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- For more information see Wexford Senior Hurling Championship and Wexford Senior Football Championship
|Nickname(s):||The Model County
The Strawberry Pickers
|Ground(s):||Wexford Park, Wexford|
|Football Championship:||Sam Maguire Cup|
|Hurling Championship:||Liam MacCarthy Cup|
|Ladies' Gaelic football:||Brendan Martin Cup|
The Wexford County Board of the Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA) (Irish: Cumann Luthchleas Gael Coiste Chontae Loch Garman) or Wexford GAA is one of the 32 county boards of the GAA in Ireland, and is responsible for Gaelic games in County Wexford. The county board is also responsible for the Wexford inter-county teams.
Wexford is one of the few counties to have won the All-Ireland Senior Championship in both football and hurling. Wexford have won five Football Championships, with the most recent in 1918.
Hurling has been played in Wexford from medieval times. Evidence of this can be found in the hurling ballads of the 15th and 16th centuries. The nickname "Yellowbellies" is said to have been given to the county's hurlers by Sir Caesar Colclough of Tintern in south Wexford, following a 17th-century game between a team of hurlers under his patronage and a team of hurlers from Cornwall, near Glynn in county Wexford. Others have said that King George III shouted "come on the yellow bellies" at an exhibition match near London, in which the Wexford hurlers were wearing yellow ribbons.
Wexford had one of the greatest football teams in the history of the GAA in the 1910s, winning six Leinster and four All-Ireland titles in a row. The team was trained by 1900 star James 'the Bull' Roche, who had fought for the World Heavyweight boxing Championship. The team featured Fr. Ned Wheeler, Aidan Doyle and the O'Kennedy brothers, Gus and Sean. The latter was the team captain. The feat of six Leinster titles in a row was only equalled in 1931 when Kildare won the sixth in a sequence that began in 1926.
Wexford's last major football success was winning the Leinster title in 1945. From then on, hurling took precedence in Wexford and as a consequence the Wexford footballers suffered, with the team descending into obscurity for many years. More recently, Wexford have had a strong team. The team reached the Division 1 League final of 2005 under the management of Pat Roe but were beaten by a strong Armagh team that day.
In April 2008, in Jason Ryan's first year as manager of the team, Wexford beat Fermanagh to win the Division 3 League final. This proved to be the first success of what would be a historic year for Wexford football, as they reached their first Leinster final in over 50 years. Along the way they stunned Meath by coming from ten points down to win their quarter-final in Carlow, and then beat Laois comprehensively in the semi-final. This was Wexford's 5th consecutive appearance in the provincial semi-final, but their first victory. In the final they were comprehensively beaten by a strong Dublin team, 3–23 to 0–09.
However, Wexford recovered from their humiliation and came through the back door, beating Down by seven points in a shock result to reach the last eight and a match-up with Armagh. From here, they produced one of the shocks of the championship, winning by 1–14 to 0–12 to reach their first All Ireland semi-final since 1945. They were beaten by 6 points by Tyrone, having been within two points of the eventual champions in the closing stages.
Wexford again reached the Leinster final in the 2011 Leinster Championship. Wexford had an easier run to the final than in 2008, facing Offaly, Westmeath and Carlow. In the final they faced Dublin again, but ran them much closer. A poor performance from Dublin's star player Bernard Brogan helped Wexford stay in touch with Dublin throughout the match, but a bizarre own goal meant they ultimately lost by 2–12 to 1–12, to the team that went on to win the All-Ireland. Wexford entered Round 4 of the qualifiers where they faced Limerick, but they were beaten by a single point, on a score of 1–18 to 1–17.
Current football team
- All-Ireland Senior Football Championships: 5
- 1893, 1915, 1916, 1917, 1918
- All-Ireland Junior Football Championships: 1
- Leinster Senior Football Championships: 10
- 1890, 1893, 1913, 1914, 1915, 1916, 1917, 1918, 1925, 1945
- Leinster Minor Football Championship: 3
- 1937, 1950, 1969
- Leinster Junior Football Championship: 8
- Leinster Under-21 Football Championship: 1
Hurling is also played 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. He starred in two great clashes with Cork in 1954 and 1956. Wexford lost the first after having a goal disallowed, but won the second with the combination of a great 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 rousing 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.
Wexford had a great team during the 1990s and their hard work was rewarded in 1996 when 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 and Kilkenny have dominated the honours in recent years.
Wexford's most recent hurling success was in the Leinster Final of 2004 when they defeated Offaly. In the Leinster semi-final, they shocked Kilkenny by beating them with a last-gasp goal scored by Michael Jacob after a clinical sideline cut by Adrian Fenlon fell into the hand of Kilkenny centre back Peter Barry, only for the brilliant Michael Jacob to block him down as he tried to get rid of the ball and Jacob subsequently fired the ball to the back of the Kilkenny net ending Kilkenny's 6-year reign as Leinster Champions. Unfortunately, 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. There are signs, with a victory in the Leinster under-21 Championship in 2013, that Wexford hurling might be on the way back up.
Davy Fitzgerald has taken over as manager of the team for 2017.
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 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.
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 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.
Current hurling team
- All-Ireland Senior Hurling Championships: 6
- 1910, 1955, 1956, 1960, 1968, 1996
- All-Ireland Intermediate Hurling Championships: 4
- 1961, 1968, 2005, 2007
- All-Ireland Junior Hurling Championships: 2
- 1985, 1992
- All-Ireland Under-21 Hurling Championships: 1
- All-Ireland Minor Hurling Championships: 3
- 1963, 1966, 1968
- National Hurling Leagues: 4
- 1956, 1958, 1967, 1973
- National Hurling League Div 2 1
- Leinster Senior Hurling Championships: 19
- 1890, 1891, 1899, 1901, 1910, 1918, 1951, 1954, 1955, 1956, 1960, 1962, 1965, 1968, 1970, 1976, 1977, 1996, 1997, 2004
- Leinster Under-21 Hurling Championships: 17
- 1964, 1965, 1966, 1969, 1970, 1971, 1973, 1979, 1986, 1987, 1996, 1997, 2001, 2002, 2013, 2014, 2015
- Leinster Minor Hurling Championships: 7
- 1963, 1966, 1967, 1968, 1970, 1980, 1985
- Leinster Intermediate Hurling Championships: 9
- 1961, 1963, 1964, 1965, 2001, 2002, 2005, 2007, 2014
- Leinster Junior Hurling Championships: 7
- 1926, 1940, 1957, 1959, 1985, 1987, 1992
- Walsh Cups: 15
- 1954, 1956, 1965, 1967, 1968, 1969, 1987, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999. 2000, 2001, 2002
- Kehoe Cup: 1
After winning promotion form intermediate in the late 1950s, Wexford won their first All-Ireland Senior Camogie Championship in 1968, and won further All Ireland titles in 1969, 1975, 2007, 2010 and 2011. They contested the first National Camogie League final in 1977, won the second competition and returned to win it three times in a row between 2009 and 2011. Buffers Alley (5) and Rathnure (1995) have won the All Ireland senior club championship.
Notable players include team of the century members Mary Sinnott and Margaret O'Leary, player of the year award-winners Bridget Doyle and Kate Kelly, All Star award winners Áine Codd, Mags Darcy, Mary Leacy, Ursula Jacob. Una Leacy, Claire O'Connor, Catherine O'Loughlin, Katrina Parrock and All Ireland final stars Mary Walsh and Gretta Quigley.
- All-Ireland Senior Camogie Championships: 7
- All-Ireland Intermediate Camogie Championships: 1
- All-Ireland Minor Camogie Championships: 1
- National Camogie Leagues: 4
Ladies' Gaelic football
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- All-Ireland Senior Ladies' Football Championship Finalists: 3
- 1983, 1986, 1989
- All-Ireland Junior Ladies' Football Championship Finalists: 2
- 1986, 1987
- All-Ireland Intermediate Ladies' Football Championship Finalists: 1
- All-Ireland Under-18 Ladies' Football Championships: 3
- 1982, 1983, 1984, 1986
- All-Ireland Under-16 Ladies' Football Championship: 3
- 1981, 1982, 1983
- All-Ireland Under-14 Ladies' Football Championship: 1
Colours and crest
Wexford sporting colours are purple and gold. This iconic choice was made in 1913 before using the colours of county champions clubs Disposal of the colours is changed during the year, being the traditional kit mostly gold with a purple horizontal half. Since the 90's purple has gained more importance and has been used in sleeves or with gradients. The current kit is mainly purple with golden trims.
The crest has been changed several times. Till 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.
- "The 'Yellow Bellies' and the Hurling men of Cornwall". History Ireland. Retrieved 2011-06-16.
- "Yellow Bellies". Ask About Ireland. Retrieved 2011-06-16.
- Enniscorthy Guardian, 2006
- Wexford Four in a Row Archived 20 July 2008 at the Wayback Machine.
- Smith, Raymond (1968). "Chapter 4 – Wexford's Four-in-a-row". The Football Immortals. Dublin: Bruce Spicer Ltd. pp. 50–61.
- O'Riordan, Ian (11 July 2011). "Final cut is cruel as Wexford's own goal is decisive". The Irish Times.
- Murphy, Cian (10 July 2010). "Gilroy happy to survive on rare Brogan offday". Irish Independent.
- "Aidan Un-Leashes, his team". Wexford GAA. 18 July 2013. Retrieved 2013-07-30.
- "Leinster JFC final: Model men stun Royals with last-gasp goal". Hogan Stand. 25 June 2015. Retrieved 26 June 2015.
- "Leinster JFC final: nice Wee win for Model". Hogan Stand. 21 June 2016. Retrieved 22 June 2016.
- "Davy Fitzgerald named new Wexford manager". RTE.ie. 2016-10-07. Retrieved 2016-12-02.
- "Leinster U21 HC final: Magical Model maul Cats for three-in-a-row". Hogan Stand. 8 July 2015. Retrieved 8 July 2015.
- All-stars on camogie.ie
- Irish Independent March 29 2010: Final goal for camogie
- National Development Plan 2010–2015, Our Game, Our Passion information page on camogie.ie, pdf download (778k) from Camogie.ie download site
- 2011 final Wexford 2–7 Galway 1–8 Report in Irish Examiener, Irish Independent, Irish Times, Camogie.ie, RTE Online, Preview in Irish Examiner Irish Times Irish Independent
- 2011 final Wexford 2–12 Antrim 0–15 Report in Irish Times
- "GAA County Colours"..