In 1996 Wexford, led by Liam Griffin and captained by Martin Storey, brought the Liam MacCarthy Cup back to Slaneyside for the first time since 1968; they were waiting 28 years. Cork, Kilkenny and Tipperary have dominated the honours in recent years.

Davy Fitzgerald took over as manager of the team for 2017, and made progress by reaching the Leinster Final for the first time in nine years. In the final they played Galway. Fitzgerald was appointed after the departure of Liam Dunne, who also played a huge part[clarification needed] in their recent success. They have lost only one game so far this year,[when?] which was in the Walsh Cup Semi Final by a single point against Kilkenny. So far this year,[when?] they have won promotion to division 1A, have gone unbeaten in the Allianz League: they beaten Limerick, Galway, Laois, Offaly and Kerry, and beat Kilkenny in Nowlan Park on a scoreline of 2-18 0–19 in the league quarter final. They faced All Ireland Champions Tipperary in the league semi final, which they lost after goals from Tipperary in the closing minutes. Recently[when?] they beat Laois 3–25 to 1–19 in Portlaoise in the Leinster quarter final, and beat Kilkenny at Innovate Wexford Park. This brought them to Croke Park for the Leinster final, but they lost 1-17 0–29 to Galway, who were All Ireland Champions that year. They played Waterford in Páirc Uí Chaoímh in the All Ireland quarter final,but lost by a mere three points.[7]

Wexford's most recent hurling success was in the Leinster Final of 2019 when they defeated Kilkenny. In the Leinster semi-final, a draw in Wexford Park between Wexford and Kilkenny made it a rematch for the final. However, hurling in Wexford has been on the slide since 1996, their last All-Ireland success, and the Leinster title in 2004 simply papered over the cracks.


In 2009, Wexford took part in Division 2 of the Allianz National Hurling League. After their shock defeat by Antrim, in which the Saffrons made a memorable comeback, Wexford improved to take a place in the division 2 final against Offaly. The yellowbellies were favourites, having beaten them earlier in the league, however Colm Bonnar's men did not perform on the day. It was a massive disappointment, meaning Wexford will be outside of hurling's top tier for the second year running. The Leinster championship arrived and Wexford had a chance for redemption with an opening round clash against Offaly. They gained revenge with Stephen Banville starring in a comfortable victory, with the aid of home advantage. Up next was Dublin and a younger more talented city side prevailed. This was followed up by defeat in the qualifiers against Limerick.


In 2010 Wexford took part in Division 2 of the Allianz National Hurling League once again playing this time against Clare. The Model men were once again the favourites, having such a good league experience. Despite a disappointing performance Wexford still ran out winners at the end only to be promoted back to Division 1 of the Allianz National Hurling League after waiting three years. Wexford began the Leinster Championship 2010 with a defeat to Galway in Nowlan Park despite having a good second half.


In 2011, Wexford took part in the Division 1 Allianz National Hurling League. Throughout the league campaign, it seemed the standard of The Model County was poor, but when it mattered in the last two games to stay up, they beat Offaly and Cork. They defeated Cork by 1–16 to 1–15 before drawing level with champions Tipperary. The championship began with the opening against Antrim which proved too easy for Wexford. The second game saw The Model County with home advantage against old rivals Kilkenny however it was Kilkenny's evening. Wexford exited in the qualifiers, for the second year in three, against Limerick which led to the resignation of Colm Bonnar as manager. He was replaced by Oulart the Ballagh manager Liam Dunne.

Dunne era: 2011–16

In 2013, Wexford missed out promotion to Division 1A despite making progress. The Leinster Championship saw The 'Slaneysiders' take on Dublin at a very sunny soaked Wexford Park on Saturday 8 June with both sides starting very poorly despite Dublin racing into an early lead 0–4 to 0–1 before Wexford rallied back and brought the game level before Jack Guiney hit a rocket of a goal to restore the lead for the home side only for the Dubs to outscore with points from Joey Boland,Shane Durkan & Michael Carton. The 2nd half proved to be a real contest as Wexford looked like causing a real upset only for Eamon Dillion to score a late goal to secure Dublin's lead before a last minute free from Jack Guiney forced a replay with it ending 1–17 apiece. The replay took place in Parnell Park on 15 June which proved to be quite a disaster for Wexford as Andrew Shore was sent off after 5 minutes before Dublin rallied on to win 1–17 to 0–12 to advance to the Semi-final. Wexford had a good run through the qualifiers thrasing Antrim 3–18 to 0–17 before getting the better of Carlow 2–16 to 0–20 before eventually losing to eventual 'All Ireland Champions' Clare at a very sunny scorched Semple Stadium despite dragging the game to extra-time 3–24 to 1–20 the final result.

In 2014, Wexford advanced to the League Quarter Final only to lose to Leinster rivals Kilkenny. The Leinster opener saw Wexford trash Antrim 5–19 to 0–21 at O'Moore Park on 1 June to advance the semi-final only to lose to reigning Leinster champions Dublin. The run through the qualifiers proved to be a real surprise as they looked like dethroning the reigning All Ireland Champions Clare at Cusack Park on 5 July only to end in a draw despite going to extra-time ending 2–25 apiece. The replay took place the following week 12 July at Wexford Park with Clare looking like they were going through only Wexford rallying back to bring the match level & extra-time once again before Wexford eventually ran out winners 2–25 to 2–22. They played Munster rivals Waterford the following Saturday with Wexford getting a decent lead during the first with rocket of goals ending the match 3–15 to 2–15. The Quarter Final saw Munster finalists Limerick hammer a very exhausted Wexford side 4–26 to 1–11.

Fitzgerald era: 2016–21

Davy Fitzgerald was appointed manager in 2016.

Wexford won the 2019 Leinster Senior Hurling Championship.

Fitzgerald resigned after Wexford's 2021 season ended.[8]

Current squad

Team as per Wexford vs Clare in the All-Ireland SHC qualifier, 14 November 2020

No. Player Position Club
1 Mark Fanning Goalkeeper Glynn-Barntown
2 Simon Donohoe Right Corner Back Shelmaliers
3 Liam Ryan Full Back Rapparees
4 Joe O'Connor Left Corner Back St Martin's
5 Paudie FoleyWD[9] Right Half Back Crossabeg Ballymurn
6 Matthew O'Hanlon (j.c.) Centre Back St James'
7 Shaun Murphy Left Half Back Oulart the Ballagh
8 Diarmuid O'Keeffe Midfield St Anne's
9 Lee Chin (j.c.) Midfield Faythe Harriers
10 Liam Óg McGovern Right Half Forward St Anne's
11 Rory O'Connor Centre Forward St Martin's
12 Aidan Nolan Left Half Forward Halfway House Bunclody
13 Kevin Foley Right Corner Forward Rapparees
14 Conor McDonald Full Forward Naomh Éanna
15 Paul Morris Left Corner Forward Ferns St Aidan's
No. Player Position Club
16 James Lawlor Substitute Ferns St Aidan's
17 Damien Reck Substitute Oylegate-Glenbrien
18 Shane Reck Substitute Oylegate-Glenbrien
19 Gavin Bailey Substitute Ferns St Aidan's
20 Conal Flood Substitute Cloughbawn
21 David Dunne Substitute Davidstown-Courtnacuddy
22 Mikie Dwyer Substitute Fethard St Mogues
23 Jack O'Connor Substitute St Martin's
24 Ian Byrne Substitute Ferns St Aidan's
25 Harry Kehoe Substitute Cloughbawn
26 Cathal Dunbar Substitute Naomh Éanna

RET Player has since retired from the county team.
INJ Player has had an injury which has affected recent involvement with the county team.
WD Player has since withdrawn from the county team due to a non-injury issue.

Recent call-ups

Davy Fitzgerald named his 33-man 2021 NHL panel ahead of the competition, which began in May 2021.[10]

The following players have also been called up to the 2021 NHL Wexford panel but did not feature in the most recent game.

Pos. Player Club Latest call-up
? Seamus Casey Oylegate-Glenbrien
? Ross Donohoe Buffers Alley
? Mark Fanning Glynn-Barntown
? Conor Firman St Martin's
? Richie Lawlor Faythe Harriers
? Conor McDonald Naomh Éanna
? Glen MaloneINJ Shelmaliers
? Ross Banville] Shelmaliers
? Conor Hearne Shelmaliers
? Conor MahoneyINJ Glynn-Barntown
? Richie Lawlor Faythe Harriers
? Conor Devitt Tara Rocks 2015
FW Ian Byrne Ferns St Aidan's v. Clare
Colours of Clare.svg
, 14 November 2020, 2020 All-Ireland Senior Hurling Championship Qualifier
DF Paudie FoleyWD[11] Crossabeg Ballymurn v. Clare
Colours of Clare.svg
, 14 November 2020, 2020 All-Ireland Senior Hurling Championship Qualifier

Current management team

Managerial history

Mick Kinsella 1981–83

Christy Keogh 1983–84

Christy Keogh 1984–?

Oliver McGrath 1987–89

Martin Quigley 1989–92

Christy Keogh 1992–94

Liam Griffin 1994–96

Rory Kinsella 1996–99

Joachim Kelly 1999–00

Tony Dempsey 2000–02

John Conran 2002–04

Séamus Murphy 2004–06

John Meyler 2006–08

Colm Bonnar 2008–11

Liam Dunne 2011–16

Davy Fitzgerald 2016–21



  1. ^ "Model men find an extra gear to drive Waterford off course". 19 July 2014.
  2. ^ "Slaneysiders fail to trouble Banner". The Clare Champion. 29 March 2012.
  3. ^ "Up the Yellowbellies". Gorey Guardian. 21 July 2013.
  4. ^ "Wexford: A Sleeping Giant Awoken Or Another False Dawn?". Pundit Arena. 21 July 2016. Wexford were full value over Cork in Semple Stadium two weeks ago. As they were dancing at the crossroads in the south-east, there was a sense that the Yellowbellies are back in the big-time.
  5. ^ "GAA County Colours". Archived from the original on 28 September 2015.
  6. ^ "We are very proud of our close association with GAA in Wexford". Hogan Stand. 11 May 2020.
  7. ^ "Davy Fitzgerald named new Wexford manager". 7 October 2016. Retrieved 2 December 2016.
  8. ^ "Davy Fitzgerald steps down as Wexford boss". RTÉ. 30 July 2021. 'I have informed the County Board that I will not be in a position to continue in my role as Bainisteoir of the Wexford Senior Hurling team', Fitzgerald, who took over in 2016 and led the team to the Leinster title in 2019, said.
  9. ^ "Blow for Davy Fitzgerald as Paudie Foley opts out of Wexford hurling fold". Irish Independent. 16 April 2021.
  10. ^ "Longevity and freshness in the mix: five newcomers join group of seasoned campaigners: Allianz Hurling League Division One preview". Wexford People. 4 May 2021.
  11. ^ "Blow for Davy Fitzgerald as Paudie Foley opts out of Wexford hurling fold". Irish Independent. 16 April 2021.
  12. ^ "Leinster U21 HC final: Magical Model maul Cats for three-in-a-row". Hogan Stand. 8 July 2015. Retrieved 8 July 2015.
This page was last edited on 12 October 2021, at 17:48
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